This Writer's Life, Writing Process

Celebrating One Year of Self-Publishing.

Image courtesy Social.Cut on Unsplash.

November is an important month for me, but this year, it is even more special. This month marks my one-year anniversary of being self-published!

It’s hard to believe a year has gone by already, and what a year it’s been (hello, 2020). When I first hit that ‘publish’ button, I thought I knew what I was in for. I had spent years reading up on self-publishing, but it wasn’t until I actually began my journey that I found there was still so much to learn. The best way to learn about anything is by doing!

Here are the biggest take-aways I have learned these past twelve months: –

Learn from our mistakes and be prepared to experiment

In some respects, I’m fortunate that I began self-publishing without a big bang. There have been plenty of highs and lows, and yes, I’ve made some mistakes, but we learn from them and try to do things better. It also helps to keep a bit of an open mind and experiment. It’s a matter of learning what works and what doesn’t.

Keep Finding Your Audience

Not everyone is going to like what you do, and that’s okay. We all have different tastes. We just need to find ways of locating our audience – they’re out there somewhere! You just need to keep rolling up your sleeves and put in the work.

Do What is Right for YOU

There is a lot of advice out there about the ‘best’ way to self-publish, but what works for one author won’t necessarily work for you. Some authors can do a ‘rapid release’ and produce quality work, but some may be like me and be in the ‘slow and steady’ camp. Neither one is right or wrong, you just need to do what fits with your personality.

Everyone’s journey is different

Having said that, it’s so easy to compare yourself to others. I’ve been doing this long before I hit that publish button and it still hasn’t changed. Whenever I compare myself to others, I take a step back and focus on my own writing and genre. I look at what I have accomplished so far and what I need to do to achieve my next goal. The writing journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Just keep moving forward one day at a time.

Love Your Network

I don’t think I would have got this far without my existing network. Apart from my husband, my support team has been entirely on-line. The writing community has been wonderful in their support, both for craft and morally. They have provided publicity for me, so I can reach readers that I would never have had access to, nor even considered. Cherish these people and reciprocate!

I love this quote! And I love getting creative with Canva & Book Brush too. 😉

Fellow writers, what have you learned this year on your writing journey? If you’re self-published, what was your biggest take-away during your first year? Has COVID-19 made you reassess your outlook and/or your goals?

Writing

The Business Side of Writing.

For the past few months, my husband and I have had to deal with such a shoddy business, we wonder how they have remained in business for so long.  I won’t bore you with the details, but it made me think of the business side of writing.  I have read that writing should be treated like a business, rather than trying to win the lottery.  Treat writing more seriously, and you will be taken seriously.

This is what I have learnt about being in business, staying in business and how it can be applied to writing:-

  • Treat your customers with the respect they deserve; without them, you have no business.  It comes in handy before you start writing to know who your customers are and what they’re interested in.  You then know who and what to aim for.  You’ll understand their needs and will be placed in a better position on how best to serve them.
  • Be polite to your customers and keep them informed with what is happening.  Keep customers informed by websites, blogs and social networks and make sure they are updated regularly.  Do not let the customer have to chase you.  Present yourself in a friendly, helpful manner – this will help endear you to your readers.  By taking a blase attitude of ‘if you don’t like it, go somewhere else’, then chances are your readers will.
  • You are there to supply a service – customers expect it of you to provide that service.  There is no point in providing a service that you yourself are not interested in, nor can you possibly remain in business if you do not do your job properly, or even at all.  Nobody; readers and editors alike will want to bother with you.
  • Do not make promises you can not keep.  If you have trouble with something, it’s easier to be honest about it, rather than letting editors wonder what is going on or leaving your readers wonder when your next book is coming out.  If you can’t do something or deliver on time, say so and stop wasting people’s time.

By providing a top quality customer service, you’ll ensure an honest working relationship with editors and a loyal following with your readers.

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