Chris A. Baird | July 7, 2022
Self-Publishing: The Best Option for You?

Torn between going the hybrid publishing companies or going the self-publishing route? Let me tell you more about self-publishing: the best option for you?

Greta was dreading having to find another hybrid publishing company to help her get her next romance novel onto the market. The reason is because of her terrible experience with the very first company that she had gone with.

So, trying a different company would be the solution that she needs. However, this may be the wrong question. That's one of the reasons in today's article, we're going to discuss Self-Publishing: The Best Option For You?

The thing is that Greta is a romance author. She has a couple of books that are already out on Amazon. She lives in Germany and she was getting ready for her next one.

She was very disappointed though with the previous ones that she had done. She wanted to get her latest romance novel book onto the market. The problem was to get this onto the market, she had to find a company that could help her go through the steps.

From the formatting, editing layout, and cover designs as well. Pulling it all together and then this whole set of accounts. All of these things, figuring out how to get it distributed across multiple channels.

At some point, maybe getting an audiobook version of it. The eBook, paperback, hardback, and all of these things seem so confusing. That's the reason she went with a hybrid publishing company.

She had a lot of bad experiences and particularly the bad experiences covered many areas. The one was that the book itself was not uploaded onto her ID on the accounts. So, if there was a sale made, they would have to inform her.

But for some reason, once they had gotten money from her to put the whole thing together and post it, they had no real motivation at this point to answer questions. Or even tell her whether she was making sales.

She had to bug them for them to finally reply fine. They'll send you the sales report which shows no sales at all. And then they're like, “But if you would like, we can help you market the book for a thousand dollars.”

So that was another option that they gave her. In addition, she found that there were some spelling mistakes and formatting issues. The margins on the sides were not equal and there were different grammar mistakes.  

In addition, she was choosing to change a little bit of the order around. To add some paragraphs to some of the stuff that she had done previously. She was informed they would be willing to do that at around a hundred dollars a change.

So, every time she wanted to change something, she was going to have to pay a lot of money to these people. But they already showed they were having issues when they did make some of the changes. There was the change that she had requested.

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They had outsourced a lot of the work to somewhere else in the world. Where the people did not completely understand the request. So, they would make these changes at a very high price for her.

Then at the end of the day, how many sales was she getting? Well nope, she's dependent upon them now. I did find out from Greta that I asked, “Well hold on, what about the book, is it under their account?

She said, “No, I own the copyright to the book.” But in reality, who cares if you own the copyright if you don't have control over the book and the formatting that's going on there? So, she was beginning to wonder something.

It is that if she doesn't get this other book or find another company that can do this for her, maybe her latest romance novel would end up flopping. She began to doubt if she even had the patience. To go through this whole thing again as she was looking for these other companies.

And so, by looking for these other hybrid publishers, she found a lot of things in common with her very first one which was the first thing. It's that she didn't find many people who could say they were a good company.

But on the sales page, she found all the testimonials about the company. Nobody else seemed to, so she tried to find Facebook groups and other sites that would talk about people who were so satisfied with the services delivered. 

When she looked deeper, she found some people were complaining. But in terms of anytime somebody wanted to put up a website that would complain, these sorts of things would be taken down.

The company would sue and ensure that nobody could get out there and say something bad about what exactly was being delivered. That made it difficult.

The second thing was that if she tried when to find a new company, she noticed the same pattern. It is that the sales pages make it sound so wonderful to get the book out there and sell millions of copies.

But then when she actually would attempt to find anybody who said anything positive, the only positive statements were from the people on the sales page. The testimonies of these customers who had had a positive experience.

But they could never be found. Where exactly are these people? So happy because for some reason, they don't seem to be on the internet.

Choosing The Right Person

Now there are lots of things. People who are excited about all sorts of hobbies and things on Reddit and Facebook groups. Stuff like Tesla or other things.

Maybe you're a big Mac enthusiast and you'll hang out there. Then you share tips and secrets and you're able to enjoy that community. But for a lot of these companies, she was discovering there weren't these communities.

It seemed to be as if people weren't happy with the work that was being done. So, she was beginning to doubt completely whether or not this hybrid model of publishing was even a model that would work for her.

She ended up posting a question on Quora. I answered her question regarding this whole subject of hybrid publishing as really a good idea. And of course, I do believe self-publishing is the way to go.

So, she booked a free Discovery Session and we were able to sit down. We were able to take a look at the romance novels that she has on the market. And where strategically she needs to go next with regards to her future novels.

Because we were noticing mistakes on the covers and things that were not optimized on the descriptions. And of course, she'd have to pay a hundred dollars a pop every time she wants to make a change to her previous books.

One of our policies is that we do not go backward in time and spend lots of resources on old books. We will optimize them if we have access to those files. But we're not going to use an infinite amount of time on that.

Rather, we're going to use our time to try to improve what we're doing and future books that are coming onto the market. But the thing is the advantages on the self-publishing front. As I was telling Greta, it's that you completely control everything yourself.

The other thing is we outsource the tasks that we don't have the skill sets to do. So that'd be like the cover design, the editing, these sorts of things. We outsource them but we choose who's doing that work.

We choose the price and if we're not happy, we can simply choose a different person to do those jobs again. Secondly, we can see the stars that they have on Upwork and Fiverr. These are the two main sites we use for this.

Or even 99Designs for the cover specifically. I highly recommend going with them. Because then you can try different covers for your book at a fantastic and reasonable price. 

In addition, you only pay for what you have to pay. For services, you don't want and if you need changes and stuff, you don't have a problem. That is if you're going through what I recommend which is Jutoh for the formatting of your book. 

