Chris A. Baird | July 11, 2022
Self Publishing: What It's Like?

Are you hesitant to try to self-publish your book? Now, let’s learn about self publishing: what it’s like?

Going Through An Awful Lot Of Steps

The cover looked awful and the formatting was black with a blue background making it impossible to read. Those were the results that I got from my first attempt at self-publishing. I was ready to completely give up.

That's the reason why in today's topic, we're going to talk about Self Publishing: What It's Like? It was in 2015, I was here in Norway and I was working through my very first book. I had managed to write the book.

I was doing a thousand words a day to get this book produced. Then I ran it through editing and all of these things. I was getting ready to self-publish and do the main part of this entire thing.

I wanted to get this book onto the market. I had some really good ideas that I thought would be useful to people. And it turns out that over the years thousands of copies sold.

It has been a useful book for many people regarding achieving your goals. So, as I was working through this book and trying to get it onto the market, I realized something very quickly.

With this whole self-publishing thing, there are an awful lot of steps. For each step, there can be a series of tools that will help you get the book onto the market. But then which tools should you use?

Which order of the steps should you do? Can you do them in parallel? What is the correct way to do these steps? There are so many questions that are not obvious when it comes to self-publishing which makes you want to just give up completely.                                                    

But I realized that if I didn't make progress and make some choices and decisions, I was never going to be a successful self-publisher. It was one of my top goals, to get these books into the world. And actually, see if I could become successful at the self-publishing thing.

If I could crack the code, not just the first code of course. How do I even get the book on the market? The second code is the marketing side, which in my opinion is even more interesting. 

It is how we get books to sell once we've written them and self-published them. I was even wondering; would anybody even buy the book that I managed to fully self-publish? So, the first thing I did was I hired a cover designer on Fiverr.

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They were like, “Well what do you want to have? A picture or something.” Then I went to another site and paid $40 for a picture that they could do.

Then they threw some text on it and it was awful. So, the cover looked bad. The second thing was I hired a "book formatter" to go through on Fiverr as well. To go through the text and put it into the right format.

Now that I had everything in place, the problem is they hardcoded colors like black, blue, and white these things into the very files. That meant that when it was as an eBook when I put it onto the Kindle device, suddenly it didn't work.

My table of contents didn't even click to the correct locations. This led me to feel completely hopeless in this entire process. I was ready to give up.

With a terrible cover of a manuscript, that was going to trigger people to give it one-star reviews. Because it would just be awful to have to deal with that. So what exactly would I do?

The thing was that I had been listening to some podcasts and YouTube videos. As I was going through it, they explained a couple of tools. One of the things they suggested was going with 99Designs with regards to your covers which I discovered was a very good route.

The second thing was they suggested using Scrivener as a way of going and getting your book formatted to the right format. So that was the other thing and I realized though that you can also break the entire process down into simple steps.

So, I did not completely agree with some of the advice that they were giving. So, I tested out several things like Upwork and Fiverr for covers and 99Designs. I tried a lot of these different things and that's one of the reasons why I found the right solution.

The steps into the simplest bits that I possibly could. I put it together into my Self-Publishing Secrets Checklist which tells you exactly what my findings were. The absolute best programs and path to success at getting your book self-published and selling so check it out for free. 

Getting Into The Right Format

The ultimate thing I had was I tried out the Scrivener thing. I even bought the tool because I heard many people say so many positive things about this particular tool. I'm sure for them, it was a great tool.

But when I started using it and wanted to get my book into the paperback format, I was like “Where is my table of contents?” So, I tried to export it but then it didn't get the table of contents. It was like, “Well, am I supposed to do this manually?”

That was when I contacted their team. They look like it doesn't do that and they're like “Why did you even buy it? You know, just stick with the trial.” Sometimes, I'm so excited about products that I buy them without even testing them out.

But in this particular case, it didn't work for me. Now, I'm sure for other writers, it's fantastic. Because it's designed to help you keep track of your characters.

You can move chapters around and that's what they did. That's why I moved over to Jutoh to do the formatting. Because it's a lot easier, it's very straightforward. 

We're able to figure out any issues with your text. Get rid of all the strange characters that you have in your text and put it all together. For some people, this might even be a little bit.

That's one of the reasons in my Book Formatting Made Easy Course, I guarantee that you'll get your book formatted. As we work together to make sure that it gets into the right format using my fancy nancy template.

That I put together after hours of training and learning how to use this tool properly. I still work with clients regularly on this formatting front. Because it is such an important thing to get your book formatted, not okay but perfect.

