Today I am featuring a guest post by the lovely Jade Reyner, self published author and fellow blogger. Jade has been kind enough to publish my post on overcoming self-doubt on her blog. You can read it here.
Twelve Things I Have Learned On My “Twelve Days” Self-Publishing Journey
For those of you that don’t know, I have written a book. It’s called Twelve Days – The Beginning and it’s excellent (I know… but a little self promotion never hurt anyone, right?). It’s a fictional novel and in terms of genre it is a cross, being essentially a romance however there are elements of a thriller in it. It is also the first of a two book set and there will be two further stand alone books, to complete the series.
Margaret very kindly asked me to guest post on her blog and so I have decided to share with you twelve little things (get the connection – clever aren’t I?), that I have learned during my journey to self-publish this, my very first novel.
So, here goes… and please bear in mind this is just my experience!
1. Hire a cover designer.
Anyone in the self publishing industry will tell you this and for me it really is a no brainer. There is no way in the world I could have created anything like what I have ended up with for my cover. It costs, but you can shop around, and in order for you to be totally proud of what you have written, you need to wrap it up well
2. There is no need to get your files professionally converted for upload.
I have paid to have this done, however it caused me a number of issues which I won’t go into here, and on further investigation both Amazon and Smashwords do excellent step by step guides which are free to download. These guide you through the conversion process all the way through to upload and as long as you follow the steps exactly, you should be fine.
3. Hire a proof reader/editor.
Another no brainer. Again costly, although I used peopleperhour.com and found myself a freelancer at a fraction of the going rate.
4. Enlist others for feedback.
Essential. I had my book read by at least three people whilst it was a ‘work in progress’ and then it was edited. I have since had it read by several other authors whom I have met via WordPress and Twitter and their feedback has been invaluable.
5. Create an online profile.
I am no computer whizz and am not good at marketing so at the moment I am running with only a blogsite, a Twitter feed and a Facebook account. I have also set up the author pages on both Amazon and Goodreads. From what I can understand from seasoned professionals, the more places you get your face, the better!
6. Marketing is the hardest part.
Absolutely! Nothing could have prepared me for how hard it is to get a book to sell, even if you’ve done everything by the book! I have no solutions to this (otherwise I’d be a millionaire), I just think it’s about time, perseverance, perseverance and perseverance.
7. Look for free advertising.
Again, something that I am working on at the moment. I have been advised to try local radio stations and newspapers.
8. Time management is essential.
After publication I have been totally consumed by marketing and online activities to the detriment of writing the sequel. I have now realised that I need to do both and am trying to implement appropriate time management strategies.
9. Set realistic goals.
We’d all like to sell 100,000 copies in the first day but unless you’re J K Rowling, that ain’t gonna happen. As a complete newbie and unknown author, I made my first goal simple. I just wanted one person that I didn’t know to read it, buy it and enjoy it. That way, when your book doesn’t fly off the shelves, you’re not disappointed.
10. Assume that no one knows you’ve written a book.
This is one that I am just learning. It occurred to me that if I did a survey of all the Mums at my son’s school, with the exception of one or two, none of them would know that I had written a book. This is now going to form the basis of my marketing strategy.
11. Peaceful sleep is a thing of the past.
Yes. Be prepared for even less sleep, as your overtired and overworked brain wakes you up at silly hours with new ideas for blog posts, tweets and marketing strategies.
12. Read other blogs and self-help guides but don’t pressure yourself to exactly replicate their advice. Take time to do it right for you.
I think this is a really important lesson to learn. If you take all the information that is available into account, you’ll end up going round in circles and probably give up before you’ve even started. Take from these guides what you need and apply as appropriate.
And that’s it. I hope these little notes have been of interest/benefit to you and if you would like to read the first Chapter of Twelve Days – The Beginning absolutely free, then click here. The full version is available exclusively on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
Thank you so much for reading and thank you again to Margaret for letting me hi-jack her blog!