Writing a book is a tough activity, but self-publishing a book is an even tougher one.
I chose to self-publish my book because getting the attention of established publishing houses has not been easy but I didn’t want this fact to get in the way of achieving my dream of becoming a published author.
If you are a writer who is thinking about self-publishing a book-congratulations! You are about to embark on a rewarding journey where you set the writing pace, create your own deadlines and promote your own work.
Here are three things I want you to keep in mind when you decide to self-publish your book:
You will never be truly satisfied with your work.
I am pretty sure that this fact applies to writers who self-publish and those who publish through agents and publishing houses. When I self-published my first book, ‘Looking for myself and my phone charger’, I struggled with deciding what number of poems I wanted to include in the collection. I didn’t want the book to be too lengthy and so I found myself removing poems from the collection at the last minute. However, I now wish I had included those poems in the collection!
When you are your own agent/publisher, you will find yourself making decisions which are separate from the content of the written work itself. I agonized over the little details until I finally decided to give myself a break and enjoy the process as a whole.
You will do a lot of research.
When I say a lot of research, I mean A WHOLE LOT.
Aside from the research which I did for my short story collection, I also did research on what self-publishing platforms would work for me (I used Amazon’s Createspace and OkadaBooks). In addition, I did research on how to promote self-published books. The amount of information which I gathered about social media utilization for book promotions was very mind-blowing.
Since I do not have the backing or budget of a publishing house and I am working with a limited budget, it was nice to know that I could make little adjustments to what I was already doing to get positive results. For instance, promoting your book on Facebook gives you the opportunity to clearly segment your target market based on their hobbies, gender, age, location and so on.
You will face self-doubt head on.
Ah, self-doubt! The lingering, unwelcome visitor that hovers over every self-published author. If you were apprehensive about sharing your writing posts on Facebook or on your blog, just imagine how you will feel when you write a book and you have to convince people to pay to read your work!
This is something which I struggle with from time to time but which I overcome with self-affirming words and looking at the big picture. Writing has made me a happier, more creative, more determined and more disciplined person. When I remember these facts, it makes me see self-publishing my books as a happy journey and not a stress-filled destination.
Support anyone you know who has decided to self-publish a book, for they are brave and wonderful people!