Frank Martin, asks a serious question about self publishing. Is it worth the effort? If it is, what is the effort in man hours?
The Short Answer
Let’s see if I can capture what I’ve found in a way that you can use to guide your own decisions about self-publishing. The short answer is yes, getting my first book published was worth every minute and every dollar spent.
Have I met my financial expectations? Again, the short answer is yes because I have recouped almost all of my printing costs. I am now positioned to fund additional marketing and printing efforts through sales of the book. It has become a self-supporting activity. More importantly , I am enjoying life as a published author and local celebrity. 🙂
I get such simple pleasure out of being accosted in my favorite coffee shop, Cafe Del Sol, by someone I don’t know and hearing them say. "You’re the guy who wrote that book!" This generally prompts a discussion of their past work experiences. My day is made if I hear that someone has been helped by reading my book or this blog.
A More Complete Answer
If spreading your ideas is important to you, self-publishing gives you the ability to do that in a way that is most cost-effective. This is a critical issue to consider because self-publishing is not a short or certain route to financial independence. Until you figure out how to get your books sold, you will be working at less-than-minimum wage while you are writing.
The best justification I have found for self-publishing is this:
Writing and self-publishing gives you full control over the dissemination of your ideas.
If you pursue writing and self-publishing with this objective in mind, you are most likely to be satisfied with your results. If you are very skilled at writing and at marketing, you can break even on expenses and may even make a little money after awhile.
The BIG payoff is that being a published author changes your life in ways that you never expect. People spread your ideas and get involved in getting others to read your book. If you can manage this appropriately, you will find yourself with a following and a future as an "expert" on the subject you are writing about.
As far as time involved, I spent at least 1000 hours writing, editing, designing the book and more designing the marketing campaigns. It was a labor of love and it will be a long while before it pays off financially. On the other hand, being an author/publisher has already paid incredible dividends in terms of increasing my exposure as a new voice in the field of job/career self-help. It has brought me in contact with people from all over the world and has given me a new perspective on how employment instability has become a global phenomenon.
What About You?
I think that most of you have more than one book in you that I would like to read. Frank Martin probably has several. I am looking forward to hearing that he has taken steps to becoming a self-publisher. You might consider doing the same. Let me know when I can write a review for you.