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What Are The Reasons To Self-Publish? With Dan Parsons And Melissa Addey: Beginners Self-Publishing Podcast

What Are The Reasons to Self-Publish? With Dan Parsons and Melissa Addey: Beginners Self-Publishing Podcast

What are the reasons to self-publish? Despite the growth of the self-publishing industry, many inexperienced authors still choose to sign with a traditional publisher. That’s fine if that route is best for your business, but it’s not fine if you only do it because you don’t know any better. In this episode, ALLi’s Product Marketing Manager Dan Parsons and Campaigns Manager Melissa Addey discuss all the reasons why new authors should consider self-publishing, delving into financial, creative and personal benefits that make it the best option for many writers’ businesses.

Dartfrog BooksThis podcast is brought to you by specialist sponsor Dartfrog Books. ALLi Partner Member DartFrog Books provides indie authors with opportunities for bookstore placement and promotion to more than 27,000 book clubs. Their self-publishing, hybrid,  traditional, and single-service publishing platforms are designed to engage authors of all types, at every stage of their journey. We'd like to thank Dartfrog for their support of this podcast.

And, if you haven’t already, we invite you to join our organization and become a self-publishing ally. You can do that at allianceindependentauthors.org.

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About the Hosts

Dan Parsons writes the Creative Business series for authors, bestselling fantasy and horror novels (under Daniel Parsons), and a weekly blog for The Self-Publishing Formula. In the past, he has worked for three trad publishers, managed two bookstores and listened to an unhealthy number of podcasts. Now he's ALLi's product marketing manager.

Melissa Addey has a PhD in creative writing and writes historical fiction set in first-century Rome, eleventh-century Morocco and eighteenth-century China. She runs writing workshops covering both craft and entrepreneurship, most frequently for the British Library. She's also ALLi's campaigns manager, a role in which she loves observing and supporting the vast diversity of self-published authors. Visit her at her website and pick up a free novella.

Read the Transcripts: What Are The Reasons to Self-Publish?

Dan Parsons: Hello everyone, and welcome to this month's episode of the Alliance of Independent Authors' Beginner Self-Publishing Advice podcast.

Just in case you missed our little intro from a while ago, about a week ago now, there are two new hosts, well, one new host and one existing host, I'm still here. So, I'm Dan Parsons, and I'm the product marketing manager for ALLi, and Melissa, do you want to re-introduce yourself?

Melissa Addey: Yes, I'm Melissa Addey. I'm the ALLi campaigns manager, and I'm the new part of the hosting process.

Dan Parsons: Together today we will be talking about why some new authors, and indeed experienced authors who have been working in the traditional publishing space, should consider self-publishing. So, we are eventually going go onto some of the benefits of self-publishing and talk about all the different opportunities that are there for authors, but I think first we should probably talk about, Melissa, some of the scenarios in which maybe self-publishing isn't always the best option, and who it's not right for.

Melissa Addey: Yeah. Okay. So, normally when I meet people in a self-publishing workshop, I meet absolute beginners, and within those groups, I tend to meet two groups of people who are probably not looking to develop a whole author business. They're not looking to become a professional writer. What they're looking at is either a passion project, so they might have developed a memoir, they might have done a cookbook for their family. I met a lady who was 50 years old, and it was part of her bucket list to write a novel and publish it, and I said, “Have you got plans for ones after that?” She was like, “No, no. After that I'm going off to the Caribbean to do something else. It was just part of the bucket list.” And I was like, “Great. That's a fantastic creative project.”

So, the wonderful thing about self-publishing then is that it gives you the chance to make a tangible, creative item that is an expression of your love for your family, or your creative outputs, or the story of your life; and all of these things are fantastic things, but you're probably not going to want to develop a whole business as an author.

The other group of people that I meet are business owners, and business owners love self-publishing because they have a lot of creative control, which they're accustomed to, and they also like the speed. They can't be doing with, we're going to find an agent, then we're going to find a publisher; they can't be doing with all that, they just want to get on with it.

