For authors, self-publishing is nothing short of a miracle.  It’s a powerful tool that allows them to bypass the complexities posed by traditional publishing houses to reach their audience directly. However, for all the benefits indie publishing brings to the table, very few authors that take this route ever truly succeed.

8 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

How do you know if you’re ready to self-publish your book? You’ve been working on it for months or even years, but when does an author really KNOW?

Most authors tend to try their hand at indie publishing before they are ready. Before taking to the internet and bringing your work to the public, you must make certain that your content is actually ready to be seen.   If you’re wondering whether you’re ready to be the bestselling self-published author you’ve always wanted to be, here are eight questions you can ask yourself to help you decide:

Do You Have a Great Concept?

If you want to succeed as a self-published author, you need a great concept. The best self-published authors stand out by breaking the norm, thinking outside the box and introducing ideas and stories that the public has yet to encounter online or offline. Before thinking about self-publishing, ask yourself if you have the sort of impressive unique concept that sets you apart from the hundreds of thousands of other authors in the game.

Are You Willing to Rewrite?

Good writing is rewriting. Before thinking about submitting your manuscript for indie publishing, you must have written at least three drafts.  Doing this will ensure that you are indeed presenting the leanest and highest quality version of your book. First drafts rarely impress. If you haven’t taken the time to write and rewrite your book at least three times, there is a good chance that you are not ready to self-publish.

Are You Ready for Criticism?

Every good writer needs beta-readers. Have you subjected your work to objective criticism? Refrain from asking family members or friends unless you’re certain they will give you honest feedback. Find readers who will scrutinize your content and provide you objective opinions about the quality of your book. Your ego may sustain a few blows but you really cannot think about indie publishing until you have exposed your book to a few non-biased eyes.

Do You Have a Platform?

Authors need a platform to succeed – a network of followers and interested parties that they can reach out to when marketing their work. Publishers play a significant role in this process by investing resources and creating platforms and followings for their authors. Indie writers do not have this luxury and must create their own platforms before taking to self-publishing. Without a proper platform, you will find success very elusive when you finally self-publish.

Are You Willing to Invest in Your Book?

This not only refers to time and effort but money. Although self-publishing is free, you still need to set aside money for professional investment. You will need to hire any one of several literary professionals to prepare your book for publishing.  This includes editors, designers, formatters and possibly even reputable reviewers whose positive opinion could raise the visibility of your book. If you’re not willing to invest in your book, self-publishing will not work for you.

Do You Have Time?

Do you have the time to promote your book? Self-published authors must spend as much time marketing their works as they do writing. You have no publishers to depend on. And as such, before trying to self-publish, ask yourself if you have the dozens of hours to spend every week spreading the word about your book online and offline. 

Are You Ready to Fail?

Pessimistic as this might sound, it is an attitude all authors are encouraged to nurture. As a self-published author, success will not come easy. Patience and discipline is needed to hurdle the challenges of self-publishing. Are you prepared to face the ups and downs of self-publishing? Can your fragile ego survive the barrage of terrible reviews you might attract?

Are you ready to socialize?

Successful authors spend a lot of time engaging with their audience. If you fall into that large category of introverted writers, ask yourself if you are ready to actively engage with your readers.  This includes networking on social media, participating actively in literary events, and speaking at public functions. If you can’t interact with your readers, you might have to reconsider your publishing options.

At the end of the day, no one can tell you whether or not you are ready for indie publishing. Just use these questions as a guide and be honest with yourself about your responses. The self-publishing arena is difficult to traverse, and if you are not ready to suffer through seemingly endless challenges before finally getting your big break, this field might not be for you.

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