Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Ten Lessons I learned from Self-Publishing

It's been four days since I released my first self-published book. I can probably count on one hand, maybe two, how many hours of sleep I've had since. I thought I'd share a few tips from my learning experience.

1. Never set a release date until you have gotten the final copy approved by KDP or CreateSpace. If not, you will count the hours, minutes, seconds, hoping to get a good copy uploaded and approved by the date.

2. Forget sleeping on the night before release. I was at my computer at 2 am worrying about a wrong last name in the description. 

3. There will be mistakes in your manuscript. A friend shared with me how I had used two wrong words in mine two days after release. Ugh. I wanted to die. I had gotten my book professionally edited but all the reviewers and myself had missed those words. Perfection is not the goal. You might never get it perfect.

4. Learn formatting before you play with the sites' programs. I taught myself a crash course in indentation too late. I still have not figured out how to flush even the margins on a paper version.

5. Buy a hard proof copy. I bought four. I ran out of time for the final and fifth and just crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

6. Realize not everyone will love your book. Already one friend told me she bought it but was afraid of the content as she is sensitive to it. That's ok. Brown shoes and black shoes. 

7. I thought when I updated my book on Amazon Kindle, my readers would get updates too--not happening. So learn to be ok with your original draft, do the changes and upload another.

8. Don't check your sales stats every hour, They will play with your emotions and you don't need that on top of your crashing self-confidence. Just let it go. 

9. Be happy you did it. Even if only for a few minutes each day. Many people won't ever publish a book in their lifetime.

10. Ask your readers to post reviews as quickly as they tell you they liked your book. It can't hurt. 

This journey has just begun for me. I don't know if I will ever do it again but glad I gave it a shot. I do know that the stress is the same for traditional and self-publishing when it comes to hoping people like your story. In the end, story trumps everything.


Lillian Robinson said...

It's like taking a college course in a short span of time--lots to learn! But you did it! And I am so very proud (and envious) of you! Best wishes for a smooth second self-publishing experience.

quietspirit said...

Teri: Thank you for sharing these lessons with us. They will make you a better writer. I am not the type to handle stress easily. Thank you for the warning. Blessings to you and yours.

Jeanette Levellie said...

It's a nail-biting experience, huh? My husband had done several, so he walked me through the process, which was a God-send.

I'm happy you did this--we need excellent writers like you to make your stories available to the world. Most people won't notice the wee mistakes, Terri--they will focus on the story.

You are a brave, strong lady and a tremendous author.

Lin Floyd said...

everything is a learnng experience in life. I've self published 5 books, two of them are now e-books and that's definitely the easiest way to sell/market books but the slowest and most stressful...

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