Knowing When It's Time to Hire a Self-Publishing Consultant

Need help publishing your book? A self-publishing consultant can guide you through the entire process, from editing and design to marketing and promotion. Here's how to spot the pros from the amateurs.

Knowing When It's Time to Hire a Self-Publishing Consultant
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Landing on the best-seller list as a DIY publisher is a lot like winning the Super Bowl for football players. It’s the ultimate confirmation of a person's skills and abilities after a long haul of hard work and determination. There's just one big difference...

Unlike football players who have a whole team and a coach to help spot their weak points and back them up, DIY publishers are often flying solo, figuring it out as they go and leaning on their own grit to make it to the top. (Unless, of course, they've got a self-publishing consultant).

This blog post takes a look at what a self-publishing consultant does, how they can help fast-track your success, and how to spot the elite ones from the benchwarmers.

P.S. Want to see a proven publishing model that's already generated $50+ million for its students? Skip to our webinar!

What is a Self-Publishing Consultant?

A self-publishing consultant provides guidance, strategy, and expertise like a coach does for their athletes. Their biggest role is to mentor and guide self-publishers, ensuring both the creative and technical aspects of the publishing process all come together for a polished, professional look.

In the past, traditional publishing houses were the main gatekeepers of the literary world, similar to professional sports teams managed by seasoned coaches. But that's no longer the case! With the rise in platforms like Amazon's KDP, now everyone has a chance to produce a well-written book and make money online.

Most self-publishing consultants have been through the process themselves, so they know exactly how to guide you and help you stay on top of industry trends to outsmart your competitors. 

The Duties of a Publishing Consultant

Publishing consultants take on the responsibilities of a traditional publishing house and book publishing mentor to make your dreams a reality. Here are some of their most common duties:

  • Assist with Ideation & Strategic Planning
  • Assist with Cover Design and Production
  • Assess Your Work At Various Stages of the Publishing Process
  • Help You Navigate Distribution Options
  • Help You Plan Your Book Launch and Marketing Efforts 
  • Provide Honest Feedback to Help You Grow

How Can Self-Publishing Consulting Help Me?

A self-publishing consultant can be a valuable asset to your publishing team, providing guidance, support, and expertise throughout the publishing process. 

Here are some of the ways a self-publishing consultant can help:

Project Management

A self-publishing consultant can act as a project manager, helping you organize and manage all the different aspects of the publishing process by setting realistic timelines and goals to keep you on track.

They can also help you find and manage other professionals you may need, such as editors, book designers, and formatters, by either making direct recommendations and referrals or pointing you in the right direction of freelancer platforms like Upwork.

Tailored Packages

A good consultant will tailor their advice and services to your particular publishing needs. You won't have to worry about getting cookie-cutter advice from people who have never actually gone through the book publishing process on their own before and are also trying to sell you a course.

Expert Guidance

Self-publishing can be a complex and confusing process, with many different steps and tasks to complete. A self-publishing consultant can help you navigate this process, providing guidance and advice on everything from formatting your manuscript to uploading your book to online retailers. They can also help you understand the various options available to you, such as print-on-demand services, eBook publishing, and audiobook production through Audible's ACX program.


Compliance isn't optional in this industry, and it can be a real headache dealing with the rules and regulations of each particular platform. Consultants can help first-time authors and publishers navigate these strict guidelines for trademarks and platform rules without having to worry about penalties to their accounts or sales. 

Pro Tip: The penalty box might make hockey games a little more interesting, but it won’t help your royalty checks…don’t skimp out on this area!


One of the benefits of working with a self-publishing consultant is that they can help you produce a professional-quality book, even if you have little to no experience in the business. They'll understand the latest industry trends concerning book titles, book covers, and formatting to help your book look polished every step of the way.


Editing is a crucial part of the self-publishing process, and a self-publishing consultant can help you find the right editor for your book. They can also help you understand the different types of editing, such as developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading.


Once your book is published, you'll need to promote it to potential readers to gather book reviews and establish your credibility. A self-publishing consultant can help you develop a tailored marketing and publicity plan, including strategies for social media, book reviews, and book signings.

Honest Feedback

While a traditional publisher would always have the final say, a consultant will open up a discussion with you and share their knowledge to help you make better-informed decisions. You’ll ultimately get to make the final decision every step of the way, but it never hurts to hear an outside perspective. 

Pro Tip: A good self-publishing mentor knows how to deliver tough feedback from a place of love. 

When Is It Time to Hire a Self-Publishing Consultant?

As an indie author and publisher, you may have a clear idea of the book you want to write, but juggling all the steps in the process might be overwhelming. A self-publishing consultant can help you fill in the gaps throughout the entire self-publishing process.

Here are some signs that you may need to hire a self-publishing consultant:

  • Your colleagues have told you that your book idea is amazing and that you should try to start a self-publishing business, but you are new to the industry.
  • You have a manuscript that needs editing, formatting, and design, but you don't know where to start.
  • You have a book that you want to publish, but you don't know how to market it.
  • You're not sure how to get your book into the hands of your ideal readers.
  • You don't have the time or the skills to manage the entire publishing process.
  • You don't want to waste time or money trying to learn through the process of trial and error.
  • You're already a published author, but you want to scale your business even more.
  • You're tired of publishing books willy-nilly and want a real publishing strategy to take things to the next level.

