What I wish I had known before self-publishing

So much has happened this year that I decided to look back to when I started, fifteen months ago. If I could go back in time, what advice would I give myself, as a newly self-published writer? I turned to some awesome self-published writers, Tracey Pedersen, Heather C Myers, Erin Cawood, Sydney Aaliyah for their thoughts and what they’d tell themselves:

  • Once you finish one book, start writing the next and then another.
  • Focus on building your subscriber list and not making money. By doing everything well, the money will come.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. We’re all on our own journey. Don’t waste time comparing yourself or trying to work out what others are doing. Focus on yourself.
  • Focus on you, your books, your readers and your list. Be the most professional author you can be.
  • Don’t get caught up with how other authors are doing. Don’t waste your time looking at their sales ranking or reviews. Focus on you.
  • The journey is hard but every step, even the small ones, means you’re moving forward.
  • Don’t expect your friends to support you. Your friends may not buy your books or even share your Facebook posts. It’s upsetting but that’s how it is.
  • Some writers will think you’re not a good writer because you’re self-published. There is still a stigma that you’re not good enough since you’re not traditionally published. Again, focus on being the best writer you can be. Self-publishing is not for bad writers, it’s for motivated, savvy writers who write quality books.
  • Some of your friends and family won’t take you seriously (see above point). Instead of focussing on the hurt, we recommend you surround yourself with positive go-getters who want you to succeed.
  • You’re not just writing a book, you’re creating a product. Author Branding is thrown around a lot but it’s important to understand that author branding is important. It’s not just being on social media, having a website and blogging. It’s more personal than that, it’s a name.
  • Successful self-published writers have excellent books with a well-written story, professional editing and formatting as well as a quality well-made cover (not home made).
  • Successful self-published writers treat self-publishing as a business. They work on a marketing strategy, set targets, allocate budgets and work on the next book.
  • Many writers complain of not doing well. But to do well you need to be proactive, building your mailing lists and running promos.

 

It’s not the easiest path

As I’ve said before, self-publishing is hard. Anyone can put a book on Amazon and call themselves a “published author”. But to do well and create an income from your writing takes dedication, hours of work, drive and a go-getter attitude. Marketing and promotion can take up hours of each day and you can find yourself focusing on that instead of writing. It takes time to find the balance but it helps when you have knowledgeable and trustworthy writers you can depend on.

If you’re organized, have attention to detail and enjoy a challenge then self-publishing may be for you. In this market, there is plenty of room for traditionally published, self-published and hybrid authors to work side-by-side. However, self-publishing is not an option just because your book was rejected by a publisher.

But you can succeed


You self-publish because you want to do so and you want to treat your writing as a business. You need to invest a lot of money in yourself and do everything from writing, blurb, working with an editor, getting formatting, uploading, promotion, and marketing. If this sounds exciting to you, then self-publishing may be the right fit for you.

This month I’m launching my fifth romance and also fundraising for National Breast Cancer Foundation, as part of Pink Ribbon Month.

Happy writing. Until next month, Joanne

Joanne Dannon is an Australian author who writes to give her readers the experience she loves to savour–indulging in a sigh-worthy-happily-ever-after, being swept away from the everyday by diving into a delicious romance novel. Joanne is a happily married mother of two heroes-in-training who loves spending time with friends and family. She can be found on Facebook and her website www.joannedannon.com chatting about reading, writing, cooking, vintage-inspired dresses and all things romantic.

Falling for Mr Wrong

As a nanny, Tilly Walker is more comfortable with her young charges than dodging the English press. But that’s exactly what she has to do when unwittingly caught up in a marriage scandal with a highly regarded Minister of Parliament. Fleeing to the safety of her great-aunt in Jerusalem, the last person sheFalling for Mr Wrong imagines becoming involved with is an undercover reporter who follows her all the way from England.

Lone wolf Nathaniel Morgan-Young is a political journalist who must break Tilly’s story to vindicate past injustices, deceiving her to get the information he needs. But when Nate unexpectedly falls for the very real woman behind the Naughty Nanny scandal, he desperately wants her to know the truth. Will he be able to convince her to trust him again, once he has his story? Can he find the right words to make her come back, mend his wounds from the past and make him whole again?

Praise for Joanne Dannon – “A handsome, mysterious Englishman; a feisty nanny and an exotic setting – what more could you ask for? Joanne Dannon delivers a sexy, emotional story with a relatable heroine and a hero worth falling for.” – Leah Ashton, RITA Award winning author.

Currently, Falling for Mr Wrong is only available on Amazon

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