Dan Parsons: Very entrepreneurial.

Melissa Addey: They are very entrepreneurial, and they are accustomed to just getting on and having the control. So, for that group of people, again, not really wanting to be a professional author, they are wanting probably just one book, and they see that book more as a marketing tool or communications tool for their business, and it often positions them as an expert.

So, my favourite story around that is a food consultant, who'd been an expert for years, and then she just self-published this small booklet just to help out her new food companies that she was building up and Unilever got in touch and went, “oh, so you are like an expert.” And she's like, “I've been an expert for a decade”, but they suddenly saw her as an expert because she had a book.

So, business owners see it in a very different way, and I think for those two groups of people, you can see how a lot of the work we do at ALLI is supporting authors who are on a long publishing journey. They're developing their own business, they intended to do a lot of books, and they need quite a lot of support along the way.

But those two groups tend to more want to do a one-off project, and with those probably the first thing I say to them is, there's a couple of books that are going to be really useful to you. One is that at ALLi we have Creative Self-Publishing, which is a book that really takes you step-by-step through the whole process of self-publishing, and the other one is, I'll get the exact title for you, is Choose the Best Self-Publishing Services. That's because it's very easy to say to a beginner, oh yeah, just find a cover design and an editor. It's like, well, where am I supposed to find one of those and how do I know they're going to be any good?

Dan Parsons: And what do they do?

Melissa Addey: And what do they do? So, the Creative Self-Publishing book really explains what they do and every step of that process, and the Choose the Best Self-Publishing Services lists our vetted partner services, so you know that they're going to be good at what they do. So, those two books for those two groups who are probably just planning a one-off book, I think are really, really useful.

Dan Parsons: Yeah. So, obviously self-publishing can work for those two groups of people, but some of the things we're going to be talking about today are also the benefits for the group of people where they're going to be looking into having an author career, long-term, building a business.

If we are going to look into that area of authors though, there are still some ways in which self-publishing isn't necessarily going to be their first port of call. There are going to be some people who would just want a traditional publisher and that is the whole thing behind their, you know, that's their goal is they'd like to have the kudos of a publisher behind them.

There's an argument to suggest that that's vanity publishing in itself, we've sort of flipped the script in that area.

But what about some other types of people? Is there anyone working within the author space that might want to go into traditional publishing and they wouldn't necessarily benefit from this?

Melissa Addey: I think there are authors, perhaps who write more literary fiction and they might like to look at things like winning awards, which is more important in that area, and that might be something that they feel traditional publishing might help them with more, although I have to say more and more awards are now opening up to indies. So actually, that's not to say you can't win awards entering as a self-published author as well. So, there's certainly those.

It does usually require a little bit of money up front to invest in a good editor and a good cover designer, and some people may just not have that money available.

Dan Parsons: This goes down the business route, I think as well, doesn't it? Because obviously, if you're going to grow a business as an author, just like any other business, you can't expect to go into this without investing some time and money, and learning different skills, and things like this, because you do need to wear quite a lot of different hats as an indie author, because you're essentially running a small publishing company where you are every single department.

Melissa Addey: Exactly, and I think that can be a little bit daunting for some people. I do meet people and they just go, I don't want to do the marketing, that's why I want to be traditionally published. I want someone else to do the marketing, I just want to write the books. I hear that quite a lot.

I mean, I don't know, I like to say to people, that side can be quite creative and fun as well.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, and there's no guarantee that a traditional publisher will do the marketing for you. You may end up actually shouldering that burden yourself. I say burden, it's a privilege for some people, some of us enjoy it.

Melissa Addey: But I do think the perception of how much the traditionally published authors are going to get marketing support, perhaps not as much as you think, unless you are that summer's big blockbuster. Otherwise, I think you get three to six months of a little bit of support, and then it kind of wanes a bit.