It’s an absolute must as you're going through it and you're working through my Formatting Course. Then we're going through the steps of how exactly to format the book and get it in the right format.

We want to add new paragraphs or change the styles. If there's something wrong with the margins, you just fix it and hit the “print out”. Get the latest version in the EPUB format or whatever PDF and then we're able to post it on those sites.

Check out this related article: Can You Make Money Self-Publishing  

In addition, you can put on as many sites as you want. You have access to the dashboard so you can see how your sales are going. So, we're not going through some intermediary who's deciding if they're going to even tell you what exactly is happening with your book.

It is a complete waste of time having to go through them. Because are they even being honest with you? Do they even have the people that don't even understand English when you were writing to them to ask them to change certain aspects of your book like Greta was doing?

Are they even going to understand when you're saying “Hey, what's going on? Am I getting sales? What's the next step? They are like “Well hey, we're ready to jump back in for a thousand dollars to give you our social media marketing package.”

I had somebody recently, I think it was Lisa who recently came and asked me about this one. Should I pay $900 for a social media marketing package for my book? And I said no, that is a terrible idea.

Since I push content marketing and ads are the way to go on that front and that does involve social media marketing. However, we're being very careful here. It doesn't cost us $900 to do it.

It's going to be a slow process but we're not going to pay money. And then we're not going to see a return on the investment. So, I suggested to Greta, that the next step of course was to go through my free Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist. 

As you're moving through the steps and asking questions as you go. Just grab that free checklist here. So, as she was working through the checklist, she did have some questions like many of my students and clients that go back and forth. 

They'll send questions and we answer the questions. We’re able to go back and forth a couple of times. So that we can get you started on your journey.

But the thing is that as she was getting almost finished with this, she did find one thing that was a little frustrating for her. In this case was the fact that when you're doing covers or these things, there are so many people to choose from.

Getting Something Out There

So, is self-publishing: the best option for you? Some people can deliver these covers or deliver these sorts of things like Upwork or 99Designs. So, it can be confusing to know which one is the correct one or the best choice.

The answer is yes, this is the one thing about self-publishing. One is you have to understand the phases which are laid out in the checklist. But the second thing is you have to make choices: who's going to design the cover? Are you going to do it yourself?

You're going to hire somebody else to do it. And then what's a good cover? There are a lot of questions and my thing is you're going to make a lot of mistakes so just choose anything.

Sometimes, some of my students will ask, “Should I do this or should I do that?” They just don't know which way is the right option. My thing is “This is your first time doing that thing then just choose anything and do it.”

In other words, it's like “ready, fire, aim”. In other words, before we spend too much time trying to get our aim, our sights on the correct option, just do anything. Motion is the key.

So, if you want to exercise, get going like running a marathon. Just get running at all and you're like “Well, should I wear these shoes or these pants?”. Just put something on there and get out there and get some exercise.

Once you feel your feet are hurting, then we can address that maybe you should try a different pair of shoes. I hope that makes a little bit of sense. That was what I was trying to get clear with Greta as well.

The idea is we're not going for perfection. Every step of the way as a self-publisher, you're going to make a mistake. Now, I'm sorry, I wish you could do it without making mistakes.

I know so many people who are continually talking about publishing and stuff. They want to get everything so perfect that they don't do anything. We want to get something out there.

Usually, with the discovery session, we're able to look at exactly how to optimize what you're doing as we're moving through these phases. To make sure you are not making the same mistakes so many self-publishers did. 

The problem they have is that they do get something out there. But then the next book has the same mistakes and that's what we're going for. But in Greta's case, I said look, we talked her through some of these steps but ultimately, it's just doing something.

Check out this related article: 3 Common Self-Publishing Questions

Make progress the first time, once you've done it. Then we can say what we found was positive or what we found was negative. And what can we do differently in the future?

To get this thing moving forward. Get your book self-published and sold. The thing was in the end, she was feeling incredibly empowered.

She suddenly, for the first time in her life, found that she had control over the books, over what was happening in the entire process. And I have never met anyone who had self-published, who said that it was a terrible idea. That they regret learning how to get my book formatted.

You know, in Jutoh, learning how to get my covers chosen. Finding an editor and pulling it all together. Getting the audiobooks done and then tweaking things and improving and optimizing the pages.

So, I'm making more sales on my next book and the book after that. I've never met a person who regretted it. I've just never met those people. I've met people who just didn't want to take the time to learn these skills that are necessary to get your book sold.

But I've never met a single person who said, “You know, self-publishing was the worst mistake in my life. I should have gone with a hybrid publisher where they have all the control and they make all of the decisions.”

Instead, some people never finish the self-publishing process. Those who wish they may be going with a hybrid. And if that's you and you just don't have the time but you have the money, then you can pay these people.

To take all of the control and all of the decisions. To make sure that your book at least gets on to the market. But I do not recommend that for 99 of you. Now, you know who you are.

When you're looking at your books, you've written these amazing books or at least a good one in your mind. You've edited it yourself and now we're ready to move on to getting this thing self-published.

And this is going to be the right option for you as it has been for thousands and thousands of other self-publishers who have been able to get through this particular process. One of the questions that Greta was asking also was “Okay once I do it, which site do I put it on?”

Because of the hybrid publishers, they had made all of the decisions before. She needed to figure out what exactly was going to be the best option. That's one of the reasons when telling her The Best Self-Publishing Platform For Authors, you're going to want to check out this article and I will see you over there. 

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