Self-Publishing Mistakes, Screw-ups and Disasters

Over time, from talking to a lot of authors, I came to realize something really important about publishing your own books: a lot of people are afraid.

No, wait, I mean it. There are several kinds of fear you run into over and over again when asking authors about their publishing plans, and whether they will take the leap into self-publishing.

It might be

  • fear of doing it wrong, or
  • fear of looking like an idiot, or
  • fear of the negative opinions of others, like book reviewers, or
  • fear of appearing illegitimate to other, traditionally-published authors, or
  • fear that money, time and effort will be wasted, or
  • fear of being ripped off, scammed, or otherwise taken advantage of.

You get the picture, and I could go on.

These are all legitimate concerns, and in our best moments we understand that these fears can actually help us to produce a better book. They make us vigilante about mistakes, and about doing our homework as best we can before we hand our precious manuscripts over to someone else we hardly know.

But sometimes these fears get the better of us, don’t they? Then, we get stuck.

We’re afraid to move forward, while all the time realizing we can’t possibly move backward. So there we stay, stuck.

This is particularly unfortunate when it comes to authors. Writers have something to contribute to our larger society, a piece, however small, to add to the cultural mosaic.

When you get stuck, you don’t contribute your piece.

Self-publishing isn’t brain surgery or rocket science. Any intelligent, attentive writer can do it, and they can do it well if they prepare themselves with education and training. With attention to good practices and an understanding of the dynamics of how books are produced, marketed and sold, a writer has nothing to fear from the process.

And it’s pretty forgiving. You can overcome almost any calamity, if you know how.

In the second video in the free series of training videos from the Self-Publishing Roadmap, I take these fears on head-first. I also run through some common mistakes that new self-publishers make, and how you can avoid them. It will be posted early this week.

Understanding our own hesitations, fears, worries and concerns is really important to making progress, getting those books out.

That’s why I think your mindset is one of the most important assets you can possess when you get involved in self-publishing.

When that second video is ready to go, I’ll let you know here on the blog. Or you can sign up for the Self-Publishing Roadmap Early Notification List to make sure you don’t miss it.

Do you have those fears? How do you deal with them, or have you found a way to keep going, despite the nagging worries?

 

This is a reprint from Joel Friedlander‘s The Book Designer.

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