If you’re a new author, developing a self-publishing business is a challenge. Not only do you need to be creative, but you’re also faced with learning new things every day.
In a recent writers’ group meeting, we welcomed a new member.
“He’s just about ready to give up,” the member who’d brought him along explained. “But we’ve all had disappointments. Can we show him it’s possible to develop a good self-publishing business anyway?”
It became an interesting meeting. Usually, we discuss writing strategies and craft, as well as book marketing.
We had to recall the challenges we faced when we were beginning, and how we overcame them.
One member made the point that we’ve all had disappointments. But it didn’t mean that success was out of reach. She said: “Keep your mind on what you want. What if you succeed?”
If you’re a new author, consider that you might succeed beyond your dreams
That’s good advice because self-publishing has become a big industry:
$1.25 billion worth of self-published books is sold each year.
Amazon pays $520 million in royalties to self-published authors each year.
We had a wonderful time in the meeting and learned things about each other that we didn’t know. In addition, we came up with some useful tips.
Here they are.
1. Keep your self-publishing plans simple
I can recall the first year of my new business, contriving so many plans I quickly became stressed and overwhelmed.
This resonated with our new author: instead of publishing one book at a time, he’d decided on a quick-release strategy. When his first book didn’t sell thousands of copies immediately, he was ready to give up.
Only two of our members are full-time authors. The rest of us need to fit self-publishing into busy lives with jobs, families, and commitments.
A member suggested. “Write and release one book at a time. That gives each book your full attention. Everything takes longer at first.”
2. Everything takes longer when you’re starting out
Writing any book, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, takes time. Of course, writing is only the first step. There’s sending copies to beta readers, revising, and editing your book too.
“Expect to make mistakes,” one author suggested. “When I hired my first editor, she suggested so many changes I was ready to toss the book. My friends encouraged me. They said that I was making the book better and that making the changes would teach me a lot. They were right.”
3. You never know when a book will succeed beyond your dreams
Your first book may not sell, nor even the second or third.
“I published seven books before a book sold more than a few copies,” one of our full-time authors said. “But now I’m doing better than I ever did in my day job, and we’re planning a wonderful vacation later this year. I was ready to give up a few times too, and I’m so grateful I persisted.”
Every new author has challenges, but you can overcome them
In one sense, there’s never been a better time to be an author. There’s a global audience for your books. But most successful self-publishers have navigated a bumpy road.
At the end of the meeting, our new member sounded enthusiastic. He’d made many new friends and said he looked at self-publishing and marketing in a new (and more realistic) way.
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