Remember when I was a real eager go-getter and spent a lot of time writing lengthy books nobody really gave a damn about? Well, here’s something I wrote for Yahoo that earned more money than I think I made in the first 3 months of self-publishing books! So the lesson to be learned here is that nobody gives a damn and you are better off selling out and writing for something corporate. And in a twist of being pushy, you can get a copy of the last book I self-published for free through the rest of the month beginning tomorrow after I post this. So if you happen to read this on Tuesday, come back tomorrow and get a free copy of this amazing book I put a lot of effort into.
Five Heartbreaking Moments From Self-Publishing
Self-publishing a novel can be incredibly rewarding. It’s a way to surpass agents and constant rejection from query letters. Best of all, you have final say in your masterpiece. After I self-published my first novel I thought for sure there would be only positive moments to follow. Then I waited a week and realized the heartbreak continues. Here are five things you should prepare your heart for when it comes to self-publishing.
1) Copies Sold: The biggest part of writing a book is how many copies it sells. You can write a masterpiece, but if nobody buys it then that means nobody is reading it. If nobody is reading it then what was the point? It’s like keeping the Mona Lisa as a bath mat in the guest bathroom of someone who never has anyone over. After self-publishing, it took a few months before I accepted I may never write a book that sells a million copies. I took it hard because I already made a down payment on a yacht made of pure gold.
2) Refunds: It feels great when you sell a book, especially when you know it’s to a complete stranger. Sometimes these strangers will purchase the book then ask for a refund. Why? Why did you want your money back for my product I poured my heart into? On certain self-publishing services you can see why they asked for a refund. My first refund someone reported their credit card stolen. As much as I hate thieves, I must say this one has good taste. When people ask for a refund the author is often left wondering if it was because the product didn’t meet expectations or if the purchaser bought the wrong thing. People are always buying the wrong thing. My dad bought us barbecue sauce thinking it was ketchup for five years. We were all too afraid of him to ever say anything.
3) Reviews: Many independent authors rely on the reviews above anything else. When you are essentially unrecognizable to the public, a good review can convince someone to buy your book instead of passing it over for vampire erotica. A good key to reviews is to have your friends and family leave the first ones, without of course making it too obvious that you know each other. It’s inevitable that eventually a bitter troll will come along, read your book, and then leave a negative review. When they do, get ready to cry and think about giving up on your dreams. Never give up on your dreams though, unless you are older than 35. After that they probably never will come true.
4) Typos/Errors: When you write long-form it can be a lot more difficult to properly edit. English is a language with so many strange rules that sometimes are acceptable and sometimes are not. It starts with the whole letter Y sometimes being a vowel. Shouldn’t it just always be a vowel? After you publish your book you may read through it and suddenly find a very obvious error. To avoid this you can always have your book professionally edited. Usually though the cost of paying an editor will far exceed the amount you will make from sales. You have to determine whether it’s worth it or not. Hopefully you can find intelligent friends to help find any errors in your writing willing to do it for the price of your friendship. Seriously. Threatening to never talk to someone ever again if they don’t help you out is a great loyalty test.
5) Does Anybody Like It?: By far the most important thing is whether or not anybody actually likes the book. You can be a fantastic writer forever, but if you cannot tell an original and captivating story that meets the reader’s expectations then you have failed. Do people like the books I have self-published? I have no idea. I am still not sure if many people even like me. The most rewarding thing that can happen to you after you self-publish a novel is when someone out of the blue mentions they read your work. Most people are genuinely nice and if they bring it up unsolicited it usually means they enjoyed what they read. Then they ask you for a favor and you remember why you wrote a character based on them who gets killed.
(People with ADD never dwell on the past. It’s beautiful in some ways really…until they start screaming for no reason at all)