SELF-PUBLISHING YOUR BOOK IS NOT THE FINAL STEP!
I remember when I first considered self-publishing my book. This was after I decided that I wasn’t going to believe in what people were saying about the stigma. When I began to trust myself, believe that I could produce a great book and have the success others were having; when I thought that self-publishing my book was the first step in this journey.
When you dream of self-publishing your book, you see it as the goal, as the accomplishment, as the first step for something great. Don’t be fooled, it is a big deal. Writing, editing, re-editing and editing again until you are done, is a big deal. Finishing the book and publishing the book is also a big deal.
For many of us, simply dreaming of that famous sentence: “If you build it, they will come,” is our end goal, so you work hard just building it.
But then, after you publish, you discover that building it is simply not enough. Building it will bring no sales. It’s nothing personal; it’s just that you are invisible–people have no clue you exist. You will even discover people close to you, people that you thought were listening every time you said you were writing the book, don’t know you exist as a writer.
You discover that being invisible is far more dangerous to your career than the worries about piracy that kept you up late at night. You discover that what you thought was the last step is not even the first one. You need to discover how to market the book, how to write the next one, how to connect with new readers and writers, while all the other responsibilities you had before continue and new ones show up.
You will be in shock… but being in a state of shock will not finish the second book, or sell the first one, or move you forward in any direction. At least that’s what happened to me. So I went back to the drawing board (okay, not immediately; I first went to write the second book. You know, “If you build a better one, they will come faster.”)
In that process I discovered the great people of the Indie Book Collective, and my real learning began. That’s when I learned that even if you build a better one, you need to bring them to you, because they will not come. They don’t have a clue where you are. You are still invisible.
The Indie Book Collective has a series of learning programs, from eBook formatting, to marketing, to social media. If you come and don’t learn something, you must come again because you were simply distracted.
That’s the only explanation. I have found other writers that share the same frustrations, the same dreams, the same hopes, some even the success I want to have in the future. I have made friends, and mentors and have learned a lot. More importantly, I discovered that self-publishing is not a bad word.
And it’s not even the first step.
The good thing is that I’ve now walked this entire journey with more knowledge than what I had before. I have been able to learn from others’ mistakes, and make better decisions. I have been able to discover other great writers, and regardless of how much work I needed to do, I’ve had a lot of fun doing it.
And will continue to.
Augusto Pinaud currently lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is married and has a little girl and three dogs who keep him company. He spends his day teaching his daughter things, writing and washing dishes, because he believes in what Agatha Christie once said: “The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.”