So, you’ve finished your story/poem/novel and you celebrate! Hurray! It’s done. You’ve decided to go the self-publishing route, why? More control? Higher royalties? Impatience with traditional publishing “I’m sorry, your submission is not what we are looking for.”? All are valid and many of the reasons we choose to self-publish, but are you truly ready for the work involved?
You put on your writer’s hat and completed the work. You are happy with that hat, it’s comfortable because it’s what you do. Even if it’s your first book or fifteenth hat, it’s probably always going to be the most comfortable. Next, you’ve put on your editor’s hat. Writer’s should always self-edit even if you are going to venture out to hire an editor to polish your work. This hat is a little more uncomfortable because it’s true…we are own worst critic. However, it is important that we as writers edit, edit and edit again. We learn so much about our writing when we do this step.
Now, a writer with an agent and publisher doesn’t have to wear the next hat often. Whereas you do have to appear to promote, you don’t really have to wear the businessman/woman hat or the promoter hat. When you self-publish, you will wear this hat as much if not more than your writer’s hat. I’ll tell you, being in the process of trying to build a presence online, promote my book, and get the word out…this hat isn’t much fun. Writer’s being more of a creative sort of being, it can be tedious and down right frustrating to deal with the business side of it. At times, you will begin to question your ability to make it happen. You will even hate self-publishing!
I have learned, you have to step back and take a breather but never give up. If you believe in yourself, believe in your work…you can’t give up. Utilize all your resources; local media, online media, social sites, sites like Goodreads…enlist the assistance of your family and friends to spread the word. Learn to feel comfortable in all the hats you will have to wear and being aware; be brutally honest with yourself on how much work you will have to do when you self-publish.