I’m about to self-publish another book. They are short stories about commuting on a train, which I did going to the Pentagon for over 25 years. After my first book last year, I learned some things.
Last time, I designed my cover and it was not good. So, I had someone else design the cover, which I will do from now on. The designer provided more details than I could and gave a different perspective I did not have. I found it better hiring someone starting their career. This designer was more imaginative and willing to take risks to be different. More experienced designers tend to copy what worked before.
In my first book, I uploaded an MS Word document on websites using the available software to publish. Each software was different. The book looked okay, but not great. Plus, I had to learn each software.
The websites had an option to upload an already formatted book, which bypassed several steps. There was no need to get frustrated with learning more software.
There is software to format a book, but it requires a Macintosh computer. The software and Mac are expensive. (Other people are working on a PC version.) I hired a formatter. I could publish twelve books for the cost of buying a Mac and the software. I am a long way from publishing twelve books. (I’ve already invested in the PC version.)
In the end, I employed two people, which I will do this time, too. A cover designer and formatter. It was much easier and more professional to do this. I can upload a book quicker and it looks the same each time.
Self-publishing is not easy and authors should pursue whatever path will make it easier. Because, after publishing there is marketing and an author needs all their energy for that.