Self-publishing: 30 Lessons I’ve Learned

I’m no expert in the field, and I haven’t seen much success, but if you’re interested, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned about self-publishing over the past 2 years. Note: these are my own opinions and there are always exceptions to the rule.

  1. Sell yourself, not your product.
  2. Don’t kid yourself, customers will judge a book by its cover.
  3. Poor formatting will ruin your book.
  4. Networking is really, really important.
  5. Writing well takes a shit ton of practice and studying (yes, that thing you thought you wouldn’t have to do after graduation).
  6. A unique voice will set your writing apart.
  7. If it’s your first book, be prepared to work your ass off and not achieve any success/see any profits for a long time (unless you already have a platform)
  8. Make friends in high places. Bloggers are your best friends.
  9. FREE content marketing is where it’s at.
  10. You get what you pay for (whether it’s PR services, editing, designing etc)
  11. There’s no cutting corners.
  12. Ads can only promote brand and product awareness, not necessarily sales.
  13. If you don’t do your homework, you will lose a lot of money on ads (Google, Amazon, FB or otherwise)
  14. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  15. You will get bad reviews and trolls. Maybe even stalkers.
  16. Old “friends” may turn on you.
  17. Your first book will probably suck. Your second will probably suck too.
  18. You need to know how to market yourself.
  19. There will always be someone more successful than you. Stop comparing.
  20. Do the best you can and be proud of your work.
  21. Luck does play a role in your success.
  22. Learn and hone your craft.
  23. KBoards and FB author groups are your friends.
  24. Facebook and Twitter are huge time sucks. Discipline yourself.
  25. Your stuff will get pirated.
  26. Have a good sense of humor and have fun.
  27. Don’t engage in shady practices (i.e. buying reviews). You will get caught.
  28. Be humble.
  29. Be grateful.
  30. Be you.

 

Happy writing,

Jackie

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