So this is my week’s reflection of self-publishing, I decided to do this post so early because I want to know how I feel fresh out of publishing then a year from now maybe I can laugh at myself and be like, and you thought you were going no where fast, or maybe I will look at it with jaded eyes and be where I started. Or maybe just maybe I will pat myself on the back and say, “You go girl!”
I am beyond proud to say I self published my first book a week and a day ago. It was about a seven month process beforehand for me. I think this time around with book two things will have sped up, and anyways so it was a long torturous process,
I am not going to lie there were I think at least three times I was seriously considering just being done with it all and just go back to reviewing and giving up a life-long-ish dream.
So I’m a college student, soon to be graduate, do you think I have money?
So I was doing this on a SMALL budget, but one thing I was sure I wanted to do, and that was to do it right.
Unfortunately I had no idea what I was doing besides writing…
Even then I had my own anxieties about, I hadn’t ever let someone outside of my circle of friends read my stuff, seriously not even my family looked at it, friends only. And then people – cough cough Stephanie Constante cough cough – gave me the courage to do it, in a way. And truthfully it all came down to – well I can just never try and i will surely fail, or I can take a shot at it. To me (stupid silly past me) my thought process went like this:
1) Write the book
2) Get a cover
3) Edit the book (have my friend do it)
4) Publish that bitch
Good, Good Simple as pie right?
HAHAHA – authors you can laugh its your right!
So after being quickly disillusioned by this idea, then began the real process (Am I allowed to be telling this or is it author secret club only?)
Step One: Gear yourself up for some writing!
2) Edit that bitch BY YOURSELF FIRST, not necessarily meaning grammar stuff if you are like me and suck at all things grammar – yes i realize the problem of this (don’t worry i got a pile of Grammar for Dummies books that I will soon become best friends with so its easier on my new editor Sammie who I love – she is post Damaged)
Usually ends something like that. So after you have ripped out all hair that you could without going bald because you will be some more for later books I’m sure 😉
3) Send to Editor.
(maybe this was just me)
And this will be a new process for me for book two – Healed
(but i am assuming there might be the need for some more changes if you agree with what creatively your editor says – grammar wise you ALWAYS LISTEN they are smarter than you I promise you that)
4) BETAS – I know not every author does these, but I couldn’t have done anything without mine, they saved my life, and I bow down to them, for realzes
^^^ that’s me to them^^^
So after they tell you want they feel needs to be done, choose what you want, for me I ended up adding some things and cutting others.
5) Edit ONE.MORE.TIME.
6) Have you gotten your cover yet?
So after getting that And after paying a much more talented cover designer then yourself at least that is how it for me because the only software I have access too is Microsoft Paint, and my cover designing skills are non-existent.
So now you got your cover, now you have reveal all this stuff, I was sort of part of the community already asking friends and other blogs I knew to help me out, easy peasy, not so much when you are coming from the outside completely, you have to gear yourself up and pull up your big girl pants and start emailing, pleading, pretty much selling your soul
So that’s done. Let’s try to get you a following now, oh right , they don’t know you from Adam. Seriously 😐 why read someone’s books that I don’t even know what your style is, I have no references its like applying for a bad job. But in the end its a bit worse because in the end (thankfully hasn’t happened to me yet) people can hate your stuff, and they can be really, really mean about it. Sometimes its hard to remember there is a person on the other side who – totally doesn’t – stalk Goodreads/amazon/booklikes/facebook/google themselves looking for any new reviews someone might not have posted on any of those said sites.
7) Did you know that you can’t just send in your Word Doc to KDP and say, make it a mobi now?
(honestly I thought so – I thought it worked like magic)
So if you want to send hours (I have sources) doing this, or you can find yourself an amazing formatter who will be willing to torture themselves in exchange for your *money* which is fine by me! But if you are trying to publish on a budget it means looking around for the best price and someone who isn’t going to rip you off – thank the lords I had friends in high places who were willing to work their own magic aka connections and help me out.
8) So after getting that done, gear yourself my loves, its time for the RELEASE DAY
Here is the hardest day of all. I went into this day trying to not to get my hopes up too high, I tried not to be like, “of course I am going to sell over a 1000 (cough cough 100 cough cough) copies today” Because well I have seen plenty of release days, I have seen those high numbers and my eyes were shining and I was allowing myself to dream….
And I crashed pretty hard that night…luckily I had a friend who sat with me, told me that I was being stupid, and stop being so damn hard on myself.
This was only the beginning, it was one day out of a million, and not everyone is going to be selling over 100 copies on their first day. Most of the time, you are going to have to work your damn ass off. (paraphrased of course)
So I pulled myself out of my dumps and starting working my butt off, I contacted blogs that I knew who were interested in Paranormal reads, as its difficult now being that the “hottest trend” right now is Contemporary Fiction, and ahem it seems in my circles – BDSM Erotica – and being that I can’t help but giggle – seriously laugh – everytime I read “Master” nottt really my theme – I am willing to try them out just not right this minute because there are authors that I ADORE that are writing that kind of stuff, and its not because they are selling out, but because they are branching out and trying something new, they are going with the flow and putting themselves out there. And I say “Fuck yeah!!” but I know for a FACT, that I do not write very good Contemporary Fiction, in the future maybe after I have played around with it more I will do that, but for right now I am sticking with what I know.
so moving on
9) Watching those around you succeed.
And right about know you are thinking: Oh my god, did she just say that? Is she is going to say what I think she is going to say?
Uhh no. Probably not, unfortunately I have this horrible disease called: I’m too nice for my own good.
I am so damn proud of everyone around me who were my release day buddies, they are doing amazing and reminds me that one day I can be just like them, I can have that awesome day where I feel like nothing can touch me! (I already did but maybe a 1000 times more)
Is it wrong of me to think this way?
No. and if you think so then I don’t care. Is it wrong that I want to succeed in the career I had only dreamed of ever having? Absolutely not.
10) My final point of the Disillusions of self-publishing
In the end, success is what you make it. I am fortunate enough to be in my first week of publishing with 13 (it would be 14 but that would be including my own rating 😉 ) 5 stars, and 4 – 4 stars all together that is 18 ratings (including mine) and 14 reviews (all either being 5 or 4 stars)
So there will be that bad rating/review waiting for me around the corner I am sure, but for right now, I am riding my high of awesome-ness.
So what I didn’t end up selling so many books, so what I didn’t actually make back what I put into this book. I got 17 people (correction – there are 5 currently reading peoples) 22 CONFIRMED readers, and I know there some even from my home life reading it. That is 22+ people I never had read my work before. That’s all sorts of awesome.
The biggest thing here though, is my journey through my first self-publishing wasn’t all that terrible, I had people backing me up, I had friends who were more than willing to help me out every step of the way.
And the biggest disillusion of self publishing is thinking that you are alone.