The time and energy it takes to write and publish anything worthwhile.
That’s one example which is a hidden cost publishing. It’s not a bad cost, but there are others which can be more deadly to a writer who wants to succeed. There are both financial and emotional tolls that can be quite unexpected.
Some of these more visible tolls are marketing and money on your book. Many writers now have the option of self-publishing, or getting their work done in a type of custom publishing, where they can have more of a say than in a strict traditional publishing method. Some jump in right away not knowing how much work is involved and others do the research before committing to anything with self-publishing. Others learn the basics and go from there. However any writer goes about along the path to publishing, there is a learning curve.
Some of it is time, and some time management, my best hours to work in peace are between 9pm -12 am, otherwise there is always some sort of activity in my life. This isn’t conductive to great sleeping since I wake up about 7 am, if not earlier. My brain doesn’t seem to stop at night and comes up with what seems at the time to be new wonderful ideas, which fill my computer and my to do list. Often this happens in the middle of a bit of writing for something else. The list is constantly filled- by other things.
It is a long list, and I want to see success, and have money on the side as well, but don’t most writers want the same thing.
I would say the biggest cost of publishing, is money- and not putting it where it is most needed.
Some will argue against this idea: they can spend a couple hundred dollars getting their book to a self-publishing company and have it out on Amazon quickly, but as one of my friends who is very knowledgeable about the self-publishing industry that gets you books and nothing more- certainly not readers. Most self-published books do not pay back the writer for the work spent on the book over the years, doing the math is an important part of self-publishing.
Another cost is you will need to market your book to the correct readers.
So if you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on book marketing, and the money is an issue, then time will be a big factor. Then you need a great time management system and desk that is organized and perhaps a professional blog or three.
A blog or three? I have three that I write on one is about Transylvania, one on writing and one on book reviews I do for authors who ask me for them. My time is at a premium, and if I took a break to deal with the “small things” I would never get things done. Money means less work, but it also means more knowledge about self-publishing. Everyone has a view on what works and what doesn’t in the industry.
I try to keep a journal and an idea book which I call my “black book” since it has all my good and bad ideas. It’s a green book, but I term it black because of a bad idea found there. It’s still a cost, since it’s with me most of the day. Self-publishing a book doesn’t only require a person to write and edit a book, it requires them to work on another, and another, and another- and learn from their experiences in the real world of this industry. It requires them to time manage and to focus on covers and interiors and what should and shouldn’t be in a book. It is dealing with social networking sites, and still maintaining a blog, and writing, and still maintaing a house, or a social life outside of writing and publishing.
What is the hidden cost of self-publishing? Time and time management. When used well, it’s a blessing, but used wrongly, it can lead a writer down a path of frustration and less income than they wanted.