When you're getting into self-publishing, you'll realize that there are a lot of tools that you may need to learn. But then you'll be asking, are the tools too difficult to learn? Can you do it all by your self?
The Free Tools
Today's question has three answers and you're going to want to stick around because the third answer is secret as to which tool you should learn first when you're getting started. So let's get into it.
The question that was sent in today was, are the tools too difficult to learn? This is a very common question that I get way too often. The issue is that you're getting into self-publishing and you start to realize there are a lot of tools
that you may need to learn to do it all yourself.
So, you start with one, and then you hear about this other tool. Then you go back and find another tool that will do the same thing that you just did. But some people say it's better and you start to learn more tools at the same time.
More tools that do the same thing at the same time. And we start to hit and overwhelm, you also can use an awful lot of money. You're left feeling, "well look, I've paid all this money on these different tools and I feel overwhelmed I don't know any of them all that well, and I still haven't published my book".
The pain associated with that leaves you feeling completely hopeless. That is what we're going to look at today. Grab a copy of my free Self-Publishing Checklist to help you make sure you are not skipping the steps that you need to be following if you wish to win the game of self-publishing.
So let's get into it. I'll start a little bit with my own story and tools. When I first started, I knew a couple of self-publishing tools. One of them was Word and the other was Microsoft Paint.
I thought "well, I don't know if this is going to work or not but I thought I would give it a try". So I used these tools and very quickly discovered they were not very good at getting the formatting correct.
My next step at that point was to hire people to do it. But then they were doing a poor job and creating manuscripts and covers that were not usable for my books. Their works are low-quality and needed a lot of revisions which cost me even more money.
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So here we are, I thought I would use the free tools that I already had at my hand or hire people. That left me a sense of what am I going to do from here. So the next thing was I started testing out the tools that other successful self-published authors were using.
Then I discovered quickly there are a lot of tools. Tools from Scribner to GIMP, Libre Office, and Canva. There are so many different tools and if you want to even hire people to do it for you, there are a lot of places.
You can hire people from Upwork, Fiverr, and many other locations. You can find people who have these different options available to them and it was so confusing for me. One of the things you can see is the tools that I did end up selecting.
I get questions on a normal basis from my students as to which tool is best for this thing or which tool is best for that thing. So that you do not have to go through this process of seeing all of the tools that do the same thing over and over.
Whether it's finding the keywords you're going to need for your books themselves or whether it's finding the keywords you're going to need for your advertisements.
Or for formatting your book or getting your cover into order. There are just so many different options and you are left overwhelmed.
First Things First
So we can at least kill the first one which is that pain associated with too many different options. And I wasted a lot of time and money going through these different options. To find the absolute perfect choices when you're going to be publishing your book.
Now, a mentor of mine said that you should start with the most important thing first. So one of the ways of putting it I think I can't remember if it was Covey or somebody else. But they said first things first.
So we need to figure out what are the most important tools that are going to need to be used. I started for example with Jutoh for the formatting. I tried the word option in Libre Office and tried Scribner and many other options.
Following these tutorials that people had put out on Youtube and other places and found it's just very confusing. And I would put the books onto the market, Amazon would reject them. I don't know about you but the pain associated with getting rejected time and time again can be quite painful.
So, I wanted to avoid that pain and that frustration of "am I ever going to get these things out?". And I discovered that Jutoh was the tool for me with regards to that. But I started learning the different tools and eventually, they became to flow so it wasn't painful at all.
I was able to teach my students and was able to teach my virtual assistants as well. How to use these exact tools? Over some time, I learned an important lesson where you need to learn the tools yourself first.
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Because you can't outsource them to anybody else to do it until you can do these things first. Then you can hand them over to other people so that they can do it and that will save you time. The goal is not to make you do all of the work.
But if you don't understand the tools and you don't understand the process, then you're going to have problems in the long run. Now, there are some things I do not outsource like for example uploading the books themselves.
As well as doing all the financial stuff with connecting my credit cards and things like that to the bank accounts so that the royalties flow. I would not recommend that be outsourced and hand it over to anyone else. You should do that yourself.
So that's just a little on the financial side. We're going to want to make sure you control that aspect of it. But in terms of everything else, you should hand it over so that you save yourself time.
Then they're able to get very good at those specific tasks. But first things first, you need to know how exactly to go about with those tools. So are the tools too difficult to learn?
The first answer is "Yes" if you do them all at once. So if you're trying to solve every single problem at the same time, you're going to find yourself overwhelmed very very quickly.
Start With Jutoh
But how do we get beyond this overwhelm? That's the key issue, well you can sort of guess it. Number two, when you're only learning one tool at a time and making daily progress, you will get good at this.
I'm telling you I know you are probably thinking you're not very technically minded. You don't understand how to use these tools properly or you don't know how to use the tools at all.
I'm telling you that if you use a little bit of time every day, I know I'm banging on the same drum that I say on a normal basis but it's completely true you learn one tool at a time and we move a little bit forward every day.
I'm saying 5 minutes is what you can start with and slowly building upon the amount of time that you're dedicating to your books to make sure that you're going to make the progress you're going to need in the long run.
And over a while, you will be able to do all of the steps yourself and painlessly with no overwhelm. Then we move on to the next tool but as I've mentioned a little bit earlier, this is the secret answer of the day.
Which tools should we learn with? The answer is you should start with Jutoh because Formatting is the most important thing.
You can outsource the covers. I use a person on Fiverr who does a fantastic job. She's done thousands and thousands of covers for only $20 a piece.
It's so cheap and they're great. They get you the sales you need for your books so you don't have to spend so much time learning Canva which is the free option for doing covers for yourself. But you're free to do that as well.
But I would suggest the formatting is the most important thing. Because if we can get your book, we take your manuscript in Word or whatever tool you're writing it in, it's been edited fine and we move it into Jutoh.
Now Jutoh is a magical program that will put it into every format on the entire internet where you're going to want to publish your book. Hardback, softback, different sizes, your Kindle version, your EPUB version, and all of the different
versions you're going to use.
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You can produce them all from a single tool, one-click for each. Just click and it produces that format that you're going to need. There are ways around this as I tell my students and you can ask in the comments if you have any questions on that.
But I just wanted to say that for a $50 investment, you're going to get your money back very quickly on that. So Jutoh is by far the best thing and you should start by learning that tool. It is a little bit of a learning curve like any tool.
And if you're not technically minded but look this is why we're here, I'm here to help you get your books onto the market. So that you don't have to experience the same pain.
As you start to use Jutoh, just let me know in the comments and I can help you through the steps. It's so unbelievably simple. You can always just ask here and I will help you out on that.
So do you feel overwhelmed by the tools you need to learn? If you feel overwhelmed by the tools you need to learn or have felt overwhelmed write the word "Yes" below in the comments to help me.
And if you have never felt overwhelmed, you just think it's so easy, then write the word "No". That will help me because I want to hear from you. And check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.