And that is exactly what we're talking about when you're dealing with Jutoh. That's one of the reasons I've been using them for a long time. The other thing is ordering covers on 99Designs.

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Because you have lots of people competing to get the cover exactly right. You have the title and the subtitle and the author's name. You give an idea of what exactly you're looking for and then they're able to put bids and give you a better idea of that.

Check out 99Designs if you'd like more information on that. Because it is just an amazing service that they offer there. What I discovered was just with a lot of trial and error, going back and forth this whole self-publishing thing, I began to realize something.

Once we have the formatting done and once, we have the cover done, then we need a description. I found a couple of little cool tricks. I usually share with my clients how exactly to get a perfect description.

I use some of the absolute best descriptions on Amazon. I'm using those as a template, a basis to work from. To maximize the sales that we're pulling through on our things.

One of those things, I'll give you a little hint, it's Patrick Fox. He is an author who puts out excellent books. But also, his descriptions are even better than in his books.

I know that's a little bit crazy but he is such a good self-publisher that at least on his older books his descriptions were just fantastic. So that's just a little secret that usually, you have to be one of my clients before you get that one.

But sometimes, I like to just give these things out. Because it's so important when you're getting your book out there. To make sure the description is okay.

I just had a session yesterday with a client and this is exactly it in the descriptions. To make sure you're resonating with your target readers. I had no idea, I didn't understand, I thought a description was to describe the book.

I didn't realize the description was about selling the book. Which is the same thing as the table of contents and this author's bio. It's not so much about doing the main reason you think it'd be there. 

Change Your Life As You Go

It's about selling your book and telling people “This book is right for you.” That's something that so many people overlook when they're self-publishing. But how would you even know if you hadn't gone through it with a coach?

If not me, then go through it with somebody. Sit down and join a program where you can go through these things. Find somebody who breaks it down and makes it easy.

Invest some money in yourself. That was one of the lessons that I learned with my business coach paying 200 per session. You know you get what you pay for.

And so, I suggest not trying to figure this out yourself. Make sure you can save so much time. And if the goal is to make money, you're going to make a lot more money when investing in yourself.

That was one of the big lessons I learned on the self-publishing front. Somebody even asked me just the last couple of days. Well, would you do the self-publishing thing again?

Would you recommend that this is the right choice? Or should I go with a hybrid or traditional publisher? My answer is why is it that I only hear people complaining who've gone the other route: the self-publishing route?

I just don't meet anybody who's like, “That was such a waste of time learning this self-publishing thing. I really would have done better if I paid somebody a ton of money and then saw my book not sell. Then I can pay them a ton more money to do marketing that doesn't sell my book either.”

That's usually what a lot of my clients do. They've given it a go with these other companies. They're just not found to be very happy.

Then we sit down, we map out a plan by doing a free discovery session. As we're moving along, we go through it and take a look at a path and a course that will work for you. Remember one of the things, this is an important one to remember with discovery sessions in general. 

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It's that it isn't even about additional services. It's just to give us a chance where can break down your exact situation into bite-sized chunks. To show you where you can go.

The excitement that most clients get when they go through a session like this. It gives you direction and guidance. The motivation that comes from it alone, makes it worth the fee that you pay for it for just a little bit of time.

So, I would recommend doing that. There are lots of free resources and this is something I was telling one of my other clients recently. It's the idea he was saying “Look, I'm sorry, you know I can't pay the full price for this or for that.”

I'm like, “Use the discount codes that you get when you're on my email list. Use these things and cancel afterward if you need to.” It is just fine; my goal is to help as many people as possible.

So, self publishing: what it’s like? You should not be paying one more penny than you have to. When I got started, I would get paid during the month. I would have the money that would be dedicated to the business and my business would run out of money in the very early days.

I'd have to wait until next month before I could do it again. That was what it's like to be a self-publisher when you're on a thread, you know you just got a few dollars to play with every month until you finally crack the code.

Then when you have thousands and thousands of dollars coming in a month. Well, this makes it much easier, you can hire a team like I've been able to do. You've been able to change your life quite a bit as I've discovered.

That's one of the key aspects of this whole self-publishing thing. After publishing 200 books and learning how to run 120 million ads out there, it starts to make sense. I feel these frustrations and difficulties.

But it's so worth it if you can just push through it on the self-publishing front. That's really what it's like but sometimes, you're just not sure whether or not it's right for you. That's why you're going to want to check out Self-Publishing: The Best Option For You?  

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