Getting attractive ladies to read your book, helps!
Well, its been a full year since Textual Healing came out, my senior capstone project turned novel. Over the course of that year I learned a lot about the self publishing process. It was incredibly frustrating and cost me a hell of a lot of money, but in the end, I think it was all worth it, despite the rising anger in my chest every time I think of the self publisher I used.
When it came out, Textual Healing received a lot of nice press. Tons of book bloggers wrote about it and said glowing things. I even saw some print press, which is a really hard thing to get when it comes to a self published book. It has an average 4 star review on Goodreads, with nearly 70 ratings. It even sold enough copies to recoup nearly half of what I spent getting the book published in the first place.
All in all, a success as far as I'm concerned.
However, as more and more of my friends and folks I've met through the Internets talk about self publishing, I find myself concerned. Because really, while I'm happy with the result of my silly book, I know a lot of people would be epically disappointed if they had my results.
So, I've written this little list of key things I've learned about the process, to hopefully help folks that decide to do something similar. Because it is hard, it is frustrating, and ya'll need to be prepared.
1. Have Low Expectations: You're psyched. Your first book is coming out. You're daydreaming about watching your Amazon rankings shoot up into the stratosphere, making best of lists, signing movies deals, and...
Yeah... please stop doing that. Please.
Yes, there are lots of awesome success stories when it comes to self publishing, but those are rare considering the sheer number of books that get churned out from these publishers. Don't count on your book getting a ton of press, popping up in bookstores across the country or making you a ton of money. Press won't want it, your self publishing company can't get it in bookstores and even if your book does sell a thousand copies, you'll probably just barely recoup your expenses.
If you are doing this for the money, you're already #doingitwrong.
Me, I went in with pretty low expectations regarding my book. I was lucky. My silly book did get a lot of press, but really, most of that only happened because of Geekadelphia, my existing relationships with bloggers and my own toilsome marketing tactics (a podcast that failed, Goodreads giveaways that I spent lots of money on, etc) for the title.
If you go in with low expectations, everything great that happens, whether it is a press hit or a kind review on Amazon, will only feel 100% more fantastic. There is nothing wrong with daydreaming, but stay realistic.
2. Book Bloggers Seldom Review Self Published Books: Yes yes. You've written the next Great American Novel or whatever. You're like Paul Giamatti in Sideways. Great book, no one wants it. So you go ahead and make things happen yourself, thinking everyone will want to read it.
Eh, not so much.
I took this review policy screenshot from Well Read Wife, a book blogger I ADORE working with when it comes to promoting Quirk titles. She doesn't accept self-published books, and really, I can't blame her. I've seen my fair share of self published author pitch emails sent to Geekadelphia, poorly written press releases, etc. It hurts, knowing that these folks are putting their baby out there without proper support (that's why you get a publicist), and book bloggers simply don't have the time to read through all that (to borrow an editorial term) slush. They have tons of quality stuff heading their way on a weekly basis. (more…)