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Many Hats Of Self Publishing

Ahh. . .did the title catch your attention?
As a self published author we wear many hats from writer, editor, copy-editor, typeset, plot-editor, lay-out designer, graphic designer, etc..AND we do it alone. (most of the time)

Without being the writer, you will not be able to move forward on your dream of publishing. You must focus and write every day. It doesn't have to be a mountain of words, but it must be a few in order to get those words on a page and tell your story.

So you might have a great final editor, but what about the journey to getting it to that final editor. After the first draft, you have to go back and re-edit what you just completed. AND then again, and again until you are positively sure it's ready to go to your editor. THEN the editor will send you edits back. IF you have a wonderful editor like me, JUDY BEATTY, your editor will look over those edits to make sure you got them all or that they got them all.

What? You mean to tell me there is NO cover fairy?? HELL NO!! You have to put on your designer hat and either hire someone that can transform your ideas into a great cover OR try your handy work on your own. I use Laura Morrigan for all my covers. BUT I have the idea in my head and will relate those to her and maybe give her a picture or two to let her know what I'm thinking. Then we collaborate as a team to come up with the best cover! And she makes a home-run every single time.

Oh, yeah! If you are going to be doing your own formatting, you will need to learn the in's and out's of each on-line ebook distributor. Some take epub while others take the word document. And it's up to you to figure that out. UNLESS you want to spend lots of cashola to pay someone to do it. AND trust me, if I can do it, so can you!!!

I know. . .I'm NOT great with money, but I do know that you have to factor in all the above when self-publishing into your budget. You might not be paying for an editor (which out of all of this I HIGHLY recommend), or a cover artists, but you will have expenses. Whether it's formatting software, the latest graphic program or just the coffee that is going to keep you sane through it will spend some money. So make sure you budget before you start down this journey of self-publication.

Hahahahaaa!!! Did you honestly think that with that cute cover and big ole confidence ego I have is going to get my name and book out there??? TEEEE HEEEEE!! HELL NO!! Can I get a collective HELL NO from the audience???
This might just be the biggest hat of all that you wear.You will need to market and promote not only your book, but yourself from the time you write CHAPTER ONE until you die. This hat might not look that great on you, or might not fit just perfect, but you have to wear it. LET ME STATE THAT AGAIN. . . YOU. HAVE. TO. WEAR. IT!!!! (if you want tips on how to be a marketing machine. . .read through my blog posts....)

I know you don't work for Amazon and I know that you don't like heavy lifting. I don't even like lifting my butt out of my chair. BUT you have to get the author swag or your print book out to people. You have to do this! (I know that Createspace and others will physically print and ship your book) If you want a career as close to a traditional published book as possible, you are going to have to buy some of your books and host your own book signing. OR do give aways or have one for yourself....

What, you don't have an agent?????? YOU ARE YOUR AGENT! Even if you get an agent, you have to be the captain of your ship. You know better than anyone and I mean ANYONE what you want from your career.

Self-publishing is NOT an easy job. But if you keep a positive attitude and occasionally laugh you will be just fine:)

Today, I'm going to wear my writing hat! 



  1. Traditionally-pubbed authors wear many of those hats, too. Nowadays, we're expected to carry more of the load, especially when it comes to marketing and promo.

    (Love your covers, btw. Each one is cuter than the last. You've scored a great designer.)

  2. I once wrote a blog about hats in which i said, "I wear more hats than Jackie O." It's a good thing I look good in hats:-)

  3. Tonya--great post! And I agree with Melissa... the line continues to blur. BUT I will say I've learned that it is far more complex to indie-pub than a lot of people think, at least to do it correctly. And while you can outsource a lot of it... definitely not all of it!

    Thanks for your continued inspiration :)

  4. I guess we can add blogger, web designer, social media mavens, and researchers to that list as well, Tonya. Because I'm not a techie, each of these areas has me pouring over how-to's, reading blogs such as yours to learn how and where to get the information I need, then trying to figure out how to make it work for me and my style. Anyone who thinks being an author means just sitting in a quiet little space and turning out pages upon pages of creative miracles has no clue. Those who think writers and authors are just playing, or having fun, have no idea, and those just starting down this path (as I am), need to understand the commitment behind the title "author" and "writer". Make no mistake, writing is work, but it also one of the most exciting journeys I've ever undertaken. To me, writing mimics the roller coaster of life - there are so many ups and downs it's dizzying, but man, what a ride! :)

    1. You pretty much summed up everything I was thinking, so I'm just going to say, "Ditto" here as my comment. :-D

  5. That marketing hat is the most valuable hat. Mostly because it transforms itself into a suit of armor, a vehicle of travel, and a shepherds hook. Without that hat you're pretty much a beautiful, talented (patting my own self on the back, here too)author just sunning by the pool.
    Oh, and I agree your covers are nice.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Ey! I agree that the marketing hat is the most important.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Your absolutely right, indie authors and traditional authors are required to wear many hats. Book signings is the next hurdle i'll tackle, and I am terrified. How did you mentally prepare yourself for your first book signing? I'd like to see a post about that if you dont already have one.

    1. I made sure I had a lot of fun give aways to people who came to the signing. That way I feel like I'm giving back to them and that makes me feel good.

  8. I'm lucky - I'm a graphic designer and a programmer, so I can do more of this than most. But that marketing hat is a killer! Mine's way too big and comes down over my eyes. Still trying to figure out how to see through all that!

    1. Jennette! You are so funny!!!!! You are doing a fabulous job.

  9. The funnest hat to wear is the writer's, the toughest the marketer's. I think self-published authors must have a lot of patience and passion to make sure each hat performs its best magic. But other than the stress, the journey is still very fun. :)

  10. Great post! I'm not very technical but I've had to learn quite a bit! But the techie stuff is easy compared to the marketing!

    1. Goodness, Maria! You are super lucky. I'm so not techie and that hat never has looked so good on me:))

  11. And to that I say a great big huge AMEN!


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