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Chris A. Baird | April 9, 2021
How To Tell If Self Publishing Is Right For You

Before engaging in something, especially if your goal is earning money, you really need to think about it carefully. Let me share with you my own experience so that you will know how to tell if self-publishing is right for you.

The Amazon Kindle Gold Rush

Today's article has three points and you're going to want to stick around for the third point. Because it is a secret as to what you should do if self-publishing isn't right for you. So let's get into it.

Today's topic is how to tell if self-publishing is right for you? This is something that many authors start to wonder about. You start writing your book but as you're either writing it or you finished your book at that point, you're thinking "what should I do now?".

"Should I self-publish it with a traditional publisher or go through a vanity publisher?". There are many different options available but we need to figure out maybe self-publishing is the right choice for you.

Before we head on to the answers, check out my absolutely free Self-Publishing Checklist. To make sure that you're not skipping any of the steps you need to win self-publishing. So let's get into my own story a little bit.

When I first got started, I had no idea. I did know that traditional publishing was going to be very difficult and I wasn't willing to put in the effort for that. However, I had heard about self-publishing and I had read a lot of people during the Kindle Gold Rush.

The Amazon Kindle Gold Rush where you could almost put any book out there and it would sell millions of copies onto Amazon. And I was thinking, "wow this would be very interesting" even though I thought I was a little late to the game.

But it was okay and so I gave it a try. I started following through with some of the books that I had read. And some of the videos I had watched.

In terms of putting my book together, I had written the thing. But then I failed to get traction on my books, I couldn't figure out what was going wrong. Maybe self-publishing was the problem and that self-publishing wasn't right for me.

Check out this related article: Should You Quit At Self-Publishing?

Well, that was a misunderstanding, I started to look at other options like other things I could do. Well maybe if it isn't good, then I can try other things. Like cryptocurrency or some other options there.

But what happened was I ended up invested in myself. Somebody else had told me about different courses and Coaching and other options available. I started to invest in myself and joined a community of other self-publishers.

I began to understand that it wasn't me, it was just what I was doing that was the problem. So I started seeing the sales and I really enjoyed the process. As a data person myself, I enjoy looking at the numbers and the curves.

Seeing what I can do to improve the number of sales, the number of people clicking on ads, and all of these sorts of things that come into it. So the process itself became a lot of fun and that's one of the reasons I started sharing what I have learned with others.

Like my Youtube channel and website, it is exactly a place where I'm able to share the things that I've learned and the strategies over the years. I'm continuing to learn as we go and so hopefully this is useful to you all.

So how to tell if self-publishing is right for you? Well, the first question you need to ask yourself is are you willing to put in the time each day on the project? Are you willing to sit down in a chair and write the book?

Are you willing to learn the necessary tools? For example formatting, Jutoh is the one that I use for making sure that the formatting is flawless and perfect. The table of contents, cover, description, and keywords that you're using in your title must be great.

All of these things, pulling it together in the ads and the marketing that we do afterward. To make sure that our book is going to maximize the number of sales that we're going to be able to get from the book as we put it onto the market.

Investment Is The Key

If we're not willing to use the time to do this, then self-publishing is, before we've even begun it is not right for you. The same would be true if you want to be an author at all but you're not willing to write the book.

Then maybe you should try something else for which you're willing to invest the time and it comes down to priorities. It's not so much "well I don't know how to do this or that". We can learn these sorts of things but we don't spend time doing things that aren't a priority.

So we should be honest with ourselves. Often, it's "I don't have time for this but I do have time for Netflix". So you have to figure out where your priorities are and be honest with yourself.

This is back to the mindset issue I mentioned in earlier articles. The second question we have to ask is are you willing to invest in yourself, in the tools and services needed to win at self-publishing? Because if you're not willing to invest, that is to say, that you can do everything for free.

But it's a lot more painful if you can invest in yourself and the tools. These are just a couple of the things that you can do to improve where you're trying to get self-publishing. But if you're not willing to invest at all, like "I need to do everything for absolutely free".

"I don't have the money for tools to figure out the best keywords" or "I don't have money for ads", then I would suggest self-publishing is probably a bad path for you. So I would say maybe choose something else, maybe another hobby that doesn't cost anything.

But if you want to make money, we have to invest money. If we want to see plants grow, we have to put the seeds in the ground. It feels like it's throwing away a seed. But to make that plant grow, we need to get the seed into the ground.

