Friday, September 14, 2012
Self-pubbing: Not a fad diet
About five years ago now, after years of the college lifestyle hit my waist line, I decided that yo-yo dieting was enough and I had to do something to change. I joined Weight Watchers, lost almost 50 lbs and felt better than ever, but of course the weight eventually came back on after having a kid and my love of french fries.
I tried to go back and do Weight Watchers again, tried every diet in the book and none of them worked. Why? Because it's not about doing a fad diet it's about a lifestyle change.
The same thing can be said for self-pubbing. People look at the careers of authors like Amanda Hocking or Hugh Howey and think that is their fast track for getting their book out there and become a billionare. I'm here to say that like a fad diet, self-pubbing success doesn't always happen over night and it's more about changing your attitude then just putting something up on Amazon.
Not all diets/books are created equal.
So your friend self-pubbed her book and now makes 10K a month from writing? Why can't you? Well, there is a possiblity that you can, but more than likely it's not going to happen overnight. Your friend might be Amanda Hocking that hit it big when self-pubbing started and for some reason your little book about aliens just isn't getting an audience. Does it mean you give up on your self-pubbing diet? Now on to exhibit two...
You have to be in it for the long haul
Sure, there are people that you see their success and you think "Man they did that in no time!" But then did you look at the big picture? Did that person spend three years building their platform before they published? Sure, some people will get success right away and then you see amazing authors like M. Leighton that have fourtneen books published and it was their fourteenth book that got them on the NY Times best seller list. Patience is the key.
Shortcuts don't help you
Think you can just go a few days with eating salads and the weight wont come back when you eat normal? Wrong. It's the same with self-pubbing. You want to get the book out quickly and start making money so you scimp on editing, having your critique partners look at it, but still think it's fine. Then the reviews role in complaining about typos, you get returns galore and wonder why all your "weight" came back.
Jealousy doesn't help you
I whine all the time when someone bounces back from having a baby and looks like a model, but does it help me feel any better? No. Don't compare yourself to anyone because all that is going to get you is dissapointment. Sure she may have sold more books than you, but maybe look at what she's done to market her books. If you do the same thing and it doesn't work, remember that not all fad diets are created equal. I did some paid advertising that other Indelibles did. They had a multitude of sales, I think I got one or two.
Sweat is just weakness leaving the body.
I saw this in a Nike ad. Throughout my weight loss time I spent a lot of time crying and a lot of time sweating. There were weeks that I lost two pounds and weeks that I'd gained two pounds. The key is to not give up. The same goes for self-pubbing. There will be days you sell absolutely nothing, heck, with the first six months of How to Date an Alien being on sale, I barely sold a book a day. I cried a lot, put a lot of effort in to marketing, and still nothing. I cried a lot, A LOT, but then I realized that I had to pick myself up and keep pushing. I put out the second alien book and then put out My Paper Heart. I'm not making 10K in sales a month, but I'm doing well enough that I think I can get that new MacBook Pro I've been eyeing and possibly get the bigger car I really want in a few months.
Some people will get published and do well and some wont. But if you want to do well in self-publishing you have to remember, it's not a fad diet, you have to be in it for the long haul to see results.
You can find her online at www.maganvernon.com
or support here and pick up a book on Amazon (she promises that none of them are about fad diets, but do include prailines)