I have a small publishing woe to tell you: I am a writer who has a dream of having a great book out there, and one who wants to be a better person because they have self-published a book. One of the many challenges is that I need to be a more professional marketer who shares not only their website and book but one who has a story to tell. Which brings on the self-publishing woes. A self-publishing woe is not knowing and learning from the challenges in this industry.
One of the challenges a person can face is being a brand without looking as if they are selling something. This is true for a traditionally published author and it’s true with people who are self-published. Not only doe need to have a plan, a set goal, but you need to find a way to make a difference before your book is even on the market. When it is one the market you need to sell it to the right people and at the right time. When you have read books, you need to be on Amazon doing book reviews. There you need a public profile and you need to have people like your reviews. Along with this, if you are self-publishing you have to make and create the time to design your cover, your interior and everything in between.
You can go to CreateSpace or Lulu for this, and then pick what you need help with, or you can continue to try to find the right traditional publisher, and that is just as hard to research. The challenge is not to get down on yourself when you don’t find a place in Random House, or Harper Collins or any of the other hundred publishers out, there but to know where your market lies with what you are writing is vital.
One could go on and on about setting goals, but in self-publishing, which makes it all the harder, the challenge is to continue to write, but to know and develop a group of dedicated readers. Self-publishing is lonely, and hard, and one will often need a mentor, or someone else to help them. A guide if you will.
The challenge in finding this person is twofold, one you need to know whom to trust who won’t say this writing is horrible, but one who will also tell you that what is written is hard to read, or something that people won’t like. One’s view of who would be interested in the book is different than another. The thing which makes it harder is that you have to not only publish this book, and you have a mental time frame for it, but you have to make certain it’s a strong book. The stronger the book the less likely you will have a lot of poor reviews, but as important is the more you learn about what your own limitations are as a writer, about what you want to do about this fact and where you go from there.
You might learn that what you thought was a woe was not, and what you think is great isn’t either, when you are a creative writer this can hurt. The more you work on building your skills as a writer the less there will be of the “publishing woes” you think you have to face. It is in part, growing as a writer, but it is also understanding that the thing which hurts you is what you don’t know. Going to CreateSpace of Lulu is great but if you think that simply getting your work out there is the answer, it might not be. If the book isn’t properly formatted, it won’t look good. You are on your own when it comes to selling that book, and if you don’t have blog or a Amazon reviewer profile, you are just another person on Twitter or Facebook or any other social media you can name. If your book has errors, and you don’t know how to fix them, these will cost you. You could go on about goals or go and start publishing another book, but that will actually create the monster your are trying to avoid.
It is about learning and growing but if you don’t know that a book is not published in all caps, or is usually justified (not aligned left) then you have a long way to go. There is logic in writing, it just takes time.