For anyone who has considered or gone the self-publishing route: any advice on making the choice to do so and/or who to work with?

Very early stages so mostly crowdsourcing ideas and advice!My husband and I separately have been thinking about our own book projects (one more of a memoir, one more of a philosophical exploration) so I wanted to start to explore what types of publishing routes there are! I know a lot is probably dependent on our goals/target audience, but neither of us have published before. I guess it would also be helpful to know when in the process you start to narrow in on how to publish. Thanks in advance :)
Hi Diana!!!! So excited to see you here :)@ekuacant - maybe you have thoughts on this as someone who recently went through this process?
Hi @DianaSheedy my husband Luca is a self-published author of 7 books, non-fiction (psychology, human behaviour, operational excellence), and he publishes using amazon KDP and gumroad. Here are his top tips on self-publishing: 1. You won't sell more books than your audience on launch day (grow your audience before publishing your book)2. Send the early draft to your friends, ask what they remember, and consider deleting most of the rest. 3. To choose the title of the book, write down 10 options, send them to a few of your close friends, ignore their comments, 2 days later ask them which one(s) they rememberIf you have any questions, best practices and how-tos on publishing on gumroad, amazon you can connect with him on twitter. (
You might consider joining an association for the kind of book you are writing. I am a member of SCBWI (children’s books), NMWA (national memoir writers association), and Sisters in Crime. These groups offer lots of information about self-publishing from other members who have had success with this process. Good Luck!
Hi Diana - so exciting! I am in the final stages of writing my book, Boss Up Buttercup, and have been working with the team at Book Launchers - an indie nonfiction publisher based out of LA. I have had a really good experience with this group. In particular, the help of a book coach and developmental edit process has taken the book to an entirely new level. It's been a brutal process trying to get it done while also working my normal full time job, but I am really confident it will be worth it in the end.
Hi Emily,I’m looking for book coaches right now (and jumped on Diana’s thread). Would you be able to share yours as a recommendation?
yup! I'm working with Kate Hefner as a part of the Book Launchers services - not sure if she does it outside of Book Launchers but she' fabulous. She's primarily fiction but I actually think that helps because she has a very creative way of looking at things.
Thanks so much!
Yes! Just went through this last year when publishing my book re: women in tech. My process: Just like you, I got advice and initially went through the traditional route (write a book proposal, send off to agents, get agent, send out to publishers). I also checked into small/mid-size publishers you can directly propose to without an agent. Ultimately the feedback was very consistent -- I needed a bigger following to get a book deal. So I read up on self-publishing (, both very helpful) and deciding to go the hybrid publishing route where you get help to self-publish (vs. do everything yourself). For choosing a good hybrid publisher, I got referrals and double-checked against a ratings website - Chose one and got my book out in 2020! Happy to chat more if you need more advice.
Hi Alana,I’m in a bit of the same boat as Diana and jumped on her thread.In early stages of book writing and strongly leaning self-publishing and looking for a book coach right now. I think my book is White Space to Lead, for people in tech who need space to breathe and combining memoir-style my own journey as well as design background.Would you be open to chatting?Thanks!
Sure! DM me, and we can trade info.
Hi Diana,This post in my email this morning was very serendipitous as I’m in early stages of doing the same thing. Looking to self-publish a business book about leadership and have memoir-style stories in it. I’m currently chatting with a couple of book coaches and am hoping to select one in 3-4 weeks. Hope it’s OK if I jump on the replies in this thread? And I’m also happy to chat more!
Hi Tutti,SO glad you joined! So proud of you for getting to the stage you're at. I'll be coming to you probably for advice next (; Please keep me posted on how your process goes!
@DianaSheedy Awesome to hear that your looking to write a book. I wrote a blog about why I was in favour of self-publishing. In the blog, I share the the things that you need to know about the nuts and bolts of self-publishing. Here's the link to that blog: I would when thinking about self-publishing or traditional publishing I would ask yourself these questions:What is the goal for publishing your book? Is it to become a writer and to publish on a regular basis? Or is it as part of tool kit for a business or a passion project? If you are looking to make significant revenue from a book, then going with a traditional publisher will get you there faster. I would only suggest that you look very carefully about the terms and conditions of your contract in terms of copyright ownership, any clauses on buying back unsold stock and distribution clauses ie. are they the sole distributor or can you distribute by other avenues. I hope that helps! Ekua 💛