How To Self Publish With No Money At All

Okay, so I’ve finished my first book and I will soon begin the process of self publication. Reading up on the subject, I find that I’m rather unprepared and frankly a little terrified over the prospect. So, I wanted to take a moment to go through the hurdles I’ve met so far.

First off, let’s talk about the cover. The one thing they don’t tell you when you begin your first steps to self publish a book is that you need a cover. I mean, yeah, it seems pretty obvious, right? And of course they do tell you, but I hadn’t really taken it into consideration, which almost bit me in my behind.

There are a couple of ways one can go about getting a cover for their book. They can create it themselves, or they can hire someone to create it for them.

Me, well, I am not an artist. I am not a graphic artist. I am not a man with money who can go out and hire someone to put the cover together for me. And frankly, I was really angry that the one thing that was going to stop me from publishing this book, after two years of writing, was going to be the fact that I couldn’t create a cover.

In the end, I did what I could in Photoshop and I am actually quite happy with it, but I’ve got a friend who is much better in Photoshop than I am going over it and adding those little things that should make the cover look really nice.

Okay, so I have a story, and I have a cover. What’s next?

An editor?

Here’s the thing, everything I’ve read states that if you are smart you will have someone who can edit, someone who has experience editing, edit your book. Because face it, a writer can’t be trusted to edit their own work, which I’m sure is true, but unless you have a friend who is an editor and has nothing better to do then edit your book for free, then you have to hire an editor. I’m not sure how much an editor, a good editor, costs, but it it’s more than five bucks, I can’t afford one.

I’m a poor man. I have money, but what little I have goes towards paying bills and putting food on the table so that my family eats. I can’t pay someone to edit my book.

So what do I do?

Well, I have to skip that step and move forward. I mean, if I don’t, then I just don’t publish the book. It’s that simple.

The hope, the plan, the idea, is that maybe this book will sell enough copies that maybe on me next book I can afford to hire an editor. And then maybe that book will sell enough copies that on the one after that, I can afford both a cover artist and an editor.

And hey, if it doesn’t sell enough copies, then I buck up and write the next and do what I can to put it out with as little money as possible. I have to trust that what I’m writing is good. I have to believe that the cream will always rise to the top.

I’ll be jumping in with both feet soon. Only time will tell after that.


  1. What you describe is how I started. I will recommend two things editing wise. Send it to smart friends and use

    1. Thank you for this. I've been doing a lot of editing just using this site and I can see how it's making the story better.

  2. I'm a poor woman who lives with her family and don't have a job yet. I want to get my novel published by Christmas, but my parents keep asking to read and read, and they haven't got past the first chapter even though I've asked them since October.

    I guess I'll have to jump in with both feet and do what I can to make my book better myself.
    What kinda book are you publishing, anyway?

    1. It's an action packed modern retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears called Holliday's Gold.