I don’t know about you, but I have vivid memories of reading a children’s story about the little train who could. “I think I can, I think I can,” was her motto as she struggled up the hill. Self-publishing is a lot like that: “I think I can, I hope I can, I know I can, um, where am I?” It’s easy to get derailed.
The publishing landscape is changing all the time. Even the biggest of the big players, like Amazon, are still working things out, and as they change, so does the landscape. Strategies that always worked before, suddenly bomb. New opportunities pop up and taunt us with the fact that we can only write 25 hours a day 😉
There are no guarantees. You can do everything exactly the same as the next author, but she’ll have a break-out success and you’ll be sobbing into your cornflakes.
I think I can, I think I can
It’s very easy to build up a head of steam that is sheer frustration. We pour so much effort into writing our books, getting them ready to go out into the world, and then, stuff happens. Stuff goes wrong.
You need a safety valve. When the pressure gets too much, you need someone or a group of someones whom it is safe to vent to. Some people vent in public. It is part of their social media persona. I have an opinion on that: it’s high risk. In the heat of the moment, it’s very easy to say more than you mean to, and then, there’s the ever-present danger of social media: people take things the wrong way or out of context.
If you’re self-publishing, you need a support network. You don’t have a publishing team from a traditional publishing house behind you. Chances are, you don’t have an agent for your self-published books. What you need are people who understand the publishing business, people who can listen, understand your frustrations, and tactfully point out that that’s life, get on with it, princess!
Network with other authors. Use your time on social media to develop friendships. Value reviewers and readers as the treasures they are. And when you find those people with whom you can swap safety valve roles, don’t ever let them go!
My latest release is First Kiss, a spring romance