I am a self-published author. In fact, I have self-published two books in the past year. Since I already had two traditionally published books through Moody Publishers prior to this, I am considered a ‘hybrid’ author (a strange title that makes me think of a type of fish I worked with in college).
All jokes aside, I have to confess I did not start out on my road to publication with a strong desire to publish my own books. When I started sending out query letters to publishing houses in 1997, I did not even know about self publishing. After my second novel was published in 2008, I remember hearing lots of things about self publishing or going indie, as it was being called. Print on demand (POD) was hot. There were sites like LuLu.com and iUniverse who, for a small fee, would allow you to upload your manuscript and cover. In turn, you would only print the books you needed. No more stacks of unsold books from a vanity or subsidy press sitting in your garage.
Back then, I liked the idea of print on demand, but I did not like the stigma that came with indie publishing. In the early days, POD meant a badly written book with an amateurish cover. In short, self-published books were a joke. I did not want to end up being the butt of a joke. Today, things have changed. Many reputable authors self-publish. Yes, I know there are still some really BAD indie books on the proverbial shelves, but many POD books are quite good. So good that traditional publishers are signing their authors onto lucrative contracts. The self-publishing success stories are everywhere.
My self-publishing journey has not lined my pockets with copious amounts of money, but I have learned a lot of lessons. Here are my top four:
- Treat self-publishing like is a business, with a business license, website, business cards, social media presence, etc.
- Be prepared to learn new skills or pay others to help with formatting, cover design, editing, etc.
- Be very very patient, persistent, consistent, and flexible (think like an entrepreneur)
- Write more to sell more (one or more books a year)
In a few months I will co-lead a networking session at a national community development event. My topic will be self-publishing. My co-leader, who has followed me on social media for years, invited me to help direct the session. Why? Because he has seen my consistency, my diligence, and my work ethic. In his words, “Linda gets things done.” I’m honored to be working with this gifted entrepreneur and writer. Some days I don’t feel I hit the mark but I keep plugging along. I keep writing and learning how to write, format, and promote better. I am committed to self-publishing and helping others join the party.
How about you? Are you self-published? Take a few moments and leave your information below. I would love to share your feedback with others who want to follow our lead. Thanks for your help.
Disclaimer for the form below:
Your responses to the form may be used in print or in a presentation. By filling out the form, you give me permission to use your responses in part or in whole.
Your identifying information will not be added to a database or mailing list. I will not sell or share your email addresses, or spam you.
Thank you, in advance, for helping me educate and inspire future self-published authors.