Self-Publishing: The First Hurdle

Welcome back to my self-publishing blog in 2020! Last year I finished off by talking about the self-publishing market and how navigating it can prove to be difficult. I spoke about how the market became saturated with new authors following the rise of self-publishing, and what this means for aspiring writers.

I’ve mentioned how self-publishing is completely different to working with a traditional publisher, and how a lot more work lands in the lap of the writer. It’s especially easy to become discouraged, so I want to talk about some of the ways we can grapple with the beast and avoid getting cold feet.

The first thing I would tell my younger self, back before I published my first book, would be to persevere and not get overwhelmed. When taking your first steps into self-publishing, it’s easy to give up and be disheartened. As a new self-publisher, you think your book will take off and become the next Game of Thrones or Harry Potter. Realising that it doesn’t work this way is a great strength.

Perseverance is a weapon every self-publisher should hold in their arsenal. Contrary to what Amazon would have you believe, you won’t publish your first book and wake up the next morning a superstar. This hard truth is something many writers (including myself) fail to understand, potentially leading to a lot of self-doubt and quitting.

In my experience, I became quite overwhelmed at both the aforementioned realisation and also the amount of work involved. For example, when working on my first book, I let myself be responsible for a whole publishing team. I wrote, edited, formatted, and marketed it. I even designed the cover, and it showed. My second book was different, as I took the load off myself by hiring freelancers, but more on that later.

So, with the naivety of a young newbie writer, my debut book sunk into the depths. It was swallowed up by algorithms and a sea of other young newbie writers all doing the same thing. I didn’t know how to persevere without getting frustrated and I certainly didn’t know how to stand apart from the crowd. I became part of it.

Understanding how much work is involved in self-publishing and learning to accept it and stay determined are two great tools for a self-publisher to wield. It is a challenging task and a long road, but it’s not without reward for those who are in it for the long haul.

Thank you for reading my first post for 2020 and I hope you stick with me through this journey!

Written by Steven Wain

Written by SCWC

Posted on March 12, 2020