Dan Parsons: I can tell you, as someone who has worked for traditional publishers in the past, it's not always even that level. So, if you're a very small author, typically they'll have two or three lead authors that they're sending out that season where they've got big books and they put the marketing budget behind that, and then other books, they just sort of publish and see what happens, and if they start to take off, then they'll put some marketing muscle behind them. But, until the book has shown that it's got some organic legs, they don't actually put anything behind it. So, it depends on your deal.

If they've invested a lot of money in an advance for you, then yes, they could do that, but that's not always guaranteed.

I think, for most people, self-publishing is the best option if you want to go into producing books, and ensuring they're a high quality, and that you're making a regular income and things from them, this is generally the best option for most people.

So, yeah, the thing that we really need to stress from the top here is that self-publishing, you can actually do pretty much everything that traditional publishers can do. Yes, they do have some advantages with historical relationships with physical bricks and mortar retailers, and they can distribute to lots of different bookstores in lots of countries, if they want to put that muscle behind you. But generally, most authors can build up to that level themselves if they've got commercial enough titles and they develop this business savvy habit behind them. Even without that, just with a click of few buttons and using a few portals that are open to all of us, you can actually distribute to, I think it's something like 200 countries, I think it's literally all the countries.

Melissa Addey: Yeah. Pretty much.

Dan Parsons: Around about that, just by using certain distribution portals. And that's in eBook and digital audiobook typically, but then also there's a lot of scope for paperbacks, hardbacks, large print, things like that. All of the different formats.

Melissa Addey: And audiobooks.

I'm just going to put in a quick word for explaining how print-on-demand technology works, in case people aren't aware of this. I love this! I tend to go ranting off about how fantastic the technology is, just because I'm so grateful that I'm a self-published author now, not, I don't know, 15-20 years ago when you had to print 5,000 copies of your book, keep it in the basement, and then take a copy to the post office every time somebody wants a copy, which I just, hats after the people who did it, for their patience and perseverance.

But nowadays, you have print-on-demand technology, and this is fantastic. This means that rather than doing a big print run of a book, you literally print one book at a time. So, if you order one of my paperback books, it will get printed, that one copy especially for you, put in an envelope, and sent direct to you. It will never even go near a warehouse, it will just go direct from the order that you place will get sent to the printer, the printer prints it, sticks it in envelope, and it comes to your house, and I get paid the royalty. Thank you very much.

Dan Parsons: I think the magic of it is that, as the author, you don't even have to know that this is going on. So, the customer will place the order on a retailer website and then it will just get printed and sent out. You won't even know that the sale has happened unless you look at your dashboard or you get money in the bank.

Melissa Addey: Which is very convenient. I even saw a video of it the other day. You want to try looking at print-on-demand, there is a video inside one of the printer’s facilities and you can see how it works. It's fascinating.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, and the advantage to this, of course, is the fact that A.) You don't have to have the space to hold books yourself, so you don't need a spare room, or an attic, or something, like people used to do, and you also don't need to pay any warehousing costs because there's nothing to warehouse. They only get printed after somebody's already placed an order, so you're not going to end up with negative royalties and things like that. Everything is profit from day one, apart from the upfront costs of producing the book in the first place.

So, that's sort of a general overview of the basics of self-publishing.

Now I think there are different areas and different reasons why people like self-publishing in particular, and they come with different sets of benefits.

So, I think that one of the draws for many people is the creative reasons that we are about to explore. So, things like, you control the process. This is not something that historically was the case, but you can do all of the things that you want to do across the entire spectrum of the self-publishing process from editorial all the way through to design, and distribution, and marketing, and everything is within your control.

Melissa Addey: Yeah. So, that means that you get to choose who you work with, the kind of briefs you are giving them, the kind of directions you want to go in creatively. All of these things are just so important, especially for the control freaks amongst us, that's just me.

Dan Parsons: No, it's just me as well.

Melissa Addey: Oh, that's what we all have in common, okay. But it is really important, creative control is really important because, it may seem like, oh, I just didn't like the cover they chose, but actually sometimes it's a really important element.

