Thinking of self-publishing? Keep reading!
This article follows on from https://michelleemerson.co.uk/the-dos-donts-of-self-publishing/ and shares with you some of my advice about the DON’Ts of self-publishing.
I promise you, there’s nothing quite like becoming an indie author for the first time (and the second and the third). I can highly recommend basking in that feeling of achievement and self-satisfaction when you see your book on its own shelf on the Amazon store. More often than not, the biggest challenge we face is getting started. But believe me, if you can step out of your own way, stop the overthinking and avoid the loud voices on social media who consider themselves ‘publishing experts’ because they’ve published one book, then you’ll be so glad you learnt how to self-publish your own way.
When you start your indie author adventure you’ll experience lots of learning opportunities and it won’t be straightforward – I can guarantee that. I’m still learning now and I’ve been publishing books for authors since 2013. There’s still something new that crops up with every single book I publish for my authors. But, if you’re determined to see this through, and you’re not afraid to put the work in, you’ll be delighted when you finally get to hold your book in your hands (and bask!).
Let’s take a look at my top four self-publishing DON’Ts, shall we?
The DONT’s of Self-Publishing
DON’T BE A LAZYBONES!
Remember the biggest benefit of self-publishing – that you’re in control of everything? Well, this is also a disadvantage. You see, it’s all exciting when you’re in control of what your end product looks like, but if the size of the project overwhelms you or you give up at the first wobble, your book will never have its own shelf on the Amazon store. And no one will get to enjoy your hard work. So keep going – don’t be a lazybones.
SELF-PUBLISHING TIP: Nothing happens unless you make it happen. Don’t put off publishing your book. Learn what you need to. Take daily action to move the publication process forward. Set yourself three daily tasks if you feel overwhelmed by the entire project. And avoid making excuses! Choose actions over words.
DON’T EXPECT AN EASY RIDE
Learning ANYTHING, especially when it’s brand new and as specialist as self-publishing, brings its own challenges. Understanding the different elements of the process, actioning the logical steps to publication and having the confidence to believe in your efforts is something that comes with practice. Trial and error is hard work. But it’s definitely worth it. Dig in and keep going. Once you understand the process, you can keep on writing and publishing and earning royalties for the rest of your life.
SELF-PUBLISHING TIP: Use the KDP Community to search for answers to your questions instead of the latest, loudest voice in a Facebook group. Better still, get everything you need to know from the book publishing machine itself – Amazon KDP.
DON’T BE HARD ON YOURSELF
It’s inevitable (and totally natural) that you’ll make mistakes. And when you do, look on them as a learning curve – a sign that you’re ‘doing’ and not just ‘talking’ about self-publishing your book. Remember when you learnt to drive? You didn’t expect to understand everything straightaway, did you? And you didn’t give up completely just because you couldn’t reverse into a parking space one day or you stalled at a junction. You kept on going because your ultimate goal – to pass your driving test – was more important than the minor setbacks. The same applies here. Take it baby step by baby step. Keep learning and you’ll keep growing.
SELF-PUBLISHING TIP: Don’t dwell on your ‘mistakes’. Turn them into positives. Keep notes of what you didn’t get quite right and how to avoid it next time. Start a notebook (your self-publishing bible) where you write down your own tried-and-tested processes, ideas and tips. Note any helpful resources you come across too.
DON’T BE THE HARE
I tell all my authors that writing, self-publishing and book marketing should be seen as a marathon rather than a sprint. Definitely tortoise over hare. Don’t be in so much of a rush that you make too many big mistakes. Bite-sized chunks are more digestible and time-efficient than binge-working and railroading your way through the learning process. Read and learn so much about self-publishing that you take every step with ease. Yes, you could race through the publication process but wouldn’t it be better to take your time and publish with confidence? Wouldn’t it be better to know your new self-publishing skills have laid you a solid foundation to build on every time you write and publish a new book? Wouldn’t it be better to feel proud when you point potential buyers to your own Amazon bookshelf because you know you’ve done a thorough job rather than boasting about how quickly you published your book?
SELF-PUBLISHING TIP: Take your time when it comes to learning the self-publishing ropes. Get your hands on a step-by-step guide to help you self-publish on Amazon so you have something to refer to instead of relying on YouTube videos or different self-publishing advice. You could take a look at my book: Publish on Kindle – From Manuscript to Published on Amazon: The Simple Step by Step Guide. It’s designed with you in mind.
If you’re thinking of self-publishing on Amazon and need a hand, please get in touch. There are many ways we can work together to get you the result you’re looking for.
- We can work together in ‘real’ time and I’ll walk you through the uploading process ‘live’.
- You can pick my brain for an hour/half an hour for £99/£55 and I can get you out of a publishing pickle.
- Or if you’d prefer to hand over the reins completely, you can do that too.
If you’ve already started your indie author journey, what are the biggest ‘DON’Ts’ you’ve learnt so far? I’d love to know. Feel free to leave a comment.