I just recently self published my book.
This isn’t my first book, but the first one was traditionally published.
It’s been one wild and crazy ride! When I started, I knew it might be hard, but I didn’t realize how hard. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing, but I will say if some big house comes along and wants to pick me up…I won’t be turning them down!
Some of the myths were my own delusions. Others I’ve seen peeps do.
Myth #1 – It’s easy!
Er, NO. That is a big fat no-please-don’t-kid-yourself-no. Yes, I was stupid enough to believe this one. The next person to tell me that, I may punch them.
Myth #2 – You can edit it yourself.
Personally, I knew better on this one. Grammar is not my friend. Gotta know your weakness’ peeps. Trust me on that one. I can do character creation with depth and feeling, but don’t ask me what the hell an adverb is. You will get the deer-in-headlight look. (In all fairness, I did try to learn. Studied books, had others try to teach me but it just goes right over my head) And even if you do know grammar, hire an editor anyway.
Myth #3 – I can do the cover myself.
Some peeps can. I did graphic art for a while, but I still wanted to hire someone else. Unless you are really good, hire someone. That old saying goes–just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. A cover is EVERYTHING. It needs to look professional.
BIG Myth #4 – You won’t have deadlines because you control your own schedule.
HA! Wrong! So wrong. This was one I really thought applied. If you do it right (and trust me you want to) you have to hire and editor, a cover artist, a formatter and you want to set a publishing date so you can set up pre-orders. Every one of those people have a schedule. Yeah, it’s not like you just shoot em an email and they can do it right then. Er, no. Why I thought this, I have no idea.
This isn’t a myth, but a tip. Make a list of everything you have to do to self-pub — after you’ve written your first draft. Organize them, step 1, step 2 and so on. If your like me, you get the order mixed up because you don’t know what you’re doing. I had things so out of order. UGH. Hopefully, I have it figured out for the second one. Include in that, promo. That’s something I won’t go into here, but it is a big chunk of time and energy and it never ends!
Last thing…copyright your book LAST. Like LAST, LAST, LAST. If you are having paperbacks made, have it in your hand before you file for it. All you need to put in the book is the year of your copyright — and yes, do this. Don’t let people say you don’t need one. You DO! Protect yourself and your art.
All that said, I love my book. I love the end product. It’s not perfect (nothing is) but there is certain kind of pride you get when you do it all yourself. Start to finish.
When You pick the cover. You chose the title. You chose your editor.
In traditional publishing, you usually don’t get to make those choices.
Love and happy reading/writing!