Self Publishing Learning Curve

Diagram of publishing

In the last few months, I’ve been getting a crash course in independent publishing from idea generation to distribution. Candidly, the process is considerably more work than I anticipated but I am excited about the feedback from beta testers and the continued validation about potential readership appeal. I will report much more about what I’ve learned as my first of several books gets closer to a launch in early 2017.

For now, I offer three observations:

  • Writing for profit is a serious business. One should have a good idea, investigate competitors and figure out how the final book should be priced, marketed and sold. For each of the two books I’ve been working on in 2016, I expended considerable time on market research, conducting field interviews and talking to publishing professionals about format, fulfillment models and budgeting. I ended up writing a 100 page proposal for each book. I subsequently wrote the drafts, edited several times and asked individuals to give me feedback before finalizing each manuscript.
  • Read what industry pundits have to say about writing techniques, publishing trends and lessons learned from commercially successful authors. Authors, agents and publishers are often generous with their insights. Luckily, I’ve found some wonderfully experienced persons to help me navigate the sometimes choppy literary waters.
  • Stay focused and optimistic. Even a well-prepared person can falter at the cash register but my view is that your chances are vastly improved if you are informed and organized.