So, the thing that made me go down the self-publishing route in the end was because I got this close to being published. It was with a small publisher, and they said to me, oh, let's work on the cover now, and I was like, great. And I said, I'm just going to quickly remind you that the setting is China, but the girl is not Chinese, she's Uyghur. That means she looks Turkish, perhaps. And they said, all right, okay. And they sent me a picture that they intended for the front cover of a geisha in full hair and makeup, and I just, I remember crying. I just remember crying and going, if you put that on the cover, I'll have to take my name off it because I'll be so mortified at how incorrect that is.

And in the end, I went self-published because that would've made me look terrible as a historical fiction author.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, you need the accuracy.

Melissa Addey: Oh my god, yeah. So isn't just, oh, they put a bit of pink on the cover or a bit of yellow, and I didn't like it. It can be big, big creative decisions.

Dan Parsons: I mean, it does make sense sometimes, from the publisher’s perspective, if it's a commercial cover and they just want to take an element of a book, because a lot of, particularly newer, inexperienced authors will want an entire scene from their book portrayed on the cover, and they want it to be perfectly accurate. But doing that would remove some of the commercial aspects of the book, it wouldn't sell as well. But you do, especially as a historical fiction author, you want that historical accuracy.

I've had a similar scenario where a book turned up for me, after going through a small traditional publisher, and they'd forgotten to put page numbers on the book. So, the book turned up, no page numbers. I had an event, and I just had to sort of sell it like that. And there was no change in it afterwards, because they just didn't, you know, they were a new small publishing house themselves and they just didn't have the production value up to scratch yet, and because they had the rights you couldn't do anything about it.

Melissa Addey: Yeah, and this is the sort of thing that then makes you look bad, as an author, to your readers that you're trying to develop, your happy, loyal readers. So, creative control can be a very, very big part of the decision.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, even after the launch. So, with a traditional publisher, sometimes they will launch a book and find, even if they find mistakes and they agree that there are mistakes in the book, if they've done a print run of 2000 copies, they're not going to pulp those copies and then bring out a new addition immediately for you. They'll see if you can sell through and then maybe fix it again in the future. Otherwise, they've moved on to their next title in the production line. So, as an author yourself who's controlling the publishing process, you can actually go back into your book files and change things and then republish, and because of print-on-demand technology, there's no inventory being wasted, and none of the readers will even know that the mistake was there.

Melissa Addey: Exactly. So, that is a very important part of it. The next bit is marketing really, because once the book has been launched, and you've got rid of any appalling typos that slipped through, then the marketing comes into play, which is a huge part of having a successful business as an author. And if you don't have any control over that, that doesn't allow you to plan for the long term, or even the short term, and it doesn't allow you to do things like have control over seeing the data come in.

I can go into a platform, and I can look at my dashboard, I can go, well, this many units sold yesterday and it's because I did this promotion here, and I can check that they're working. So, I'm working with information coming back to me.

Sometimes I contact traditionally published authors and I'm like, shall we do a newsletter swap? Shall we, whatever? And they're like, oh, I don't have a newsletter, the publisher has a newsletter. I'm like, well, yeah, for you and all the other authors, but I want to work with you and your readers. So, they'll have things missing that seem really fundamental to me.

Dan Parsons: Not even just that. So, obviously they are the external marketing factors, but you can market within the book files themselves. So, if you are publishing an eBook, for example, you can have in the back matter, the bit after your body text, you can have ads to your other books to send people through links to the rest of your series.

So, if they've read book one in your series, it can send them through to book two, or it could send them to book one in a new series if it's at the end of this series and you want readers to read onto your other books. Or even, if you do have a mailing list, you can send them to a landing page on your website where they can sign up.

The problem is, going with traditional publishing contract, you often don't have any control over that back matter. So, I've actually seen in the past, authors who have got, say 20 or 30 books out, because they're quite far into their publishing journey. But what they're actually seeing in the back matter of a new book that they've just had published with a new publisher is only one or two books, and they're the books that they published with that publisher, because they want to sell the books that they also publish, they don't want to sell other people's books.

