Five Lessons Learned About Self Publishing
Two years certainly passes by in a flash. As I write this, Diviner’s Prophecy is two years old, has gone through two different covers, had thousands of downloads and sold hundreds of copies of Diviner’s Curse and Diviner’s Fate. It has been a wild ride. When I first hit that publish button two years ago, I never knew how much my life would change. It started out as a way to prove I could do it. I wanted to finish a novel. I finished it and then I sat on it. I didn’t know what to do so I did some research and learned about my publishing options. The more I looked the more I knew I could only go indie. Call it willfulness, stubbornness, or whatever you want, but I am a bit of a control freak. I wanted complete control of my writing. So I did it. And I’ll be honest when I say the beginning was rough. I had no idea how to help people find my book. Cue more research. After much more late nights and lots of worrying, I set Diviner’s Prophecy to free and never looked back. It’s been an amazing journey. Maea and Johai will always be my first characters, the ones I will look fondly upon as my oldest children. But I’ve grown and learned a lot about writing and now I seem to be bursting with ideas. Well here is the reason for my post, biggest lessons learned after two years published.
- Do Not Rush
This is a character flaw of mine that I am working on all the time. I have a habit of just jumping in guns a blazin’ I did that a bit with publishing. Yes I learned all about how to publish but I still made some sloppy mistakes. I have now put in measures for quality control, which helps with some of the stupid errors I’ve made in the past. (Posting a book with only two chapters. Doh!) Which brings me to my next lesson.
- Learn From Your Mistakes
You hear this all the time but it definitely rang true with me. I’ve made some errors along the way but I’ve grown a whole lot too. (seeing a pattern here?) If I hadn’t picked a cover that I loved but did not appeal to others, I would not know to be more scrupulous with my cover choices. I still adore my cover designer, she has made some of the most beautiful covers for me. I’ve just learned to communicate better with her.
- Planning, planning, planning
As mentioned before I tend to rush in without thinking. But what I have learned is to take my time plotting my novels. (saves a whole lot of time in the revising stage) but also plan my writing schedule, and plan my releases, and blogs, like this one. I aim to be better about updating this blog more often. This is my public declaration!
- Keep Learning
As I continue to grow as an author, and as a person. (yes I’m a real adult now). I realize I am never going to master anything. I went through this arrogant period where I thought I knew everything. As I get older, I realize you’re never going to stop learning. I’m still discovering ways to make my writing better.
- Shake it Off
This sounds sort of Zen but I have decided to start letting things go that I cannot control. If you’re like me and small things just eat at you. letting it go, as Elsa would say, really helps to relieve yourself of all the negative energy. I have decided to not let negative reviews effect me. When 80% positive, why waste my time on the 20% that didn’t like it? Obviously I cannot please everyone. As much as I would like to.
Alright, jumping off my high horse here, I just thought I would share some thoughts. As for the future, I have a lot going on. Now its your turn any life lessons you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments.