So right now, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I know I’m not the only one, but this whole self-publishing thing….


So where am I right now?  I’m at the beginning.  The Red Dress is finished, but now I starting to figure out what I need to do beyond that. So as I judge things, I’m smack dab in the middle of the beginning.  Thankfully, there are a few people that I’ve talked to who’ve given me some idea of where I need to go and what I need to do (I’m looking at you Rachael).  Thanks to them, I have a rough list of need to do.

It follows (and not necessarily in this order):

  1. Buy ISBNs
  2. Set up publishing imprints for both ebooks and traditional print
  3. Set up ebooks for both Amazon and other e-retailers
  4. Finish prepping my cover (I may need to rework what I’ve already done)
  5. Get all the copyright and title page and the usual interior stuff completed.
  6. Set up marketing opportunities
  7. Find reviewers for The Red Dress (I have no idea where to start that)
  8. Ask and join in Author interviews to promote the book
  9. Cry a little.

Wow.  That seems like a lot to me.  It feels like there’s even more that I’ve missed.  But if you ask me, #9 might be repeated a few times.

So where do I go from here?  If I’m being honest, I have very little clue.  There are a few sources that I am hoping to use to help me out.    So I am left with questions.

  1. Where do I find people willing to help me market my book?
  2. Where do I find reviewers?
  3. How far out should I start giving glimpses?
  4. How can I cry a little and not lose face to my wife?

Important questions, each and every one.  Plus, I know there are more.  The more you know, the more questions you have.

But I know I’ll figure it out in the end.  I need to stay positive if I want to get anywhere.  Stay positive and work hard.  Both of those are very do-able.

Maybe this is a small plea for help.  If anyone has anything they’d like to say or add to help me out, please speak up.  Normally, I love to hear from you, but it goes double in this case.  So, if you are interested in helping me out or have any advice, please let me know in the comments below.

Either way, I know I will figure this out in the end.  Confidence, right?



6 thoughts on “Self-Publishing Frustrations

  1. 1. Why does your ebook need an ISBN? And if you’re publishing your paperback through Createspace, why not use the free one they give you?

    2. Why do you need an imprint?

    3. If you wrote in Word using Styles, this isn’t too bad for Amazon. I hadn’t used Styles, meaning I had to go reformat. Even with Styles, one of them screwed up. Yeah, this part is a bit of a pain in the neck the first time. Once you set up a template for future books, though, it’s not bad.

    Question: Have you thought about just publishing to Amazon and not using the other markets? There are advantages to going wide, but a lot of debut authors find that the advantages of going exclusive with Amazon outweigh them, at least initially.

    4. Your cover is vitally important. It sounds like you’ve done it yourself? If so (or really, even if not), I highly encourage you to post it at kboards and get opinions.

    6. Not sure what you mean by marketing opportunities. With only one book out, it’s hard to justify doing a lot of promotion. Better to get to work on the next book in the series. However, a lot of people do like doing big launches, so if that’s what you want, I can’t gainsay you. Just make sure you have a plan. Again, kboards is your friend.

    7. Make sure you’re getting reviewers for the right reasons. The two best reasons for me are a) to get feedback on your writing from actual readers and b) a lot of promo sites require a certain number. Note, however, that a) I’ve seen zero actual hard proof that reviews help you sell books. and b) most promo sites waive the review requirement for new releases. Basically, why exactly are you soliciting reviews?

    8. Ugh. If you enjoy them, sure. To me, seems like a lot of effort for negligible return.

    9. Again, kboards is your friend. No need to be overwhelmed.

    Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just used the free ISBN that Createspace provided. I haven’t put much thought into setting up an imprint yet.

    And if I’m honest, I was quite stressed trying to format everything and reached out to several indie publishing friends for advice, but it definitely went smoother with their advice.

    Best of luck with everything! I don’t have a ton of experience with self publishing, having only self published the one book, but I can do a few encouraging cheers if need be. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I will always take the encouraging cheers. That helps a lot, believe it or not. So cheer away! 😀

      I am thinking about just using Amazon rather than all the imprints. Not sure just yet, but I am thinking about it.

      Thank you for the support!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 1. Buy ISBNs: IF you decide to use anything for free through Createspace, be advised that they are considered your “publisher”, no imprint of your own required, though there is no cost to becoming your own imprint (unless you choose the $10 ISBN, paying that money to retain the right to be your own imprint, but only use them for distributions). Since you are only publishing your own books you register yourself/imprint under your own SSN, so no biggie there. BUT if you use the free stuff, then plan on buying ISBNs later if you want to remarket and have full authority over your book and its distribution.

    2. Set up publishing imprints for both ebooks and traditional print: See above.

    3. Set up ebooks for both Amazon and other e-retailers: IF you plan to go beyond the scope of Createspace and Kindle Direct, then you will want to focus on Kindle and Smashwords. Smashwords is totally free and has expanded distribution outside the Amazon site for ebooks, if you want to broaden your market in that way.

    4. Finish prepping my cover: I don’t know much about kboards, but any resource that helps an indie author at no additional cost is worth checking out!

    5. Get all the copyright and title page and the usual interior stuff completed: The templates on Createspace are great for this for paper books, and Smashwords has a really good style guide that walks you through ebook formatting that they prefer, which also teaches you how to use the Styles to format for good ebook conversion.

    6. Set up marketing opportunities: This doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds, though it does require time. It really doesn’t matter if it’s your first book or twentieth, though, marketing your stuff, getting your name and face out there, no matter how new you are, is not a wasted effort, unless you are more interested in building a library of books before a readership. Do some research on email lists for ways to make a solid reader base for marketing if you want the readership in conjunction with the book releases.

    7. Find reviewers for The Red Dress: I’d be curious to know which promo sites OneReasonablePerson is referring to in regard to first books having a review requirement waived. Or even a requirement. Most don’t if you pay. BookBub is the hardest to attain. But maybe I’m looking in the wrong places. The reason you want reviews so much is basically for Amazon and not much else. It’s the biggest selling machine of books and some of their algorithms for the visibility of your book amidst the masses is directly attached to reviews. The more traffic to your book on their site and the more reviews you have for the book the better the ranking of your book. Beyond reader feedback, this is the main reason you really want reviews.

    8. Ask and join in Author interviews to promote the book: Interviews go right along with marketing. It is a tool to help make you and your writing more memorable. Most things people see go the visual cortex and out the with the short-term memory. Being present and accessible through interviews spreads your name, book, face, story, across the internet where you are more likely to be seen. It’s about making an impression.

    9. Cry a little: Enjoy a good cry then get right back to work.

    Ultimately, the place to start before you look at any of this is to ask yourself if you want to stick with Amazon only or if you want to take on other markets. (Keep in mind that, Createspace (Amazon) does have expanded distribution available, but the free & $10 options limit you to only working with Createspace and their distribution) Here’s the breakdown of their ISBN options: If you buy your own ISBNs then you are not required to work within their distribution. The only way to later update from Free/$10 is to get new ISBNs and restart the process (which doesn’t have to be as bad as it sounds!)

    Liked by 1 person

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