Being an author wasn’t something I ever expected to be… but then again, I guess neither was a blogger. It was New Years Eve 2010, the ball was about to drop to ring in 2011, and I thought to myself “Well… I’ve never had a resolution before… I think I’ll write a book!”
The decision to do so was that simple. I knew I had a story to tell, and I wanted to tell it. It was also that simple to make the decision to self-publish. I had a blog. I had some readers. Why not? People might want to read what I have to say! I didn’t know how many, and I didn’t really care much to think about how, exactly, my book “Musings of a 20-something Mom” was going to be successful. I can do this whole self-publishing myself. Research? I don’t need no stinkin’ research! Once the book was completed about 6 months later, I ran my happy ass over to Createspace (an Amazon affiliated print on demand self-publishing service) and not very long later, my book was available for purchase.
It used to be said that the only people who self-published were those who had been rejected by every agent and publishing house under the sun, but that’s simply not the case anymore. People self publish because they want more control, you make more money per book sold, no deadlines or editors, really there are a million reasons. Like mine. It just felt natural to me to forego trade publishing for self publishing.
Looking back at my journey, I don’t do so with regret. I don’t regret self-publishing, or the path I chose. I didn’t really realize how much I loved being an author until after I’d already taken the plunge.
My story isn’t what standard publishing houses would call a “success story”, and even though my book isn’t on the NYT Best Sellers list, I’m proud of it as a whole, and proud of how many people have read it and been moved by it, or related to it; laughed and cried with it. That being said, if I could change ONE thing, it would be my lack of research going into this.
Releasing a book might feel like sending your child off to kindergarten for the first time (or if you’ve been working on it long enough, college) but it needs to be treated like a business. Self publishing a book is like going into business for yourself and should be treated as such.
Being that I never did my research and I’m still learning and trying every day, there isn’t a ton of advice I can give you, but I can give one big tip: Don’t be like me! Look up how to promote a self-published book, websites to get it reviewed on, authors to network with. Read until your eyes feel like they are going to bleed and your head is going to explode, and then read some more.
Sure, you might get lucky and write in a popular genre that TAKES THE HELL OFF in sales from day 1. It’s kind of like winning the lottery, we’re not all so “lucky.”
Promote yourself and then promote yourself some more. The best advice I’ve heard lately is that no one is going to hear about your book unless you’re talking about it. It’s all you, my friend! You worked hard on it, be proud of that- tell people about it! Don’t sit around and wait for success to happen, MAKE it happen! That’s honestly advice that should be applied to anything you really want in life.
Most importantly: KEEP WRITING! People who love the things that come out of your brain are going to want more of it- and that’s a pretty amazing feeling.
If you love the things coming out of MY brain- you can head on over to Amazon and download my book, Musings of a 20-something Mom, for FREE today through Friday! Just another thing we self-pubbers can do thanks to Kindle Direct Publishing!
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