They also will have a placeholder page for their newsletter sign up. So, you'll actually lose out on a lot of customers that you could keep long-term, because the publisher is hoovering them up and then keeping you at arm's length from contacting the readers that want to see you.

Melissa Addey: Yeah, and I've seen traditionally published authors without their own website because they just have a page on the publisher's site. I'm like, well, that's lovely, but what if you change publisher? What if you want to put something up there? That page is not under your control at all. So, being able to think about your own marketing and develop it is a really, really important part of self-publishing, I think.

Dan Parsons: And one, sort of, contentious issue when working with publishers, and I've had this even working in the publishing office when a publisher that I work for published my books, is that publishers often don't want to discount, at all, any books, especially eBooks because they know that if you work hard to sell the books, they'll get a lot of royalties. They don't really think of the long-term effects. They're thinking of, how can we generate revenue for this month or this quarter?

So, if you want to do a big promo with a newsletter company or something, and try to get a few thousand free downloads to bring new readers into your sales funnel, then your publisher may not always be up for that, because they know that the majority of the books they're going to go on to buy are other books by you that they didn't publish. So, there's no financial incentive in there for them.

So yeah, you could go get on really well with a publisher, but they won't always do some of the marketing tactics and stuff that you'd like them to do. One being rapid release, as well.

Melissa Addey: Well, that's an interesting one because most traditionally published authors do not want you to release more than once a year. Now, that's okay for the slow pokes like me, because we only do one or two a year, but there are some authors who write really, really fast and so they can do rapid release things, which means bringing out book very frequently, and a normal publisher would just say, no.

Dan Parsons: We've got a production line, and you're next scheduled for a year.

But the marketing aspect with that is some authors will actually push a book out every month or every two months, or sometimes faster. It's insane, but some the people do, and every time they push a book out, they've got a link to the next book in the back matter of that book.

So, it works as a marketing vehicle where they're pushing people through a sales funnel really quickly, and it actually builds their business and their fan base much faster than they would if they were limited to one book a year.

So, that is one thing that you need to consider on the marketing aspect.

But yeah, it's ultimately all about money, which I think moves us on to some accounting reasons.

Melissa Addey: At the end the day.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, it is ultimately, for publishers, it's a product. Even if you've spent four years working on it, they still see it as a product, and that is in some ways the way that we should look at it after the book has been produced, because I think Joanna Penn, one of the other hosts of another ALLi podcast, she refers to them as, I think it's employees, rather than your babies. So, often when you publish your first book it's your baby, but as you go on, you don't want to have multiple babies because they're burdens on you. What you want is multiple employees who can build up your business.

Melissa Addey: That's a good idea. I went to the Hay-on-Wye festival years ago, it was a publishing workshop, and the woman running it made the mistake of calling the book a product, and this woman in the front row just went, how dare you? It is a work of art.

And I was like, okay, it's a work of art when you are working on it, and when the reader receives it, but in between, it's a product, and that's okay. It can be both things. It can be a work of art and a product.

Dan Parsons: So, yeah, it is a very commercial business when you put your publisher hat on, and that's why the accounting reasons of self-publishing are so useful.

So, when you work with a traditional publisher, often they will collect all of the, I think it's called commissions or something like that, they don't call them royalties when they come in. They call them royalties when they dish them out to authors. But yeah, they will see all of the figures coming in and they can pop marketing costs and things in there, depending on the contract you've got, and you actually don't see a lot of the inner workings. You just get a figure at the end that they pay out in royalties.

As a self-published author, however, you can see all of the different platforms and what books are selling on which ones, and how much each book is making, and you can make your own informed decisions based on the accounts because you can see everything, and you know what works.

So yeah, you've got the dashboard analysis again, but it's not just about the marketing, it's also about making informed decisions on where you are making the most money and where you're making the highest royalty per book, because you may be favouring certain formats. So, say a publisher tells you that a format doesn't sell particularly well, you wouldn't bother with it, but if you can see the figures and you actually see that you make a much bigger markup on that product, even if you sell fewer copies, it's worth creating because you know that the revenue is going to come in as a result of that.

