Self-publishing, especially your first book, is a learning experience. There are a lot of potholes in the road, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. It important to know, you’re not alone.
The road to self-publishing your book is full of potholes, like things you didn’t know to think about, costs you didn’t know to budget for, time deprivation, setbacks, and then some unforeseen fees… It can be extremely time consuming and expensive. But there is hope.
You get to rush home when you get the notification that your books have arrived.
You get to smell them for the first time, feel the weight of them, and run your hands over the cover.
Friends and family will come out of the woodwork and surprise you with the amount of support you never knew you had. You’ll sell your first copy and then another. It will be a long time before you break even, let alone start making money, but its a start.
Then, after a few days or weeks, people are starting to finish your book! They are coming with their questions, and hopefully their excited feedback. People are talking on social media about how they can’t wait for the next one. Friends are texting you strings of emojis as they finish scenes that shocked them or broke their hearts.
People start asking you when the next book is coming out, and your chest expands as your heart smiles, and at the same time, you don’t know how you’re going to pay for the next book while you’re so broke from the first. But, you know there is a market for it. There are people anxiously waiting and excited to read it.
You’re time-broke as you struggle to work more hours to pay to keep your book printed and in stock and try to find time to work on your next manuscript in the evening or early hours of the morning.
Your spare moments are filled with self-promotion and marketing. You’re still not making any money, but people are talking about your book when you’re not even around. People are taking playbuzz quizzes to see how they fit into the world you created, meanwhile you’re trying to escape into a whole other world every chance you get, just to feel the weight lift off your shoulders for a minute.
You get your monthly report and total up your first month’s sales and see that you owe a balance at the end of it. But the local high school librarians are excited to have you come and talk to their English classes, and the local bookstore wants 6 copies to sell as consignment.
Then you read the reviews people are starting to post on Amazon, and most of them want a movie, they are in love with the book and your characters!
The journey is bittersweet, and an emotional roller coaster. The thing is, your book is your baby. Babies are expensive.
When you first have them, they need all of your attention, and the money is just flying out of your wallet. They are needy but exciting, and everyone is asking about them. The more time passes, the less of your time they need, the more they start to stand on their own. People who have read your book start to market it for you. Fandoms are born, and they carry on the excitement and conversations on their own…
Self-publishing is a rollercoaster. Its work, the blood sweat, and tears kind. Its an investment of time, money, and especially emotion. Its a gamble, a risk, a daring leap of faith.
And every second of it is worth it.