Continuing this post series with a tip for not spreading yourself too thin:
In whatever you do in life, you have two commodities to trade: time and money. You have to choose how much of each you’re going to spend on something–and you have to choose carefully, because you can only get one of these back.
If you’re self-published like me, you know there’s worlds more going on behind the scenes than just typing away at your keyboard. This is a merciless, demanding business and you need to be willing to wear a lot of hats. The trouble is there is a price tag attached to most thing you will want to do as a writer, self-published or not. You will see that price tag, compare to your royalty earnings, and cringe at spending a dollar. You’ll say to yourself, “Oh, it doesn’t look that hard. I can do it myself.”
And there’s the catch. Because that thing you want to do might or might not be simple. You might or might not spend hours, days, weeks just learning how to do it properly, and still not get it right. You might or might not end up spending even more money on the necessary tools and resources to do it and still not be satisfied with the result. That is time and money wasted. And, at least in this scenario, you will not be getting either of them back.
My tip here is simple: Know yourself. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. If you have the skill to do something yourself to industry standards, or you can learn to do it in a reasonable amount of time, then by all means go for it. But if you don’t, please look for another option. You can save up money to hire a professional. You might even be able to barter for their services. You can ask your friends to fund this in lieu of a birthday present. There are ways. Your time is better spent writing your books, and your readers are better served getting a professionally put together product. Quality matters.