Knowing where your strengths lie is a good thing
I've been meaning to get a banner like this I can use for promo and Facebook advertising for ages. when I say ages I mean maybe six months. Six months is a long time on the internet and in the land of publishing.
Why didn't I do it earlier I hear you ask? There are lots of reasons (laziness, organisation, money) but the simplest one is I don't like to admit defeat.
If there is a skill you should learn out here in cyberspace or a way to DIY something I believe I should learn it and then do it. That's very noble I'm sure but also wildly impractical. No one is good at everything. No one.
The problem is there's this funky graphic design site called Canva.com. that lots of authors I know use to do their promo materials. You've probably heard of it and you may have even used it. (It's incredible, it was invented by a young Australian woman and you should check it out).
Well, I have tried to use it and everything I make is ugly. Not just a little bit ugly but unprofessional, sloppy and embarrassing. But I'm no quitter so I'd wait a few weeks and have another try...for six months. And what did I create? More ugly. And then it occurred to me I'd probably wasted 10 hours and I had no results.
Lots of people I know have mothers, sisters and husbands with a knack for these roles but that's not my story so what could I do to change things?
I outsourced it. And the results are really pretty. (I'm happy anyway.)
The same week I outsourced a Mailchimp template done for my newsletter. I can do it but it takes me time I don't have and now I have a template I can work with. I haven't sent a newsletter in months because I was having issues...again wasted time and energy that led to stagnation.
Authors don't make that much money, well most of them don't. We already have to pay editors, cover designers, proof readers. (Some people (I usually do) outsource formatting as well). So we're reluctant to pay people to do jobs for us.
Sometimes though I think you need to look at where your time is best spent. Are you wasting valuable writing time messing around on a job that takes you away from that core business? Everyone is different. (For example I am going to format my books from now on because I've done it in the past and I know I can do it again and save myself some money. There are also some other practical benefits as well so I think it's worth my time).
Does that mean I'll never conquer Canva? Probably not, but for now I'm unstuck and that's important. Being an indie author is hard enough without getting in your own way.
So do you outsource things or do you hold on tight and do everything yourself?