Melissa Addey: Yes, and also quite often you'll get your money significantly in arrears from publishers, so then you are not sure, well, where did the sales spike come? You are just going to see the flat figure at the end. You don't see, oh, it went up when we did that, and then it went down a bit when we did the thing. If you can't see that, then how do you know what's making the difference, and how do you therefore adjust what you do?

Dan Parsons: Yeah, absolutely.

And just to mention, which is something that we haven't actually done so far, outside of the analysis bit there's also the raw figures that you make a lot more per book as a self-published author.

So, from the publishing contracts that I've seen, traditionally published authors make anywhere between 8% and 12% of profits, and as a self-published author, you'll be making anywhere between 25% on some audiobook platforms, and then it goes up to 70% royalties if you're selling eBooks on most platforms between $2.99 and $9.99.

If you sell direct for your website, you can make something crazy, like 95% or 98% of the RRP goes straight into your bank account, which is something that you can't physically do if you've licensed your rights to a publisher.

Melissa Addey: Yeah, and that's becoming more and more popular, is direct sales for authors. So that again, is becoming something where you can see that there could be a significant increase in people's income from that.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, and that comes every day, and even with the other platforms they generally pay out once a month as long as you've hit a certain level of sales, which is something that you don't typically see with traditional publishers, it's anywhere between every three months and, typically, every six to 12 months. So, it's actually a lot more. You can essentially have a realistic salary where you've got money coming in every month, which is not something that you can actually do as a traditionally published author.

You've just sort of got to go from advance to advance generally and just hope for the best.

Melissa Addey: And they're slightly oddly given out because you think, oh, this lump sum, how nice. But it's actually, it's parcelled up into little pieces. So, it'll be, here's a bit when we sign the contract, and he's a bit when this, and it's still an advance on the royalties you're going to make later. So, even sums that look quite nice actually do not often account for all the effort that's gone into a book.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, absolutely.

Speaking of signing away rights though, there's also the legal reasons that a lot of people will favour self-publishing. So, when you sign away rights to a publisher, you've got to be very careful when it comes to contracts. You've got to really look at your book contract, not as just a book, because a lot of people, when they're writing their first book, they'll think, oh, this is going to come out as a paperback, it'll look great, and that's the image that they've been given by movies and things since they were a child, and they may have had paperbacks themselves, and that's what they focus on.

In reality, a book is actually hundreds and hundreds of pieces of intellectual property that are connected together. So, you've got eBooks, audiobooks, paperbacks, hardbacks, large print. You've got merchandise that you can split out into however many, well, look at Harry Potter. You've got that many different bits of merchandise. You've got film and tv, you've got translations. There are endless amounts of intellectual property.

Melissa Addey: You've got character rights. You've got so many different things that it can be split into.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, and I was looking into audiobooks recently. So yes, there's a regular audiobook, but you can have the audiobook with music, without music, multiple actors, one actor. There's all these different rights that you can sever out, and as an indie author, you can actually make those choices to exploit those in lots of different territories around the world, and you can do different deals in different territories and things like that.

So, there's a lot more creative control and a lot more creative scope, because if you're working with a traditional publisher, typically they will publish you within the territory that they buy the rights for, and then they might try and get all of your rights in one deal, and then they can re-license those out to other publishers. But you often won't make as much money with those secondary deals as you would if you handled those rights yourself. So yeah, you can actually exploit or license all of these things yourself in piecemeal chunks, and it works out much more profitable for the author.

Melissa Addey: Because often what can happen is they'll buy just the whole package, we'll just take the whole thing, and then they don't exploit some of those rights. So yes, the eBook will come out and the paperback will come out, but they've got the audiobook rights, and they're not doing anything with them. But you can't do anything with them because you handed them over as part of a big package deal. So, it's really important when you're looking at contracts, even if you do go down a traditional publishing route, to think carefully about what it is you are signing away, and if possible, to make it as narrow as possible, and make sure they're going to do it, that they have a plan for what they're going to be doing with all of those items. Otherwise, there's no point signing them over.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, I have seen examples of that, where people have wanted audiobooks produced, and they couldn't do it themselves because they signed them over, and the publisher didn't have an audiobook budget, so they were never going to create the audiobook.

