BECOMING LADY BETH has been out in the wild for over three months. The publishing process is extra tough when you’re a one-man band. By choosing the self-publishing path you are electing yourself publisher and author and marketer. It’s a tough trot if you’re not comfortable with pushing your work. How does a writer cope with wearing both the author and publisher hat? Here are some gentle tips:
1. My biggest piece of advice is to treat your novel as if it were a friend’s. This allows you a little distance from what some can see as the distasteful marketing side. Most writers are uncomfortable with pushing their own writing or telling others about their work. So you need to distance yourself from the process, even if that distance is simply a tiny shift in your mindset. It doesn’t help that there are a lot of writers out there who are so mentally averse to the concept of self-publishing that they bash any author who dares publicise themselves. But you need to ignore those who hold such double standards. Why should your book be overlooked because it’s you who’s advertising it and not a publishing house? Keep faith in your work, shed the shy author mantle and don the crown of publisher.
2. Step away from the amazon rank checker thingy. Seriously. When I self-published my first novel, DAWN SOLSTICE, I’m pretty sure I gave myself repetitive hand strain from hitting the refresh button. Honestly, there is nothing your beady little eyes can do that will make that magic number decrease. So, step away from the refresh button, your fingers will thank you for it.
3. Try not to hate anyone who says they’ll buy your book and then they don’t. Don’t let the air out of their tyres, send them dog turd in the post or glitter bomb them with your next Christmas card. I’ve tried all of the above* and guess what? They still won’t buy your book. (*kidding…kind of).
4. If your novel does make a decent ranking. Do take a screenshot. This will help ease the sting when some idiot gives your novel a one star rating because the distributor delivered your novel a day late. Unfortunately we have to share are world with such people. Deal with it and move on.
5. Anyone who reads your book and reviews it should be left to their opinion, good or bad. It does not matter how much their review makes you want to stick needles in your eyes. Even a sucky review deserves its place. They bought your book, they are entitled to review it as they see fit. Welcome to the world of free speech folks.
6. Don’t be beaten down by the process or doubt your book just because your sales don’t sky-rocket and propel you to instant author fame-dom. Celebrate your successful publication, the completion of your novel and the fact that it’s available to readers (other than your Mammy). Sure we’d all love immediate, drop-into-your-lap six figure advances and overnight success but you have a better chance of catching sight of a unicorn that’s simultaneously riding a unicycle whilst reading the eighth Harry Potter book. But, at the same time, don’t let this reality stop you from aiming high and all that.
7. Get working on your next novel. Too soon? Never. If you are a writer, this is what you do. End of.
Olivia Bright is author of BECOMING LADY BETH
Find her on Twitter: @LivKiernan