So in preparation for self-publishing for the first time I just finished an edit of my manuscript. Now I’ve lost count of just how many revisions this book has been through, but this one had extra weight. Every once and awhile while I had the thought, “People might actually read this,” and I felt a mixture of excitement and panic that almost got in the way of what I was doing. But I kept going and, yay!, now it’s ready to go off to my two proofreaders.
It’s getting closer.
Now I just have to design a cover, figure out the marketing/pricing, do another edit based off the comments from my proofreaders, and probably six other things I haven’t even thought of get.
Excitement and panic seem about right.
A couple of weeks ago I went to dinner with some friends. One of these awesome women has read one of my novels and the other has built a wildly successful business in a creative field. In the process of this dinner the idea of potentially self-publishing my work came up and they both strongly encouraged me to do it. Their basic argument was why not put yourself out there and see what happens?
Follow that up with my critique partner, another brilliant friend, and my husband all being uber-supportive and even offering help to figure out the editing if I want to go that route.
I have been contemplating self-publishing for a couple of years now, but have reluctant to go that route for several reasons:
- One of the key hallmarks of a successful self-published author is the fact that they eventually got a traditional publishing contract. So why not put your energy into that in the first place?
- The level of editing and marketing involved in creating the kind of professional project I would want has always felt a little daunting, expensive, and out of my comfort zone.
- The fear that my work just simply isn’t good enough – and that’s why I haven’t been able to find an agent/publisher.
I think these are all still legitimate concerns, but in addition to the support from my friends and family, one other realization has pointed me in the self-publishing direction –
The thing I want most in my writing life, that I don’t currently have, is more people reading my work.
Don’t get me wrong I’d love to be a New York Times Bestseller and win a Newberry Award and have my novels made into movies – but really I just want people to read, and hopefully enjoy, my stories.
To share those imagined friends of mine with the world.
So I’ve started mapping out a plan to self-publish one of my books. That plan has literally dozens of steps – some of which I don’t even know how to do, but I admit I’m officially working on it.