And one quite frustrating thing for authors is, if they're extremely proactive and they try to engineer deals, and the publisher hasn't done any work for it because the author is going out and networking, and then they'll actually get these deals themselves and the publisher's taken a cut of every one of those extra deals, and it's actually the author doing all of the work. And you're thinking, well, if you could have engineered this deal in the first place, you may as well have kept the rights and sold it and got all of the profit from it.

Melissa Addey: Yeah. So, it's really being careful about understanding what you are creating. Again, it's not just a work of art. What you are creating is a piece of creative intellectual property, and you can break that down into so many different options for what you can do with it.

Dan Parsons: Yeah. One thing we must actually use, as a post disclaimer I suppose, is that as much as you are responsible for your success, you are also responsible for your failures as a self-published author, because there is no one to pass the buck onto with publishers and things. Ultimately, the quality of the book, the success, the sales funnel, everything is up to you, but that is something that we can overcome, it just takes some education.

Melissa Addey: It does, and that is what you and me are providing. So, I think the way we've planned this podcast is that we're basically taking you on a self-publishing journey over the next 12 months.

So, we are going to go through every single step, from the point where you presumably have a manuscript in your hands. If not, start writing really quickly. Then we can take you through each of those stages, because next month we're going to start with editing, and that's going to be an interesting part because that is a huge contributor to the eventual quality of that work.

Dan Parsons: Yeah, if you don't bake editing into the product, then the rest of it doesn't really work on top. As much as someone might like a nice cover and they go in, if the editing isn't there, then they're not going to read a second book from you.

So yeah, we will talk about all of that in an upcoming episode, and then we will move on to other subjects taking you through the publishing journey for the next 11 months, I believe.

Then eventually, you will spring out of the other side with high-quality books and lots of knowledge and all that type of stuff.

So, if you'd like to look at some extra resources based on some of the stuff we've already explained today, just because they go into a little bit more depth, then you could look at Creative Self-Publishing, which is an ALLi guide. There's also Choose the Best Self-Publishing Service, which is another book in the series. Both of them touch on slightly different but interconnected topics.

You could also become an associate member of ALLi. Melissa, what exactly does that entail?

Melissa Addey: So, becoming an associate member is, you may feel, oh, I couldn't already be a member because I haven't already published, but actually being an associate member means that you are on your way to publishing something. So, we would love to have you on board if you would like to come on board at this point, because we have tons and tons of information, guidebooks, just so much advice along the way. But it does mean that you can come on board straight away.

When I hadn't yet published, that was quite nice to feel like, oh, I can be part of it anyway, even though I haven't yet published, but I'm on my way with my manuscript.

Dan Parsons: You can ask lots of other authors in the community about their experiences, and often they'll be a step ahead, or sometimes a hundred steps ahead of you, depending on who they are, and they can explain things very eloquently in our private Facebook group, and things like that.

So yeah, until next time, we encourage you to like and subscribe, no matter what platform you're on, and we will see you again in about a month, I think.

Melissa Addey: So, one last thing is our Self-Publishing Conference is coming up, SelfPubCon, and if you go have a look on our website, you will see lots of information about it. It's two whole days of continuous talks and really interesting insights from lots of people in the self-publishing industry.

Dan Parsons: Lots of resources.

Anyway, enough from us for now, and we'll see you again in a month. Bye everyone.

See you next time.

Melissa Addey: Bye.

Author: Howard Lovy

Howard Lovy has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and now amplifies the voices of independent author-publishers and works with authors as a developmental editor. Howard is also a freelance writer specializing in Jewish issues whose work appears regularly in Publishers Weekly, the Jewish Daily Forward, and Longreads.

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