In the home construction industry, depending on your local regulations and rules, it is possible to become the general contractor for your new home project. This doesn’t mean that somehow the process is subpar, or that the house looks second rate on the outside, or that it will not be as attractive as the other houses on your street. It also doesn’t mean that you will never be able to sell the house when it is finished…because someone labeled it as a self-built house. Somehow, a self- contractor doesn’t get the reputation of being a vanity builder because they chose to manage the building process themselves, but instead hired their own sub contractors to take care of the different aspects of the building process that they were professionally equipped to do.
I have known friends who have chosen to be the general contractor on their home building project and most people called them ‘smart, industrious, cost conscious and good investors.’ In fact, these friends did a wonderful job with the building and got more out of the process personally, than they would have otherwise. In addition, they saved some good money too.
I belong to a number of publishing groups on LinkedIn where I have followed discussions about self publishing. It is amazing to hear people talk-down-to, or outright smear authors who decide to become the general contractor of their own book project. Self publishing is a smart business decision for some people. It is not vanity publishing, as many would suggest. (Vanity publishing or subsidy publishing is explained in more detail here.) Self publishing is networking and hiring the best people, professionals, who can frame the house, sheetrock, and help put in the plumbing. Yes, it takes time and resources to do this, but that is publishing.
As with any project, home building included, there are better ways to do things. Some people will always take short cuts and develop/build an inferior product. Fortunately for all of us, the marketplace determines how long these people survive based on how many books they sell. I dare say that a lot of people, when encouraged and educated, will take the right building measures to create a quality project, including their own book.
So, I encourage authors to build their own house. There are plenty of sub contractors out there to help. There are hundreds of blogs with free tips and tricks about everything from writing, editing, design, packaging, marketing and publicity. There are eBooks about creating eBooks, and self published books about self publishing books. There is no shortage of good, building tools. Printing a book today is easy. Distribution options to consumers and retail exist and can compete with the big traditional publishers.
Start swinging the hammer.