There is a lot of advice out there about self-publishing. Some of it is good, some of it is bad, and some of it is actually helpful. I want to share my experience to help save you some of the frustrations that I have faced and help you in areas where I have learned things the hard way.
I only self-published this past March, but I have learned so much in such a short time period. These are five things that really stuck out to me that I think every author should know before they self-publish.
Self-publishing should really be called self-publishing-promote-market-repromte-ing. You are truly on your own in this event – even if you have connections, you have to be the one to use them to your advantage. Nobody cares about your book until they know about your book – and nobody knows unless you tell them.
- This is something that is super frustrating. It is talked about a lot, but you honestly don’t realize how hard it is until you are doing it yourself. I was also going to school full time when I was promoting my book, and it is really hard to find a balance. Be honest with yourself about the time that you can give to promoting your book so that you don’t get frustrated because you aren’t living up to your expectations.
Followers on Twitter/Facebook don’t automatically mean buyers/readers. Even your network has to be convinced to buy your book.
Sales are SLOW – even though my sales tripled my first day to my third, sales slowed down after the initial push. Getting readers who don’t already know about you to buy your book is crucial, but hard work. You won’t likely be a millionaire overnight.
- This is something that I still really struggle with. When you write something like a book, you put a little piece of yourself in it. And you know that it is awesome, but you don’t understand why people also don’t see the awesomeness of your book.
You need a good team to bounce ideas off of or else you will go crazy.
- I am very fortunate that I have someone in my corner that I can talk through my ideas with. My publishing and marketing director is a great person to talk through strategies with because she will tell me the truth and helps me to brainstorm so that I’m not alone in this process.
You shouldn’t give up! If you have something good to share with the world, don’t be discouraged if it takes time. If it’s worth sharing, keep trying.
These are just a handful of things that I have learned over the last two months. Let me know if this advice was helpful to you or if you have any other advice for first time self-publishers.