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Monday, May 2, 2011

Self-publishing is easy…not!

Sure the publishing part is easy once you get everything formatted right, and then wait 24-72 hours for the epublisher to convert and upload your book.  Then you check the final product, correct the weird formatting bugs, upload and wait…again.  If you’re lucky, you only have to make corrections once.  If not….  Wait, did I say that was the easy part?
The hard part is selling your book. I did things backwards.  I published my books and then I started marketing them.  I didn’t know anything about book launches, release dates, or advance reviews.  Getting a review takes a lot of time. Learning to use Twitter and Facebook took me some time as well.  Hint: set up a Facebook Page for your book, not a profile.  I highly recommend research—and lots of it—before you start marketing.
No, the hard part is not getting discouraged.  My first book, Tell Me You Want Me, sold half a dozen copies before I really started marketing it.  Wow.  Maybe this wasn’t so hard.  But then it didn't sell at all—for days.  I stepped up the marketing and sold a couple more copies.  I found someone to give me a review and that sold a few more copies.  But then days went by and no sales.  I got discouraged. What did I get myself into?  Was it worth the effort?  Should I give up now and get a dayjob? *cries*

The hardest part of being self-published is believing in myself. I don’t have a publisher to tell me my books are good.  I don’t have daily sales to confirm that. All I have is shaky self-confidence that needs a good hard shot of encouragement more often than not.  But the really cool thing is when I need encouragement, I get it.  I have the best fans in the world.  I may only have 12 of them, but they are awesome!  And that is the best part of being self-published—having a personal connection with my readers, knowing people are reading and enjoying my books.
Self-publishing is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  My dad used to accuse me of avoiding hard work, and he was right.  I used to.  But there are so many resources for the self-published author the only way I’m gonna fail is if I give up when the work gets hard.
I. Will. NOT. Give Up.
Here are a few of the resources I used:
Worthy of Publishing – Post chapters for free and add a buy link.
Novel Publicity’s Building a Facebook Page – this is just one of the tons and tons of useful articles on their blog.
Top Ten Ways Authors Can Use Twitter – The key to Twitter is to follow people who give good information and to make your tweets a balance of promotion, good information and socialization.  Don’t just promote yourself.  Help others and they will help you.
If you publish on Amazon, make sure you fill out your author page.
There are lots more resources out there.  I’ve only listed a few.  When you get discouraged—and you will—don’t be afraid to ask for encouragement. You are not alone.


  1. Did you only publish e-book version or did you have hard copies as well?

    I think those ARCs and reviews can really help spread the word and get people interested.

    It's amazing what social networking can do for self promotion!

    Keep it up!

  2. @MBee Right now, I only have ebooks available, but I'd like to get my books in print eventually.

  3. This is a great article. I like hearing about the process, especially the start up part, from indies. I have a lot to learn and this is really helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  4. @wrenemerson I'm glad this helped you. I'm still learning so when I find something new, I'll post it.