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Splurge & Save: How to Be a Thrifty Indie!

If you’ll allow me, I’d like to take just a second to clarify an important point before we resume our regularly scheduled blogging…

Last week, our post on Self-Publishing Costs was added to Reddit.com by a well intentioned reader who felt we were projecting way too much overhead cost for indie authors (a sentiment that was echoed by many other readers on that website).

Holy misinterpretation Batman, that’s definitely not what we meant.

photo by images_of_money

Judging from the comments we received here on Duolit from our wonderful readers, you guys seemed to have no problem picking up on the point of the guide – it was an overview of the possible costs associated with self-publishing.

But just in case that wasn’t clear, we want everyone to know that it was never our intention to say that self-publishing required the purchase of every service, product, tool, and coaching session we mentioned in the post.

Just like the example we used at the beginning about going to Wal-Mart – it’s possible to spend thousands of dollars in Wal-Mart (especially if you like camo and beef jerky) but it’s also possible to spend $5.

It all depends on your wants, needs and budget.

The same goes for self-publishing.

*Phew! Glad we got that straightened out!*

Moving right along, we thought that this week we could delve a little deeper into the possible costs of self-publishing by giving some advice about where you’ll get the most bang for your buck and where it’s okay to scrape and save a little.

To simplify things, we’re going to use the same breakdown from last week.Continue Reading

How Much Does Self-Publishing Cost? The Ultimate Guide

For real-life stories from indie authors on how much they spent to self-publish their work, check out our discussion: How Much Does It Cost to Self-Publish a Book?

Stepping into Wal-Mart is kind of like falling into a black hole (only without the stretching/exploding).

Seriously, though, think about it. You walk in, ready to purchase your few needed items and walk out. Hours later, you emerge into the garish sunlight, staring at your recipt and thinking, “how did I spend $100 on socks and Pop-Tarts?!”

For first-time indie authors, the process is much the same. You start out intending only to purchase editing and a cover but end up spending WAY more than anticipated.

As any money-saving guru will tell you, the way to avoid this black hole syndrome is by going in with a plan, a specific list of items to purchase and blinders to costs not essential to your task.

While I can’t help you turn a blind eye to those tempting purchases, I can lay out the possible costs associated with self-publishing so you can create that all-important shopping list!Continue Reading

8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding to Self-Publish [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post by Andrew Galasetti.

Despite the ease of independent publishing today and the amazing success stories of indie authors that continue to appear, the choice to self-publish should not be a quick decision.

In 2008, when I seriously set out on writing and publishing my first book, independent e-publishing was still young. I pursued the traditional route of finding a literary agent and then a publisher. But I wasn’t blind to how indie publishing and e-reading devices were developing.

Then a few years later, the stories of indie authors like Amanda Hocking and John Locke emerged. And, like every other writer, I paused and listened closely.

I then evaluated whether self-publishing was the right path for me. I felt in my gut that it wasn’t. So I continued on the traditional route.

The stories about indie authors finding success through e-publishing continued to accumulate.

The iPad debuted. More advanced Kindles were released. And indie e-publishing was growing up fast.

I stopped fully this time and asked myself some serious questions about whether I should now pursue the independent route.

The questions weren’t only about whether or not I would make more money. They required deep thought. Self-reflection is important for the business AND, more importantly, the soul of self-publishing.Continue Reading

4 Ways to Improve Your Amazon Listing (and Sell Way More Books)

The following is a guest post by Laura Pepper Wu of 30 Day Books. Want more Amazon tips and tricks? Check out her guide “Fire Up Amazon!

Your Amazon page is your storefront! (Image: MichelleHenry.fr)

Before we get to the juicy stuff, I’m going to have a little lady-rant, and then get right back on track.

You see, sometimes we have to sit back and sniff the roses.

That is, acknowledge that Amazon is really, REALLY good to us indie authors.

Yep, I said it. As much as the indie author community loves to hate them, I for one admire, respect and fully appreciate the opportunities Amazon has carved out for me in order to make a career out of writing.

Writing – a childhood dream for many of us. Without an agent, book deal, or any of that good stuff. And yes, they pay us. Thank you Amazon for funding my coffee and travel addiction.

I don’t worship the ground the Amazon headquarters is planted on, ‘cos sure there are kinks in the system, but I DO fully understand that Amazon has ALLOWED me to put my books on sale in the biggest online bookstore in the world, for FREE.


So, I think it’s up to me, and everyone else publishing on THE BIGGEST ONLINE BOOKSTORE IN THE WORLD (just had to repeat that one), to act as professionally as possible, and to start taking our presence on Amazon seriously. That means spending appropriate time and energy getting our listings, descriptions, and presence as good as they can be. Here are a few ideas of many on how to do just that…Continue Reading

The Self-Publishing Journey: 6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring Your Team

You don't have to be a lone wolf in the self-pub game! Photo by ghetzu

Yes, we know, it’s right there in the name — “self” publishing.

It goes with other terms like “do-it-yourself” and “self-confidence” and “self-employed.” But before you reach a point of utter frustration and begin belting out Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” you should know something; self-publishing doesn’t have to be a solo journey.

Look at it like this: Self-publishing is just like any other entrepreneurial endeavor. You might get the business off the ground by yourself, but to grow it into a prosperous investment, you have to hire help to cover the areas where you don’t have the time or expertise to give your product what it deserves.

But that’s not to say that you should go about hiring people all free and easy. If you were hiring someone to paint your house you’d have some questions before you made a decision. The same goes for hiring designers, editors and other consultants to help with your project.

Not sure what questions to ask? We’ve got you covered!

6 Questions to ask before you hire someone for your team.

1. What kind of experience do you have?

Your first priority is to identify what kind of credentials your potential team member brings to the table. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re looking for the most experienced person available, however. You just want to know that the individual you’re working with knows what they’re doing. You want your house painter to know how to handle a brush, right?Continue Reading