Self-Publishing Resources

First, the caveat:

It's wonderful that today's world offers a path for writers to share their stories even without the support of the traditional publishing industry. Not every book is right for traditional publishing, and certainly we've all heard about writers who were rejected by traditional publishers, only to hit it big in self-publishing.

But make no mistake. Self-publishing is not a short-cut to success, fame, or fortune.

Putting a book out is easy these days through turnkey services like or CreateSpace. Anybody can do it.

Doing it right, that's the trick. Putting out a quality product that can stand proud alongside traditionally published works, that's not so easy. In self-publishing, you take on the responsibility for doing all of the things traditional publishers do before a book ever sees the light of day.

Self-publishing means it's all on you. You have to arrange for editing. You have to arrange for book design and cover art. You have to get yourself an ISBN number and get yourself listed in all the right book databases. You have to arrange for pre-publication reviews and put together the marketing plan.

Sure, you can self-publish. Lots of people do. But if you're going to do it, do it right. You owe yourself and your customers that much.

This page is by no means a primer on self-publishing. There are plenty of other websites out there which do that. This page is just a list of resources in some of those areas, ones I've used or can speak to, that I feel comfortable recommending to others.

Developmental Editors:

I am by no means the only developmental editor in the world. If my waiting list turns out to be too long for you, you might also contact these people:

Line and Copy Editors

Just about every person who has ever self-published (myself included) has at some point told themselves they didn't need a line editor or copy editor. "I'll do it myself," we tell ourselves. "I'll run spell-check." You can, and you should, do both of those things. But you should also be aware that a professional editor will spot things you'll never see and that spellcheck can miss. Things which will make you feel like a right idiot if you let your book go out into print that way. I have learned the hard way that only a fool skips out on hiring proper line and copy editors before publication.

Book Designers:

If you don't know what a book designer is, then to be honest you're not ready to self-publish a book. These are the people who handle the interior layout of your book--the typography, margins, font selections, page headers and footers, copyright pages and other front matter, front-cover title and author name, back cover text layout--all that stuff you never even stopped to think about it. A good book designer is the difference between someone seeing the first page of your book and saying "oh, this looks self-published" and saying "hey, this looks like a real book."

Cover Artists

So, so, so many tragic self-published authors think they can do their own book covers, or as "a friend who can draw" to do one for them. If you are thinking about doing your own cover, don't. Just don't, unless you know you have the appropriate expertise and experience. Trust me, you don't want to see your book show up here.

You need a real cover artist. Really.


A grab-bag of self-pub information (and if you know of some other good resources, please let me know!).

Want to be listed here?

If you are a freelancer or small business owner who offers editing, art, design, or publication services to independent authors and would like to be listed on this page, please contact me.