Self-Publishing and Me

For the longest time I believed that self-publishing was the easy way out. A quick-fix. Something people did because they weren’t good enough to get an actual publisher.

I was wrong.

The thing is self-publishing is hard work. Really hard work. A lot harder than I ever expected it to be.

Is it true that anyone can self-publish? Yes. But it takes a different amount of time and work depending on how good/accurate/pretty you want you book to be. I fall in the “not-quite-perfect-but-still-want-it-to-not-have-glaring-errors-and-awful-formatting” category.

For the past ___ months I’ve been working on getting my manuscript to where it needs to be for publishing. Self-publishing is not an easy way out. It took me hours/days/months to get it to the point where I felt comfortable letting others read it. It’s not perfect. Despite having read it so many times I’m pretty sure I have all 278 pages memorized, I’m sure there are errors.

When you’re self-publishing you don’t have a whole team of people reading your book. You have you. And your writer mother. And one of your best friends. If you want more people than that you either have to bribe friends or pay an editor. So yes, there will be errors. Even in bestsellers there are errors and plot holes. It just happens. 90% of books aren’t perfect works of fiction.

Besides making sure your manuscript is in top-shape, you also have to get a cover designed. And market your book. And be active on social media. And write back cover copy. And format the print version of your book. And format the e-book version of your book. And create a playlist. And figure out what the heck Tumblr is. And start a business. And prepare tax info for your business. And work full-time and sleep occasionally.

Not to say that traditional publishing is any less work – I’m sure it’s not. I’m sure that it’s just as or even more difficult than self-publishing. All I’m saying is that self-publishing isn’t as easy as pie.

I was wrong. It’s not the “easy way out” or a “quick fix.”

The easy way out would have been to not publish it at all.

–Jessie

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