How to Be Successful in Self-Publishing
OR Everybody in Self-Publishing Needs to Just STOP and Take a Deep Breath
That’s exactly what I want to tell newbies in self-publishing. There seems to be such a sense of desperation out there with a plethora of people that just don’t know what they are doing. And it needs to stop. Lol. I know, good luck. I received a nasty email from someone because I dared asked to be removed from their mailing list (something I never signed up for in the first place). I looked them up, they were vanity published. Nuff said. I won’t even discuss vanity press here, I’ll save that for some other time.
Please note, just because you have someone’s email address (including publisher’s whose attention you are hoping to catch), does not give you the right to spam them. And, if you are going to be sending emails to a self-created list, there are requirements that you must include in the email, like an “unsubscribe” button.
People who consider themselves published because they are self-published or vanity published, need to be careful that they are not throwing themselves to the wolves without any professionalism or a clue as to what they are doing, and when things backfire, become angry and disgruntled. It’s not a pretty sight for publishing and gives self-publishing a bad wrap.
Everyone in self-publishing needs to take a deep breath and relax. It’s going to be ok.
There seems to be this sense of urgency, this “we have to get in on the gold rush before it’s too late” mentality. There seems to be this “upload my unfinished, unedited book and no one will notice that it’s crap” methodology happening, and it ain’t working.
Self-published people, you must:
• Be professional (always)
• Do not rely on “critique groups” to edit your book (trust me on this).
• Find a GOOD editor
• Take your time with your manuscript
• Hire a professional cover artist (who uses professional images)
• Don’t try and design the cover yourself (just don’t)
• Do not ask your friends, neighbors, and countrymen to read your book (period.)
• Listen to your editor
• Hire a good proofreader (not your friend’s cousin twice-removed)
• When you think you are ready to upload your book, post a large red STOP sign above your computer. You are not ready. Repeat the above steps over and over and over before you hit the upload button.
• Do not vanity publish.
• Do not send mass emails and show everyone’s addresses. Always include an “unsubscribe” button.
Once you’ve gone public:
• Do not respond to negative reviews. DON’T. Just don’t. Turn, run, look the other away. Yell and scream at yourself but not at the reviewer, even if the reviewer is your friend, neighbor, and countrymen.
• Continue to work social media (as you have been all along) but DO NOT bombard everyone with 24/7 “Buy my Book” updates. It’s tiring and boring. And it’s not going to get us to buy your book.
• Do not send spam emails to publishers who turned you down in an attempt to “throw it in their face.” They probably will not remember you, so it’s lost yards on the football field and will only make the publisher now remember your name as an author who is foolish and unprofessional.
• Give us a glimpse of your new life as an author; feed us your hints. What have you learned? Extend a helping hand to the up and coming authors who are following you and haven’t yet made the leap themselves yet into self-publishing.
• Be positive.
• Stay professional.
• If you have gone the self-publishing, you are now a small business owner. Treat it as such.
• You’re in the publishing business now, it is not an after school assignment.
• Publishing is a small community, especially in the romance world. Don’t burn bridges. Don’t gossip. Don’t smack talk. Be kind.
• Get busy and write your next book.
• Don’t beat yourself up over what you did wrong, but learn from your mistakes and move forward.