Tough Decisions Ahead- Overcoming the Anxiety (and many choices) of Self Publishing

So maybe you’ve made the tough decision to selfpublish.

Wow. That right there already took so much mental energy. Now you also face the task ahead- getting your novel ready for publication.

I used to sit and stare at my manuscript and wonder if it was ready. My phone’s glow would light up my face late at night as I, deep under the covers, googled ‘when do you know when you’re novel is done?’

The answers I got were not satisfactory at the time. “You’ll just know.”

Well right now I’m feeling like: “Get this out of my face I never want to look at it again. It’s as good as it’s going to get. I’ve already sunk years into it.”

So what now?

Well now I’ve, and possibly you’ve, got to decide; How much am I will to spend on editing? What do I want the editor to look for (Spelling? Plot? Flow? Grammar and Sentence structure?)? What do I want my cover art to look like and how much am I willing to spend on it?

I don’t have your answers, but I’m beginning to come to terms with mine. He’s what I’ve decided and how.


I’ve actually hired three cover artists at this point. The first was as cheap as it gets, $25 for a friend, still in school, to made in two days. It was not very eye catching.

The second was a job posting on upwork, I didn’t love any of the artists that responded to my prompt but I had been overwhelmed by all the choices. $90 later and five months later and the project wasn’t going anywhere- I had to many ideas and they had to little experience to trust their own composition.

Third time’s the charm. I was again looking for a artist, but this time a real artist whom I could trust. I wanted a friend as well, someone interested in the same kinds of things who understand me and whom I can talk to like an actual person. Here are of the things that I was thinking about:

  1. I want to be proud of the cover.
  2. You get what you pay for.
  3. I want to sell merch with the cover on it, or be able to give away things with my cover on it.
  4. My cover is the CENTER of my marketing plan.
  5. I spent years on a book, I want to do it justice.

When thinking of artists who drew in a style I like (yes I decided I wanted a hand made cover so I’ll stand out) I had to look no further than my wall. At the base of my bed are three large paintings done by one of my favorite artist. I met her at an anime convention and drug all of my friends over there to take a look at her fantastic paintings.

I decided what the heck, and messaged her. @salmonella_fish

She seemed really passionate about my idea, and I’m really passionate about her art but her quote was a little high…

My first big decision.

  1. My YA novel is heavily inspired by anime and I anticipate the people who will like it already like anime. I want an anime style cover.
  2. She already has a big following of people who like her art, if she decided to share the cover it could be a big boost to my book.
  3. She already travels to conventions (Something I aspire to do when I’m a ‘real writer’) meaning she may be willing to put my book on her table.
  4. I’m passionate about her and want to scream her name from the rooftops, I have no problem supporting good artists.

this is what is came down to.

I may never recoup the costs of this cover. But it is my debut work and I want to have something to show for it.

I decided to pay $500 for my cover. I’m spending $500 for me- not so it will sell better.


There are so many editors out there. As if I wasn’t overwhelmed before… So I googled, and I was shocked by prices, and I put out a listing, and didn’t get good replys. I grappled with the idea of not editing my novel, or getting a family friend to do it for me. But no that wouldn’t do. I ended up asking a writing friend who was well connected.

The editing price was normal but they offer a special: The first 50 pages for $30. Hallelujah.

I’m now going through those first pages trying to decide if I want to finish the edit myself, knowing what they picked out in the first place or if I want to be bougie and make someone else do the work. That second one would keep me in alinement with my ‘I never want to look at this sh!t ever again’ mentality.

The price could work for or against me. I’ve already put so much money in, shouldn’t I just put in a little more to make it great? At the same time… I’ve already put so much money in, shouldn’t I just go for the cheapest option?

But here’s the thing that’s actually standing in my way:

I’m terrified they will read it and find some massive plot/character error that destroys the book and they hate it. Meaning I would have to do a hecking ton more editing.

So as I’m reviewing the first 50 pages I keep repeating to myself. “I’m going to be proud of this novel.”

I know that if I’m not proud of it, I won’t promote it, it will flop, and hurt my self esteem more in the long run.

Be Proud of Yourself

What I chose won’t be applicable to everyone but if I leave you with anything then I want you to know this.

Live Life with no regrets. Full-ass the things and are important and make decisions you are proud of. We can’t go back in time and see how another option played out so doing what you believe in and making the best decision with the information you have will be the only way you can stay happy looking back.

Best of Luck to you.

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