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Self-publishing : What an author should and shouldn't do

Is your book lost in the pile?
Is your book lost in the pile?
Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images

Don’t write a work, edit it, release it and then publicize.

Do start publicizing right after making the decision to finish a work and publish it. If a writer can see into the future, or might want to publish someday, he or she should start promoting right away. Even authors planning on going the “traditional publishing route” should publicize as soon as possible. All authors have to do it anyway.

Don’t write one book and expect it to take off on its own and make a million in months. That would be a Holy Miracle.

Do expect to make chump change for quite a while. Legend has it that authors used to make it big by self-publishing back in “the day” (nine months ago) before everyone realized how easy it was. It isn't that way now. Sorry.

Don’t expect to be professional enough to produce quality work as an editor unless you are an editor, and even then, don’t. It won't get professional results because the best writer can't always see his or her own mistakes. Also, don’t expect Uncle Joe is capable either unless he is certified or has worked in that capacity for years.

Do have lots of people read the work before publishing to make sure other people understand it. Do employ a professional editor for quality work.

Don’t try to follow every bit of marketing advice online. It won’t all work and it isn't all the right choice for what is being promoted.

Do follow the advice that works for the genre and focus on that so there is time left to write more.

Don’t think that self-publishing will be the easier route. It is just a different kind of work.

Do expect to learn a lot and work hard.


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