And here are some signs that a self-publishing consultant might NOT be the best fit for you:

  • You get overwhelmed by too many options and would prefer to work with a traditional publishing house that tells you exactly what to do every step of the way, even if that means they don’t use your work.
  • You don't enjoy the business side of things and aren't interested in learning how to make more money.
  • Being in charge of the entire process sounds like too much work and responsibility, and you’d rather make less money while making fewer decisions.

When you're trying to maximize your book publishing income, working with a self-publishing consultant can help you save time and money in the long run. They have the expertise and experience to help you avoid common self-publishing mistakes and make the most of your budget, no matter what level of expertise and experience you bring to the table.

Benefits of Hiring a Self-Publishing Consultant

Self-publishing a book is a complex process that requires expertise in various areas such as marketing, sales, design, promotion, and more. Hiring a self-publishing consultant can provide you with numerous benefits that can help you succeed in the competitive world of publishing.

Here are some of the benefits of hiring a self-publishing consultant:


Self-publishing consultants have access to a wide range of resources that can help you succeed in the publishing industry, whether you're self-publishing poetry books, children's books, or books on homesteading, gardening, and going keto. They can also provide you with learning experiences that will help you grow as an author, such as attending live Q&A sessions or getting paired with an accountability partner.


Self-publishing consultants have established relationships with publishers, editors, and other professionals in the publishing industry. By leveraging these relationships, they can help you get your foot in the door and provide you with opportunities that you wouldn't have otherwise. They can also help you build relationships with your target audience and engage with them through events and social media.


Self-publishing a book requires a lot of hard work and dedication. By hiring a self-publishing consultant, you can share the mental workload of the book publishing journey and know that someone always has your back, even when times are tough.

Pro Tip: Games are won in the second half. Don’t give up at half-time!

Finding the Right Self-Publishing Consultant For You

When it comes to publishing your book, hiring a self-publishing consultant can be a smart move, but not all consultants are created equal. Here are some things to consider when choosing the right self-publishing consultant for you:


Most self-publishing consultants will offer a free initial consultation to see if your partnership together will be a good fit for both parties. If you're feeling pressured or uncomfortable in any way, this partnership might not be for you. Any discomfort could eventually affect your book project, so it's best to feel each other out before any money or services are exchanged.


Before you hire a self-publishing consultant, do your research. Look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients. Check their website and social media presence to see if they're active and if their content aligns with your values. Make sure they have experience in your genre and have a track record of success.


Choose a self-publishing consultant who has expertise in the areas you need help with. For example, if you need help with eBook formatting, make sure they have at least a few successful projects under their belt. If you need help with marketing, make sure they have a proven track record of successful book launches.

Royalties and Rights

Independent publishers need to be proactive to protect their work. Make sure you understand the consultant's fee structure and how royalties will be split. Also, make sure you retain all rights to your book, even if you need to seek some guidance on the structure and writing. Some self-publishing companies may try to take a percentage of your book's rights, so be sure to read the fine print. You can read our list of the best self-publishing companies here to compare which may be right for you.

(For the record, will never take a cut from another writer or publisher's work. What you earn from what you learn from our award-winning publishing course is 100% yours!)


Choose a consultant who communicates clearly and promptly. You want to be able to reach them when you have questions or concerns, day or night. You deserve a publishing consultant who is always willing to listen to your ideas and work with you to achieve your goals.

Pro Tip: You’re looking for a self-publishing coach, not a dictator. 

Freelancer vs. Company

Decide whether you want to work with an individual freelancer or a self-publishing company. A freelancer may be more affordable, but a company may offer more extensive resources and services. A freelancer may also only have dozens of past clients, while a self-publishing company might have thousands.

Budgeting for a Self-Publishing Consultant

Hiring a self-publishing consultant is an investment in yourself and your business. Why not get started out in the industry and self-publish your first book with your best foot forward?

Your budget should take into account your current financial situation as well as your goals for the coming year. Be honest with yourself about what you're willing to invest in editing, cover design, formatting, and marketing, to get top-notch quality. Then, decide which areas you need a consultant's help with.

Costs can vary depending on the length and complexity of your book, and consultants may charge differently—by the hour, page, project, or program. A consultant's expertise in cover design and formatting can significantly boost your book's appeal, and their guidance in marketing can be invaluable in promoting your book effectively. 

In business, there’s a thing called opportunity cost. What might you lose out on by NOT investing in yourself and your publishing business from the start? 

The Value of Hiring an Independent Publishing: Three Case Studies

In this video, Karmanjot Hajrah talks about how he accidentally made almost $1k from his first self-published book and how he became a coach with! He also discusses some of his most frequently asked questions as a book publishing consultant.

Ed Fahy was one of's OG students before taking the leap into indie publishing himself. Taking that first step eventually led to selling multiple publishing businesses to the tune of six figures and even becoming a self-publishing consultant to help others on their publishing journey.

Lynda Neville never knew she could make just shy of $10k with TWO books. She also talks about getting consulting to improve her publishing strategy and publish up to 25 books in one year alone.

Meet the Million Dollar Publishing Consultants Changing Lives One Self-Published Book at a Time

Almost every single one of our top-notch publishing consultants was in your shoes at some point, reading a blog post just like this one, before they decided to take that first step and try something new. They were stressed about bills, unfulfilled in their 9-5 job, desperately craving that freedom over their schedules and income to live the life they knew they were put on this planet to live.

They said no more to overbearing bosses and back-breaking work, and they said HECK YES to...

-100% creative control 100% of the time

-putting themselves in the position to be at the right place at the right time to further their knowledge

-starting this new publishing journey with nothing to lose and everything to gain

Check out the AI self-publishing webinar that made it all possible for them and see how it can work for you, too!

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