The Challenges of Self-Publishing

By Ramona Flightner/ @ramonaflightner

When I decided to dare to write a book, I began to write for the joy of it. I loved almost every aspect of it except writer’s block. Even that I began to see as my body’s way of giving me a much needed respite. I naively believed that I would write the book, find an agent, sell to a publisher and then sit at my computer again as I worked on my next book. What rose-tinted glasses I wore!

Now that I have decided to self-publish, I am learning just how complicated the entire process is. I decided to make a quick list of all the things I needed to do before my book comes out and I hit “to do #20” without even having to think hard. That’s when I started to have heart palpitations. Then, I took a deep breath and realized that everything would get done, but I just needed to prioritize and slowly check things off of my list.

One of the things I am learning a lot about is marketing. I read a wonderful book, How to Market Your Book by Joanna Penn. It is filled with vital information and I have read some parts more than once as it is very dense and it is hard to grasp all of the relevant information during the first read. I made the mistake of reading it at night before trying to fall asleep and spent a few restless nights thinking about all of the things I had yet to do. I learned to read it only during the day.

I am working with a professional editor, cover designer, and just found a web designer. It is all rather overwhelming, and yet rewarding at the same time. A few times I have muttered to myself that if I had known all this was entailed when I started writing, I never would have begun, but I know that is a lie. I love writing and cannot imagine stopping and I am trying to cultivate the same enthusiasm for marketing.

I spend hours on the web, reading blogs, learning different expert’s opinions and then trying to mold them into something relevant for my experience. I weigh their differing advice, knowing that there is no perfect way to do anything and that my needs are different from everyone else’s. It is all a work in progress, and I am amazed at how much there is to learn.

What do you like most about marketing? The least? I’d love to hear your thoughts!