‘If at first you don’t succeed, find a bigger gun.’
Hello everyone! For this weekend’s post, I’d like to talk a bit about what I learned about self-publishing in the last few days, weeks, and months. I’ve broken it down into five steps to spare you hours of reading (Just kidding!). So, here goes.
1.) You are not alone – Writing can be a very solitary pursuit. After all, it used to be done in the quiet comfort of a nice, book-lined study by a gentleman using a quill, some parchment, and a boatload of ink and blotting sand. I’m not sure if the current upgrade to person & computer is better or worse.
The point is, you only write in isolation if that is what you choose. There are a myriad of resources out there for aspiring writers. From Goodreads groups to writing circles, to author blogs (like this one!) self-publishing websites, and so on and so forth. The biggest key is you can’t be embarrassed by the fact that you are writing. We were all novices at some point (Or still are).
2. Beta Read before you Copy Edit – Yes, you need to have your friends, co-workers, or random volunteers read your novel before you send it to the copy editor. This is one thing I did not do, and I kick myself in the head for it all the time. Fortunately, I had an awesome editor who was able to catch those mistakes – even very basic ones – a la ‘whose name goes where after a title?’.
If you wait until after the copy edit, then you face not only reshuffling parts of your story, but also then having to copy edit the parts you moved around and rewrote. Lesson Learned – Find some friends, order pizza (or promise them a published copy of the book!) and have them read it. Give them nice big pens and have them mention everything – something doesn’t sound right, wasn’t so and so injured last chapter? How is he now running? Even if you choose not to follow or fix what they discover, at least you know, and can make the fixes later if you chose so.
3. Plan Ahead – Before you publish, have a plan. Where are you going to publish? Just on Amazon? Will you go KDP Select? Or will you spread out and use Smashwords and Barnes & Noble? Do you want a paperback copy? Will you hire out the formatting? The cover art? Or will you go it alone? All are valid options that have their own pros and cons. Me, I value my time and sanity, so I’m willing to shell out money to have someone do that complicated part for me.
Also, something else that may also help – setting up an independent checking/savings account for your book profits/payments. It keeps things separate from your other money, and since you’ll need a direct deposit account available for most sites, I believe it’s a good investment.
EDIT: PART TWO IS POSTED HERE! READ ON FELLOW ROMANS!
Also, be sure to check out the winners’ of the Book Blog Signed Paperback Giveaway. I’ve already had one person contact me about the novel. If the other two winners don’t respond by the end of the week, I’ll have to draw from the pot again!
5 thoughts on “Learning from My Self Publishing Experience in Five Steps”
I second everything you say here. I seriously don’t know what I would do without my fellow writers to look over my stuff (several times) I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how much you go over it yourself, you are still not going to catch everything. And I’ll tell you this too (because I’ve written six novels since I’ve started being a writer) it only gets easier. Each book gets a little better, you know a little more about what you’re doing, and if it’s a series, you’ll get to know your characters better in each one as well. I wish you best of luck with your publishing–I know I’ll be buying a copy of your book soon 😉
yay! I’m excited to hear that. I agree about the ‘it gets easier’ thing. I’ve moved into my second book a lot faster, and it already makes more sense (in my head) than the first one in some aspects.
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