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How DIY Should You Go?

In my last sprint article, I mentioned having multiple projects is demotivating because each project competes for your time. Whether you’re an indie author or traditionally published, writing a book is already many projects.

  1. outlining
  2. writing
  3. editing
  4. critiquing
  5. reading
  6. proofreading
  7. formatting
  8. making cover art
  9. publishing
  10. marketing
  11. promoting
  12. blogging
  13. building a website
  14. listening to podcasts
  15. networking

…and probably a few others I can’t recall right now.

You can pay people to do these, but the cost adds up. We did everything ourselves the first time around to figure out when we should hire someone else.



We love the print cover for Dream Eater’s Carnival, but I think it’s lacking for ebooks. We’re going to try something different for the next cover, only because learning those skills will help us with other projects in the future. But, if this doesn’t work out, we will hire an artist in the future.

The final rounds of editing Dream Eater’s Carnival was excruciating. We will continue writing and editing future books in parallel, but once that’s done, we’ll definitely hire an editor.

Formatting ebooks and print books takes time, but it’s not so bad. The hardest part was figuring it out for Dream Eater’s Carnival. Now that I know, it should go faster in the future.

Marketing and promoting is difficult. We haven’t tried too hard yet, since I’ve heard that it’s not worth the effort until you have a few published books. We’ve done a few promotions to get a feel for what services work and what doesn’t. This should get easier as we learn more, but I will consider paying for training in the future.

As I said in the end of our July 2015 sprint article, I originally needed a website—not a great website—and I’m working on a real design now. I already know how to build a website, so I wasn’t about to pay for someone else to do it. But, I wanted to learn what features I needed before I spent too much time on the UI.

The main reasons we finished writing Dream Eater’s Carnival and will finish Echo Chamber Heist is Leslie quit her full time job and we use a sprint approach for project management. We had to make time and find a way to manage that time properly.

Protect your free time. Focus on what you want to finish, not what you want to do.

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