Self-Publishing Is Free . . . and Other Lies You’ve Told

Tina Morlock
4 min readOct 4, 2022

Dispelling the myths and common misconceptions about self-publishing and self-published authors.

Before you jump into self-publishing . . . here’s the reality
Photo credit: Canva Images

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Self-publishing is a great path to finding success as an author, but it’s a lot of hard work. If anyone told you it would be easy, they lied to you. And it’s likely “they” told you other lies too!

Let’s just unpack them, shall we?

“Self-publishing is free.”

If you look at the big picture, this is always going to be a false statement because there are so many different components to books and publishing that you can’t possibly know how to do well from the start. And, if you can’t do them well, then you’re going to struggle putting together a finished product that sells. Here are only a few things you might need that you’ll need to spend money on:

  • Book Covers—you might think you can a marketable book cover yourself, but the truth is that most people can’t. It doesn’t matter how many of your friends tell you how amazing the cover is, if it doesn’t look like it belongs in your genre, you’ve done yourself a huge disservice because potential readers will definitely judge your book by its cover.
  • Formatting—it’s not as simple as uploading a Word document into your self-publishing portal. The dimensions, margins, and spacing have to be just right to look like a proper final draft. You don’t have to hire someone special to do this, but you will have to invest in some software that makes the formatting process easier for you.
  • Editing—as much as you don’t want to face it, your book needs editing. Real editing, not just a proofread. If you publish your book without it, many readers will think you don’t take your books seriously. So, why should they? This is especially important for writers who are just beginning. You need someone to pull you back if something isn’t working in your story.

Can you do it for free? Technically, yes. But the real question should be . . . should you self-publish for free? And my short but clear answer to that is NO.

“I’m a writer, not…

Tina Morlock

I am a freelance fiction editor and writer. I write about fiction. :)