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Self Publishing Doesn’t Mean Do It All Yourself: 5 People You Must Have on Your Self-Publishing Team

Via FlickrIf you build your own home, you don’t do it all yourself. You hire a framer, plumber, electrician, and painter. A business owner may outsource work to professionals that have expertise in areas they have not developed; such as, an accountant, web designer, and computer specialist.

The same is true with self publishing. If you plan to have a successful book, you will need to have a team of professionals to assist you along the way. Here are 5 people who we think are the essential members you want on your team if you are considering self-publishing your own book.


Even if you are an experienced author, you will need to find an editor. It is hard to see mistakes since you have looked at the same document for weeks, months and sometime years. An editor will make sure the book flows easily and is written in the correct tense. For more information read 4 Reasons You Need an Editor by Marla Markman and What to Look for When Looking for an Editor


A cover is the first thing a person, sees when they are considering buying abook. A well designed book will determine if someone picks up your book or the one next to it. A professional designer has been trained to design a cover that will attract the reader. To find out how to choose a cover designer read Questioning the Design Expert.


Most people are not aware of how much work goes into the interior design. If you typed your manuscript in a word document it will not necessarily convert easily to a page in your book. An interior designer pays attention to font size, font type, and margins. They make sure spacing between the words, letters and sentences looks good. They can play with the spacing so that one word or one sentence does not end up on a page by itself. It is difficult to design the interior in a word program. A good interior designer will give your book a professional feel when the reader opens the book. 


It is essential you have a web site with a blog to promote your book and to develop your online platform. Many of the blogs today have easy to use templates. If you are computer savvy you may be able to put most of your site together with a template. If you want extra features and good design balance you should consult a professional. It can be difficult to integrate your static site with your blog and shopping cart. Once your site is set up, the blog entries can be easily made without assistance from a professional. You want something that will let your readers learn about your writing style and of course buy your book. 


It is hard to get a feel for a printer until they actually have your manuscript. You may want to ask for references. Are they easy to work with? How do they want the document submitted? Do they offer the option to print digitally and offset? Will you be able to see the cover before it is printed to make sure the color and layout is correct?

If you self-published a book, what professionals did you have on your team? How did you choose them? What other recommendations do you have for someone that is considering self-publishing? 

If you have not self-published a book, what questions do you have about self-publishing?

Reader Comments (5)

Good post Julia. Have you self-published?

Get loads of offers on Linkedin from people wanting me to do so. However, haven't done so yet since I know how difficult it is to succeed. Most self published books end up being mainly something that makes the author feel good.

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCatarina Alexon


I have self-published 2 books which is what inspired me to start this business. My business partner and I both wanted to publish little books that would have lots of information but would be a quick read for people that are busy. Our target market is the business owner that wants to promote their expertise.

July 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia M Lindsey

What an important article!

I have a friend who recently self-published a book. She told me about all these details and I have to admit I never considered the interior design element. I knew it was important to hire an editor (but some don't), but again I didn't consider the challenge of the cover design.

It is great to lay this all out. Although there are many components, it is doable. I bet this will help more authors write! Bravo!

July 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura Sherman


Thanks for the head up as i would not have though of a couple of areas such as the interior designer. Out of interest what tips can you share for project managing these different areas to make sure deadlines are met?

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Oakes


Good question. The process can take 2-4 months depending on the speed of the different individuals. The cover design can be done at the same time as the editing and interior design.

When you send the manuscript to the editor it can take several weeks to get the manuscript back depending on the size of the book and the editors schedule. You will then need to make changes and may wish to send it back to the editor for a final look.

the Interior designer could take a several weeks to complete depending on if you have tables, pictures or graphics that you want included. Once it comes back to you you will need to review it carefully. There are always changes to be made

It is hard to give you a definite answer. there are so many variables to consider. If it is your first book you will just be learning the working styles of each of the team members. The first book could take longer. Be sure you tell the team members your deadlines in advance and ask them when they will need the information to meet the deadlines.

I hope that helps

July 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJulia M Lindsey

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