It's been quite a journey getting my first e-book It Takes Two to Know One: A Guide to Sacred Love & Intimacy birthed to the world. When I first saw it on Amazon, it didn't seem real and instead of elation, I kind of felt a sense of shock. Instead of celebrating with joy, I felt self-conscious and filled with self-doubt that perhaps I would be laughed at or criticized.
Sharing one's heartfelt creative work strips away all the protective layers that shelter the writer or artist from the fickle storms of public opinion. Then one day, we decide to brave those strong gusts and sudden cracks of thunder and step right into the middle of it.
Yikes! Our book, our baby...the one we've nurtured all these many moons, is naked and vulnerable and exposed to whatever the public decides to bestow upon her, whether gentle and loving or harsh and indifferent. We love her, but will anyone else? Worse, what if no one cares?
Writers who decide to share their work often do so with a bit of trepidation because it's a completely different world from the world we love in which we get to spend time doing our craft. The idea of sharing our work with readers who will enjoy our story or learn from our experience or wisdom is a big attraction, however, along with that comes the hard-to-swallow medicine of self-promotion and potential rejection or indifference.
Right now, things are pretty quiet around the sales of my book, but I'm just getting started. Who knows how things will unfold? The good news is that I have lots of books following that first one.
Though I'm still a newbie at self-publishing, I thought I'd share a few things I've learned...
- Everything takes longer than you expect: the writing, revising, book layout, e-conversion, distribution, promotion and so on. However, with that said, it's also a pretty straightforward process that anyone with solid writing talent and a plan can do if you take your time and follow the steps. Many writers get discouraged because the process seems so daunting. It's a lot of work, but it is within reach.
- You cannot do enough proofreading. I made the mistake of not hiring a professional proofreader and right when I and others thought they'd caught the last typo or error, another few would pop up. I began to think the original ones were having babies in the middle of the night. It's amazing how easy it is to miss a really obvious typo.
- You can't get there alone. Books may be written alone, but most writers are not good editors, proofreaders, cover designers or layout experts. Nor do many know how to promote their books. Self-publishing, at its best, is a collaborative effort.
- There are lots of ways to get a book published. Some are free or low cost and others are really expensive. The low cost ones require lots of work and the expensive ones do the work for you. The more you spend, the more time you have to do what you love (writing) and less time you'll have to pull your hair out over the stuff you hate (all the rest of it).
- The first one's always the hardest. That's the one you use to learn on. It's your beta test and you'll learn from your mistakes, so don't expect perfection. Enjoy the process and what you glean from it. See yourself smoothing the way for the next time.
That's it for now...I'm sure I'll have more to say in the coming weeks. Of course, I'll share any big news right here! For those of you who've bought my book, a BIG thanks! For those that haven't, I hope to count you among my readers. It's a fun and easy read and costs less than a Venti Latte at Starbucks! Hoping to eventually move from the world of e-books to print and even audio books! Fun...fun...fun!
For Kindle readers, you can pick up a copy on Amazon right here...
For IPad readers, you can pick up a copy on the iBookstore....
For Nook lovers, you can pick up a copy at Barnes & Noble here...