Thursday, March 21, 2013

Writing 101: Are You Really Ready to Self-Publish?

You've studied the craft of writing. You know all about formatting. You know how to edit. You've got a great blurb. You're a born storyteller. But are you really ready to self-publish? The job is about a lot more than writing, and it can be very overwhelming.

My Other Job is Not Sleeping

It takes a lot of time and study to write a book, any book. You've got to think about the plot, figure out the ending, complete the research, develop the characters, decide upon the setting...well, you know it takes a lot. When the book is finished, you have to edit it and format it for mass distribution. 

Once that's all done, the real work begins. It's not enough to put a book out there into the world, even if it's a great book. Even if it's the greatest book ever penned by the hand of man, it's not enough to simply self-publish it.

Now you have to market it. You have to slip into the role of indie author. And the problem with that is, it's a full time job. 

Once you decide to make a go of self-publishing, you have to start marketing. It's never too early to start. As an indie author, you should use all the available tools at your disposal. You need to get active on social media. You need to establish a presence in reader and writer forums. You should blog, and establish a brand for your audience to identify with. Oh and by the way, you need to publish more books. The more you publish, the more credible you become as a self-published author. 

And when you aren't doing all of that, chances are very strong that you're also working a normal "day" job in order to continue putting food in your mouth, maybe attending school to broaden your horizons, tending to a family that you love and attempting to maintain some sort of social life on top of it all. 

Your free time is going to be spent working on your next book, or answering Tweets, or combing through your author inbox. I work 7 days a week, every week, on some project or another. I count myself lucky to get a full 6 hours of sleep a night. I am an indie author. And that means I've got two full-time jobs.

So are you ready to take all of that on? If so, then go ahead and self-publish. It's rewarding to see that first review, and all the reviews after that. It's thrilling to get a tweet from someone who's read your book. It's exciting...but it's very hard work, and it's going to consume a huge chunk of your life if it's going to work. So are you ready? Only you can find the answer.

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