Independent authors have the option to sign up for a huge number of services to help them get their books out into the world. Authors can work with companies on jacket design, promotion, editing, distribution, and more.
While each individual author’s goals and budget will determine which services are most important to invest in,there are still some best practices for authors to figure out which company or service is worth their investment.
Before signing up for any service, ask plenty of questions. Feel free to request case studies or examples of previous work the service has rendered. Then you’ll be able to get a better sense of what you can expect for yourself.
Read online reviews. If it’s a well-known company, other authors will be talking about their experiences using it somewhere online. While there are always going to be some outliers, you will be able to see broad trends or early warning signs from these reviews.
Before hiring services to help manage certain parts of your book’s publication, think about your skills and your network. Maybe you don’t need to hire a company to run social media for you, for example. You might find that you can do it yourself, or that you already have someone in your personal or professional network who you can work with. However, remember to think strategically about your time.
Consider your bandwidth. While you might have the ability to manage your own social media accounts, will the time it takes be time better spent on other tasks?
And finally, remember that no publishing or marketing service is a magic bullet. No single service will turn your book into a bestseller or land it a movie deal, but it will hopefully make it a better product available to a greater number of readers.