Disclaimer

One of the first things I address when asked for advice on writing or publishing is that there is no one path. This isn't a situation where one size fits all. Self publishing is full of options and possibilities. What worked for one author can be replicated exactly by another with vastly different results and what worked a month ago might not work today. 

The second thing that impacts what advice will or will not work is expectations. What do you want to gain from publishing your book? This is the question that usually makes authors falter. Like they think I am asking a trick question, but the answer to this is important. Success in the business includes timing and luck. It is a hard truth many don't want to address or admit. 

Let me explain my background a bit....

I started telling stories before I could write. Then I started writing them so storytelling has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. In college when I was broke and couldn't afford gifts for my friends I wrote them stories. The feedback was amazing, even for my friends that didn't often read for pleasure. So I decided to try getting published. With no idea what I was doing and absolutely no connections in the publishing industry I never found an agent or publisher. I did gain a good stack of rejections, which encouraged me to focus on school.

Then 2012ish happens and self publishing is spreading...

I started to devour books that were self published. Some good. Some not. But I found new favorite authors and followed their writing and career as they went from Indie to signing contracts with Traditional publishing houses. Fast forward a few years and I started attending book conventions. Nothing in my life had ever felt so right. Even though I was so nervous I wanted to puke I knew that I wanted to be on the author side of the table one day. 

So I pulled one of the stories I had written years ago and polished it up. Still with no idea what I was getting myself into. I talked with my husband about my plan. I already knew it was going to cost money to self publish a quality book. I knew going in I wasn't going to be just a writer. As an indie I was going to be a small business owner. Thanks to my MBA and legal training I firmly grasped that most small businesses fail so I wanted to start with a solid three year plan. If I wasn't making enough profit to publish my next book after three years I was going to stop writing for the masses and go back to writing for myself.

I shopped around to find a quality genre specific premade cover and found an editor that was the definition of you get what you pay for. I sent my budget for how many books I thought I could reasonably sell in a year. And dived into the deep end. 

Remember when I said I had a plan? I did. I had a solid plan about Book 1 and three years... But I overlooked a crucial part of the process. Marketing. And nothing sells your book better than the next book.

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