What Are the Best Self-Publishing Resources Right Now?

A few die-hards continue to insist that traditional publishing is the only legitimate road to success. The rest of us realized long ago that self-publishing is no longer a second-rate option reserved for poor writers with too much money on their hands. As early as 2014, nearly a third of all newly-published books were estimated to be self-published. In 2021, 17 of the 100 bestsellers on Amazon’s famous Kindle platform were self-published. 

There are plenty of reasons to self-publish a book, as your first choice. Retaining complete control over the creative process, being able to interact with your readers more independently and directly, and pocketing a significantly higher percentage of the profits are just the start. Unless you are a popular blogger or a local business hoping to put out a free short ebook (both great reasons to self-publish, by the way), though, self-publishing requires serious dedication, and just as much hard work as getting traditionally published. 

Your odds of success lie, of course, squarely in your hands. That’s a little intimidating, to say the least. To boost your chances of achieving your goals, you’ll need to be armed with the best self-publishing resources. What do those look like in 2021?

To learn about the steps required to do self-publishing right, you’ll want to learn from those who have walked this path before you — and perhaps avoid some of the mistakes they have made. Some great places to get started include:

  • Self-publishing a book: 25 things you need to know, an article written by CNET CEO David Carnoy. It dates all the way back to 2012, but this oldie remains a goodie. 
  • This Book Was Self-Published: A Technical Guide, by privacy enthusiast Michael Bazzell, who self-published over a dozen books. This book isn’t about the writing stage of your book, at all, but rather covers many of the technical aspects, from legal considerations to anti-piracy steps and from formatting to cover design.

If that’s not enough for you — and it probably won’t be — you can always look around for more. Just make sure not to use your supposed self-publishing education as a procrastination tool!

As you write your book, you’ll want to have access to the best book-writing software on the market. What that looks like can depend on the type of book you are writing, as well as whether you are aiming to publish an ebook, a print book, or both. 

Once you’re done with the meat of your manuscript, you can begin to call in others, from beta readers or critique partners to professional editors and proofreaders. You can find these through social media, writers’ platforms, their websites, and even on platforms like Fiverr or Upwork — although your mileage will definitely vary. Always check an editor’s portfolio and reviews before working together.

Self-publishing authors also, of course, need to decide where and how they are going to self-publish their work on Amazon. You can also explore self-publishing aggregators like Draft2Digital and Smashwords, which are able to get your book onto numerous different platforms all at once. 

These resources aren’t the be-all-and-end-all, but rather a launchpad that can help you begin investigating what you need to do to self-publish smartly. Once you explore them, you’ll have a much better idea, and you will be able to go out and learn more on your own.

How To Become A Book Editor

Editing is an important skill that a lot of people assume they have, but few have actually mastered. When it comes to content of any length, a high-quality editor is almost as important as the author themselves. If you have a knack for spotting mistakes and being able to help take stories, content, or any other form of written copy to the next level, you probably have to potential to become a professional editor. We have put together a short guide that will help you get started on a lucrative career as a content editor.

Professional Editing Jobs

There are various types of editors, so knowing which type you plan to specialize in within the field is key. There are book editors, content editors, proofreaders, managing editors, and many more. You are able to make money working as a freelance editor, or you may prefer to work as an editor for a large firm. Every editing project is different, so it is best to choose a niche within the field and then perfect your skills along that particular editing arc.

Job Details & Salary Expectation

As a book editor, you will need to be able to keep up with deadlines while editing client manuscripts. The content you need will need to be error-free, but you will also need to tweak it as needed to ensure it has a nice flow that is easy to read. Being able to communicate well in a neutral manner is a critical skill that will allow you to work cohesively with authors on their content. As an entry-level book editor, you can make anywhere from $35k to $45k per year which will increase as your level of experience goes up. Some of the highest-paid book editors earn more than $130K annually before bonuses and perks.

How To Get Started With Book Editing

If you have a BA in journalism or in English, you are qualified to become a book editor. You also need to have a strong understanding of language, syntax, and advanced styles of editing. Depending on where you plan to work, you may also need to have completed related internships in the same or related field. Most book editors have at least some publishing experience and at least a modest portfolio that showcases their experience and qualifications. Even with no prior experience, you can get started in the field by honing your skills and working with smaller clients to earn experience.

Where To Find Book Editing Work

Most book editors started off as content editors or proofreaders in the field of publishing. It is a good idea to spend time in the field working with a range of clients to build your knowledge base with different writing styles, tones of voice, and genres. If you are already working in the field of publishing or content creation, you can speak with current clients or even coworkers regarding leads for book editing clients. Work can also be found online via independent editing sites, and of course, you can join a company that offers various forms of editing services. As you gain skills and experience, you can consider branching out on your own if this is what you desire.

How To Be Great Book Editor

One of the most important aspects of being a book editor is the ability to check your ego at the door. This means that you have to employ a high amount of self-control so that you can make your client’s voice shine through even when you are editing their content. It is important that you never allow your point of view to take over the author’s intent. If you can master this and manage to stick to your deadlines, you will be among some of the best book editors in the market today.