In Part Four, we talked about the technical aspects of self-publishing.  Now, I’d like to share some insights and final thoughts about publishing my first novel.

Once your novel becomes a viable, marketable product, you must put distance between you, the Author, and you the Marketer.  This distancing will help you if you get a negative review or criticism you don’t like.  The person may not have liked your product, but they still bought the product, and you reap the benefits either way.  By taking this more objective and business-like approach to each work, you can free up your mind to write the next book, the next, and the next.

The book is out there now.  Nothing more you can do.

Distancing yourself emotionally from your completed project will also help you think more clearly regarding your work’s marketing and sales aspects.  It’s not at all helpful if you get wrapped up in a minute detail that occurs during the publishing process and you obsess over something that, in the end, has an easy fix.  Leave the drama for the page, not for sales and marketing.

Know that if you are self-publishing, you will have to do almost everything yourself.  Yes, there are sites like BookBaby that will guide you, but when it comes to getting the word out to a wide swath of people, just know that you are the best marketing tool there is.  So, use social media, your own website, co-workers, family, and friends to get the initial word out.  If you want to, you can enlist the aid of a marketing company – like I did with Smith Publicity – to spread the word further.  But again, while they will be assisting with press releases and other aspects, the project is still driven by you and your knowledge and passion for the project.

There are also dozens of videos on YouTube and blogs that can give you insights into how to market your book, either inexpensively or for free.

Also, make sure that you have the means to afford all the aspects of doing this yourself.  There are inexpensive and even free alternatives if you want to publish your eBook on Amazon or even on your own blog chapter by chapter.  Don’t go into debt or sacrifice eating or bills to do this. Always budget and keep track of all your expenses for tax purposes.

So, what would I do differently?  Well, for the next book, I will definitely publish the eBook and paperback as part of the same project.  The reason: it’s cheaper.  I could have paid 50% less if I had gone with one of the packages offered through BookBaby that allows you to do both.  

I also learned that the best strategy is to budget your time efficiently, especially if self-publishing is a side business and not your full-time occupation.  I work six days a week at my main job, so everything involving the book is like having a second job. It’s important to give yourself some downtime and not burn yourself out with everything that needs to be done on top of all your other responsibilities.  Your novel won’t get published faster if you agonize over pricing at 4 a.m.  Trust me. It’s not worth losing sleep over.

And that’s a look into my writing process and self-publishing journey for The Field.  It was worth all the time, effort, and expense, and I will do it again soon.  If you have any questions, comments, or further advice you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for reading!

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