People who don’t value their time don’t care how they spend theirs and will probably waste yours, if you let them.
With every business decision, I sit down and do the following equation: X x Y =Z where X = time I would spend to do it myself Y = my hourly rate; Z = total dollar amount it costs me. If Z is higher than what a subcontractor would charge me, I pay them to do it.
I write, publish, and consult full-time. I tutor in the evenings, have a toddler, and my wife is pregnant with our second child, which means my time is very valuable. When I started my consultation platform, I sat down and asked myself – what should someone else pay me for my knowledge and expertise per hour? I settled on an amount and don’t make apologies for it. Either people can pay it (and will want to) or they won’t – it’s nothing personal and shouldn’t be taken that way.
With the push for self-publishing and indie publishing over legacy publishers, people believe they can do everything on their own. There are free templates, and conversion tools (like Calibe and Sigil) to help you do it.
Of course, you can do it yourself, but should you? I can sing, but I can’t sing well. I’d rather let someone else do a better job.
You may come to a tipping point with your project. You’ve finished your manuscript and need editing. Would you spend six hours of pay to have a professional do it for you, or take however long to do it yourself? If you’re being honest, you admit to missing errors because you either fall in love with your own prose or you are too familiar with the material.
Of course, you can hand it off to an English teacher or a friend. But the only English teachers I know as ruthless with a red pen as I would be don’t have time to edit a 272-page MS, especially as a free favor. And a friend may give you a pat on the back and no constructive criticism, which is not what you need.
Or, maybe it’s time to design the cover. I consider myself pretty techie, but it’s nothing I have a desire to try. Why? Because Z is higher than what my cover designer charges me. WAY higher. What’s the point?
When it’s decision time, weigh out your options. Be strategic. And don’t waste your time!