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Top 5 Self-Publishing Challenges: 2018 Survey Results

We recently released a self-publishing survey, asking writers to identify their top two publishing challenges.

Over 300 writers replied. The Gutsy team identified five top areas where writers struggle with self-publishing. Here’s the top reported concerns and a sampling of the comments.

(Thanks to all that replied! It’s not too late. You can still participate.)

#1 Concern: Book marketing

“How do I get advance reviews and have a successful book launch. I don’t want my friends and family to be the only people buying my book on the first week.”

“Marketing how-to’s (best practices) and what to avoid.”

“How will people know about the book?”

#2 Concern: HOW to self-publish (technical and practical aspects)

“How to find freelancers to help (i.e. proofreading, art/cover design, etc.), how to pay and when to ask for help.”

“What are the ebook formatting specifics for the different options e.g. Kindle?”

“How do I get my book on Amazon? What about printed books?”

#3 Concern: Costs

“How much money should I expect to pay for editors, layout, cover before self-publishing and then after for marketing, printing and so on?”

“I need to self-publish my book for under $1,000. Is that possible?”

“How much money should I spend to get my books pre-printed?”

#4 Concern: Creating a professional-quality book

“How can I ensure my self-published book is created with the same quality editing, design, and production that we see from publishing houses?”

“Is self-publishing still seen as less reputable than going through a big publisher?”

“I don’t want my book to LOOK like it was self-published. How do I make sure it doesn’t look like a vanity project?”

#5 Concern: Writing the manuscript

“Is it better to have a complete tight story or show different potential directions a plot or character arch can go to broaden appeal?”

“I can’t seem to get past 20,000 words. My book will never be finished. Need help!”

“I’ve lost steam half-way through my novel. I don’t want to give it up, but I don’t know how to keep going.”


Because of the responses received, we added a whole new marketing module to our self-publishing course. Plus, we created a bonus pack of resources to help you finish writing your book.

The self-publishing course addresses all these questions (and many more) CLICK HERE to see everything in the self-publishing class.

Thanks again to those of you that answered the survey. You really helped us improve the class!

ALERT: We just published a FREE lesson on the 10 Things You Must Do BEFORE You Publish. Watch to the end of the lesson and you’ll get a special gift from us us to help you on your publishing journey.

If you are going to publish a book, watch this first!

Note: The free gift is for a limited time only. Our apologies if it expires before you get to it.


Kelsye Nelson

Author and world traveler, dedicated to helping artists and creative entrepreneurs achieve the life of their wildest dreams. 

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March 29, 2020

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