Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Self-Publishing: A Few Lessons Learned

If it's been a while since I've blogged, it's because I've had a lot going on.  Work has kept me busy, I switched to night shift a couple times, I got a stomach bug, etc, etc.  And of course, I'm working on my book!  It's been quite the process, and I thought I'd share a few things I've noticed about the self-publishing process, as I have experienced it thus far:

1.  It takes FOREVER.  However long you think it's going to take you, times it by 10.  Or 100.

2.  Being professional means making time and money commitments.  Authors these days are active on social media, so I must be as well.  Authors need professional photos, so I had some taken.  A free-lance author must market their own work, so I have been doing research.  The list goes on.

3.  Better get lots of eyes on your work and be as self-critical of your writing as possible.  You want to ensure that the best work you are capable of creating (without the wisdom and assistance of editors) ends up for sale, not just some hodge-podge that was "good enough".

4.  Know your work and what you're going for, and stick to that ruthlessly.  Be decisive, and be confident in what you're doing.  My poetry book has a theme, and it's important that all the poems in the book are related to that theme.  It's also important that all the poems are of a similar quality; you don't want a really good poem you wrote a few months ago right next to a truly awful one you wrote in high school.  I've had to take poems out, add poems in, and make edits, all in the name of consistency.

5.  Don't be shy.  Talk to people who have self-published.  Send your stuff out there.  Let people know you're Creating Art.  Completely buy into your new endeavor.

I'm still learning all these things, but those are my top five lessons so far.  I'm sure there will be more...