Self Publishing - Getting Started

Okay. So this is my follow up blog to self publishing, chapter one. My goal is to pick a topic each week to briefly discuss. So this week’s topic will simply be: Self Publishing – Getting Started. 

So you’re an indie author. Congratulations. In deciding to self-publish your own work, you’re allowing yourself total control over your work and in return you’ll also receive total control over your work – meaning, you can’t blame anyone else for your typos, plot holes, and shallow characters. You’ll also most likely receive your first ever migraine. So go make yourself a cup of tea (I’d go with something minty so that it’s soothing, but also with a hearty dose of caffeine), grab a bottle of your choice of migraine relief, I tend towards off brand exedrin myself, and put on some comfy clothes (I can direct you to my favorite pair of comfy pants on Amazon if you’re interested)

By now I may have lost a few people. That’s good. Let’s weed out the weak. Ha ha. Just kidding. Stick with me. It gets better I promise. 

In choosing to self publish, there are several things you need to consider:

  • Do I want to rely solely on Amazon or be free to sell on whatever platform I so desire? This is a biggie, as well as a huge point of debate amongst indie authors right now. I’m not going to weigh in on this. I sell solely on Amazon right now, but that’s because I haven’t had the time to dive in and research the depths of the interweb. I’m just letting you know that this is a decision you’ll have to make. 
  • If you’re anything like me, you despise social media. Get over it. You’re going to spend more hours on social media than you will on writing. I highly encourage the following accounts:
    • Twitter
    • Facebook
    • Goodreads
    • LibraryThing
    • AuthorsDen
    • Pinterest
    • Google+
    • Youtube
  • Develop a plan for publishing your first book/short story. Mine went a little something like this:
    • Write Book
    • Edit Book
    • Have two friends edit book
    • Have husband read book
    • Design a cover
    • Insert letter from author begging for reviews
    • Begin promoting to your social media
    • Consider a free giveaway for your launch date
    • If submitting to Amazon, know that it can take up to 24 hours for them to review your book to make sure you’re not plagiarizing or otherwise infringing on a copyright somehow, so factor that into your equation
    • Start promoting your book
    • Consider review swapping with your contacts via social media
    • Blog Blog Blog
    • Repeat as necessary until you’re an award winning author

Something else to consider is how you want to publish your work. I tend to publish in installments. I find it easier to finish small sections than to tackle a huge book at a time. It spaces out publishing dates and new content, etc. But I get a lot of negative and irritated feedback from that method as well. Most people want the whole story right away. 

Do I sell hundreds of copies of my books? Nope. I don’t even sell one a day, but my volume has increased dramatically in the past year. Self publishing takes patience and endurance. While you don’t get rejection letters from agents and publishers, you do get reviews – and the bad ones are way nastier than a professional rejection letter would be.

Seem dizzying and scatter brained? Well, that’s how my blogs are. As Phil and Lem say in Better Off Ted “Deal with it, Ted!” “Yeah, we’re all dealing with it!”

I realize that I come off sounding less than encouraging about this process. I apologize. That is not my intent at all. I just want you to realize that it is not sunshine and roses. The perks far outweigh the negatives in my opinion, but you’re taking on a larger battle than simply straightening out the plot for your next book. You don’t get to rely on a network of marketers to tell people why they should read your book, you have to tell them. Just you. 

I’m sure many of you who have already self published are thinking “Um, that’s not what I did at all. The heck is she talking about?” I’m not saying that I have the answers, I’m just blogging about my particular chosen method. If any of you have anything to add, feel free to comment – politely please. We’re all kind and supportive here. 

photo credit: aldoaldoz via photopin cc