In the rapidly changing world of book publishing, an emerging reality is that self-published authors need to be entrepreneurs. Writing a great book is not enough; penning compelling content is only the first step.
Authors desiring to self-publish their work need to view their book as a product and themselves as an entrepreneur; they must develop, execute, and fund a business plan.
The self-published author becomes a production manager, analogous to a general contractor overseeing the construction of a house, in this case, his or her own house.
So it is with self-publishing. The self-published author/entrepreneur/general contractor needs to direct, oversee – and pay for:
- Proof reading, line editing, and possibly content editing
- Cover design
- Interior layout
- E-book conversion
- A publicist
- Marketing and promotion
They must also:
- Pay all the preceding vendors before any money comes in
- Conduct market research
- Handle book returns
- Collect payments and deal with bad debt (the people who don’t pay what they owe)
- Set up a business and all that is entailed, including licensing, legal structure, payment of taxes and fees, completing required forms and reports, and so forth
As these lists demonstrate, much work is required in order to be successful in self-publishing. For the non-business minded, these tasks are overwhelming, sucking the life out of them and their writing.
However, for entrepreneurial-minded authors, these activities are invigorating, offering great potential and reward.
The personality and strengths of each writer will determine if the self-publishing road is the right road to take.