So if we feel we don't have the money to invest in it, then I don't know where you're going to go from there. I haven't seen too many people who don't invest anything and can make a lot of sales. You might be the exception to the rule.

But I see it every day, people who are not willing to either invest the time or invest the money, always asking "how can I do this for free or do it with no cost at all?". My answer is maybe a different hobby would probably be better if we're dealing with a book.

Because I know you have what's in you to make sales for your book but you're going to have to invest in yourself. That's a very important one. Maybe it is not right for you, the opposite of this is true if you are willing to invest the time and invest in yourself.

Check out this related article: Do You Want To Sell More Books?

Then self-publishing is a good option. Well, let's get to the secret answer of the day. How to tell if self-publishing is right for you and what should you do?

Well, the answer is if it's not, then perhaps hiring one of the vanity publishing houses. There are lots of these out there, I know it's a negative name but it just clarifies what we're talking about. I've mentioned many of them before and people send me lots of hate messages saying "are you trying to sell for these companies?".

Here's a little secret about every one of these companies. One of the ways they make their money is upselling. They will initially say "we can do this and this service for you" but then once you start with them they say "oh but you should be doing this and you can upsell to this and that".

And they're able to keep on doing that and people are frustrated. Also, many authors want everything to be perfect. So each time they want to revise, these companies will charge you more money.

What happens is people say "oh I'm getting scammed here". In reality, it's just part of the deal, they don't have a budget to do infinite revisions to the works that you're doing. A lot of people are very angry with that process but you can pay those people and they will do the process for you.

They'll go through it, it will cost you a good amount of money but at least you won't have to figure anything out yourself. They will hold you by the hand and pull you straight through until you've got your book onto the market. There are a few of them that are scamming you.

Don't Get Caught Up By Scammers

You won't find any communities of people who say that they have worked out well. I remember on Youtube, somebody was very negative towards one of my videos. Saying "I can't believe you're shilling for this particular vanity publishing house". "Are they paying you to do that, to say these words about them?".

And the only thing I said was there are positive and negative reviews about them. In fact, under the comments, people even commented that they had success using this very publisher, with no problems at all. It's a mixed bag, kind of like ordering things on Amazon or anything else.

Some people find it useful, some people find it not so useful but it's amazing how angry some of these companies make people. When you get into it and you're like "oh my goodness". So I would recommend you don't invest in anything unless you've spoken to people who have been through it and have found it successful and useful to them.

So this is something, a very important issue with regards to the vanity publisher things. You can go this way, it will save you time but not the money side. You can invest the money and they will ensure that you finish that process, just make sure you know somebody who has gone through with them.

Don't trust them to tell you "oh it's great and works for many people". Try to make sure, you actually can verify that. The second thing is you can go the traditional publishing route, I know many people in this category as well.

We submit our book again and again and again to all of the different publishing houses. We keep getting rejected over and over. This is an option, it's a cheaper route.

That doesn't mean then they can do the editing, the covers, the titles, and all of these sorts of things that we might have normally done. These traditional publishing houses can take over that work for you so that you don't have to do anything.

There's only one catch it also doesn't cost money, they may even pay you money. The catch is they have to accept your book and in the meantime, you're losing the money you could have gotten if you had self-published your book.

But if we started from the standpoint, you don't have the time to learn the skills. You don't have the money to invest. You know those were the basis, then these are the two options I would suggest.

The third option is finding a different hobby. I know this is a tough one but if you're not going to invest in yourself, you're not going to pay a vanity publishing house to do it, and you're not going to try to get it traditionally published, well then maybe this is the wrong hobby.

You should try maybe a different hobby. That's a tough one but sometimes I have to say it to people, "it's tough to tell you this but maybe it's not right for you". But for everybody else, trust me we're talking hundreds of thousands of people out there who want to self-publish, this is perfect for you.

The opportunity has never been better, well okay, it was better from 2012 to 2013 but it's very very good. Books are still selling on Amazon. Things are going great at a global level especially with all the stuff going on in the chaos in the world.

Check out this related article: Why You Need Accountability For Self-Publishing?

People are willing to buy your books and so this is a perfect time to get your books onto the market. That is another key thing you're going to want to remember. So how to tell if self-publishing is right for you?

If you find that self-publishing is right for you, I want to know. Say "Yes" below in the comments and write "No" if not. Check out my other articles and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.

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