I thought the hardest part about writing, was the actual writing, but I was way off. Writing can get stressful, but the hardest part when you self-publish, is managing yourself.
I enjoy being self published because I have all the control, but at the same time I have all the responsibilities. Not only do self-publishers write the book, but most of the time they do the cover too which can be a big pain in the ass. The cover alone consists of a summary, color scheme, picture/artwork, layout, and font styles. Of course then there editing, which some people do themselves and other hire people. It’s always probably better to hire someone for a fresh pair of eyes to comb through the story though. The actual book formatting can be tricky too. Making sure the lines are indented properly, size is right, chapters are numbered correctly. Then there’s the marketing. Oh, the marketing. I can’t tell you how much there is to do in this category because half the time I fail at it. There’s your media marketing; Twitter, facebook, tumblr, blogs, youtube channels. Then there’s your real-life marketing; getting into bookstores, libraries, schools, book festivals. What some people may not realize is that a lot of these places don’t accept self-published writers which is a shame because they work hard, maybe even harder than traditionally published writers. They got out and make flyers and give books away, but because they published themselves, people don’t count it. On top of managing themselves and trying to set up events, they still write. I haven’t found the right balance yet, but I’m hoping I will soon. I can’t focus on my writing when I know I should be looking for more book festivals to join. It’s like there’s this little voice in the back of my mind yelling at me that I have no events coming up.
So, to all my self-published author buddies, I bow to the work you do. I applaud how much you’ve accomplished and how hard you work when people don’t realize it.
To anyone looking to getting into self-publishing, don’t let this bum you out. If I was given the option to be traditionally published I wouldn’t do it. Maybe somewhere down the line I would, but right now, even though it’s a lot of work, it’s worth it to have the control.