More and more people are self-publishing their books these days thanks to the emergence of companies like IngramSpark, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, and BookBaby. And while these platforms have made the process easier than ever, doing a good job of self-publishing your book (in a way that won’t look self published) is actually a pretty complex process.
That’s why many people hire agencies like ours to self-publish their books for them. But hiring an agency or other professional to help you self-publish isn’t your only option if you want to make sure to publish your book the right way. There are a number of online self-publishing courses to choose from, which provide you with enough education and guidance to assure you’re avoiding the common mistakes many self-published authors make.
So, is it worth it to take a self-publishing course to learn how to bring your book to the world in the most professional way possible? We weigh the pros and cons for you below.
Are Self-Publishing Courses Worth It? Here Are the Pros and Cons
1. It will save you money.
Yes, taking an online course will have the additional upfront cost of the course tuition, but in the long run, learning how to self-publish the right way will save you money. It will not only ensure that you hire the right people to design your cover, format the interior of your book, edit your audiobook, etc., thus preventing you from having to pay for those things 2-3 times, but it will teach you the tips and tricks for hiring affordable professionals in the areas where you need to, and how to save money on the things you can do yourself (like record your own audiobook, or save money on formatting by copy editing your book).
2. It will save you time.
Learning how to self-publish can take much longer when you account for the inevitable errors you’re sure to encounter if you try to go it alone. A quality self-publishing course will provide a timeline estimate for your publishing journey and guide you through every step of the process in chronological order, which will save you time in the long run.
3. You’ll have all the information you need in one place.
Trying to learn all the detailed steps that go into publishing a book yourself will mean scouring the web for all the information you need. We know all of that information is out there and for free, but it can be overwhelming (and time consuming) to dive deep into a Google search or watch hours of YouTube videos to figure out the answer to one simple question. Plus, you accept the risk of getting conflicting information, which often leads to analysis paralysis, utter frustration, or simply making too many mistakes. Taking an on-demand self-publishing course will give you all of the information you need in one convenient place and, hopefully, it will be organized in a way that guides you through every detail, step by step.
4. It will give you more confidence in your book.
Knowing that you’re publishing your book the most professional way possible will give you more confidence in your finished work. After all, you spent all that time writing it (undoubtedly the hardest part of the process!), why would you want to skimp on the details that can help you not only take pride in your work, but also increase the chances of others wanting to buy it?
5. You’ll sell more books.
To follow up on that point, a book that looks self-published isn’t likely to sell very many copies. It’s a hard truth that self-published authors have to go above and beyond to have their books taken seriously, so the best way to ensure readers will want to buy it is to give them zero reasons to question the quality and professionalism that went into bringing your book to the world.
1. Not all courses are created equal.
It probably goes without saying, but like most things in life, you get what you pay for when you’re shopping for a self-publishing course. It’s important to pay attention to what each course includes to make sure you’re going to learn everything you want to learn, and not pay for the things you don’t. For example, some courses include lessons on writing and editing, or marketing your book. If you need/want all of that, great! If you’re just focused on self-publishing for now, then make sure that’s what you get.
When it comes to deciding on a course, we follow the same philosophy we share in the course for hiring help: find one that falls in the mid-range. You don’t want the most expensive and you certainly don’t want the cheapest to ensure you’re getting quality work but not spending a fortune (especially unnecessarily).
2. There is an upfront cost.
Self-publishing means paying to publish your book yourself, so you’ll incur set-up fees and costs associated with hiring the professionals you’ll need along the way (editors, formatters, cover designers, etc). If you decide to take a course, you’ll be adding an additional upfront fee to the cost of publishing your book, but you’ll save the time, frustration and headaches you’re sure to encounter if you don’t.
3. Watch out for snake oil.
While this technically falls under Con #1, it’s worth pointing it out separately: there are a lot of misleading promises on the market. We recommend remaining weary of any course that promises to make you a bestseller in 90 days (especially before knowing anything about your book), or claims to help you earn a living from your first self-published book. While these things are not unheard of, they aren’t the norm and they require a lot of work on your part to promote your book (which falls under the umbrella of a marketing course, not a publishing course). If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
There you have it. Now that you’ve weighed the pros and cons of taking a self-publishing course, it’s time to decide if it’s right for you. If you do decide to take a course, read our guide to choosing the best self-publishing course here.