How Not to Self-Publish?

6 May

My next book shall be titled, ‘How Not to Self-Publish.’ To be honest, I think everybody who has taken the route, could probably write the same guide.

As with everything in life, no matter how much you know, and no matter how much of a perfectionist you are, mistakes will be made. Anyone who disagrees with this is not entirely honest with themselves.

For me, the mistakes I have made in my little adventure sting more because of the books contents. To produce ‘A Simple Guide to Self-Publishing’ and then make errors in the process, make me question my knowledge. If I’m questioning it, then others must be too.

But knowledge, and following a process are two different things. I relate this to getting married. When it came to going to get the dress, I knew exactly what I wanted. I tried on hundreds of dresses, but nothing seemed to work. I finally chose the dress, headed home, so happy, only to receive a call from the bridal shop saying the dress was damaged.

When I returned to the shop, I walked in and spotted the most amazing dress. Still, I tried on the damaged dress (because I had chosen it and it was what I knew I wanted), to realise it wasn’t right. Straight away I chose to try on the amazing dress, and you know what? It was that dress I walked down the aisle in.

At the time everyone around me was really annoyed. If only I had been more open to styles in the first place…

With my book, I knew what was required. Completing the steps I got lost in my knowledge, rather than being receptive to different ideas. A good example of this is sizing of the physical book. As I had researched, I had at that stage decided the style and design, when it came to conversion (oh what another headache), I was stubborn in my choice. Eventually I gave way, and it was sorted within thirty minutes. Seriously, I need shaking at times!

Another idea that has been drummed into me is that as soon as the book is completed, get publishing. With this in my mind, you have to be thinking about marketing, blogs, author pages, twitter, Facebook pages…I should have stopped, and reminded myself that yes, I want to be published, but you don’t need to put pressure on yourself.

My final assignment is due in next week and that is me finished at uni. Yes that is right. I have tried to get this book published and marketed, whilst completing my final year…oh and did I mention I have a daughter under one and a son of three?

As the semester is ending, I am now able to look at things more realistically, whilst patting myself on the back. I have several people who helped out with some areas of the book – those with a more credible stand within the self-publishing world. I need to email them and tell them of the books process (assuming they are not reading the blog). I have made a decision I shall wait for the paper version to be available, as well as the e-book being listed on the iBookstore (it is now available on Amazon), before making contact. In the meantime, I shall finally get to grips with twitter, make the Facebook page more credible, whilst I may finally sort out the links and images for this very blog.

One thing I am sure of, there is no need to rush in and make this work, because I can’t just make it. I need to take time to study and understand before I go further (whilst reminding myself to be more receptive to ideas).

I am already being asked what the plan is next. I have everything ready to send to agents for my novel (although not complete – it is fully outlined with the first nine chapters written). I am also considering how the guide could be improved. Whether that be an extended version, or just ‘A Guide,’ I don’t know just yet. I shall take my holiday to Spain in a few weeks and decide after that.

One thing it won’t be for sure is a guide of ‘How Not to Self-Publish.’ We all make mistakes, and no one learns better than those who make them. My guide is just to get you started, and perhaps you can share your own mistakes. A giggle between friends with a cuppa is always welcome.

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12 Responses to “How Not to Self-Publish?”

  1. kepjgpw February 21, 2013 at 5:55 am #

    MiFNWJ sixoribpnrft

  2. Alfonce February 18, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Hang on to it. Make copies. You seem to have an inseertt in writing. You may want to punch it up someday. Use it as a theme maybe in something else.It’s your personal history, after all.

  3. submeg October 31, 2011 at 6:32 am #

    I think the fact that you admit that you made the mistakes in self-publishing that you have outlined to avoid, shows that you are now talking from experience – not just what you have researched. I think it gives the book more credibility.

    A question – Do you think that trying to hit all these aspects of marketing is leading to you spreading yourself too thin? I have been thinking about this, and I have come to the conclusion it’s better to have a “template” of posts that can be put out to different sites – facebook, twitter, etc, so that you don’t waste your time repeating – “Hey come check out my post!” and then “Learn more about [subject]” and then “My latest thoughts on [subject]”….Starts to become quite time consuming!

    • Ellie October 31, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

      I actually think at this time if you are working within restricted time limits, use just a couple and do it well. For a Cuppa, I have the blog posts and a main page on facebook. My Fb posts are linked to twitter along with my blog posts and it seems to be more than enough at this time. I dabbled in Google+ but decided now was not the time to be exploring a new aspect. FB did not work for A Simple Guide. Since then I have watched and learnt and feel I now have a productive formula to get the site working for you.

  4. greatnicheebooks May 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

    Congratulations on the release of your first e-book ‘A Simple Guide to self-Publishing’ and now available on Amazon!

    And also achieved by following the steps mentioned in
    How to write ebooks http://greatnicheebooks.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/how-to-write-ebooks/

  5. Candice L Davis May 11, 2011 at 1:56 am #

    (Tried to comment before, but I think it disappeared. Apologies if I’m being repetitive!)

    My former writing mentor always says, “Done is better than perfect.” Who cares how polished your work is if it never gets to see the light of day? And the brilliant think about digital publishing is that if you’ve really fouled up, you can always make changes. Good luck with everything! (Oh. Did I use “brilliant” correctly?) 🙂

    • Ellie May 11, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

      Thanks Candice! And yes, your mentor is absolutely right. If you are constantly questioning how good your work is, you can go past the point of its best and ruin it. – Least with self-publishing you also have the reviews to consider. They can direct your alterations.

      Thanks for commenting.

      • Ellie May 11, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

        Ha! I just accidently hit like on this post which seems a bit full of it ha!

  6. Ellie May 8, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    I am completely confident about the content of the book. I have absolutely no qualms about saying that the book will seriously help all of those staring with self-publishing. I do lack confidence in the pricing however. It is a small guide, but that is the point. It is a starting point, a brief guide, covering the most important steps. My biggest fear is people buying a copy and feeling they have been ripped off because it isn’t bulky enough. But hey, its all about quality not quantity.

    As always, thanks for the comments!

  7. Online Blogger May 8, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    Great post thanks for sharing. You have a great layout here. I find blogging very useful. You can help other people in the network to get started with their own little blog setups.
    It’s simple and easy but you must learn the right blogging strategies to be effective.

    Learn to Blog Effectively Now!

  8. FIFALDE May 7, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    You’re getting better and better, confidence and assurance!

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