- You shouldn’t expect that anything is going to be easy. This is going to be a lot of work. Formatting is hard work. Promotion is hard work. Social Media and building a platform is a lot of work. Everything that a publishing company does, you have to do for yourself or pay someone to do it.
- You shouldn’t expect things to take off quickly. I’m not saying they won’t, but they probably won’t. This isn’t the cusp of the e-publishing era anymore. Just look out there and see the many, many books. It’s hard to stand out among those even if you have a great book.
- You shouldn’t expect to do it all for free. You’ll spend money somewhere. There’s no way to escape it. If you go the super-cheap route like me, you’ll still spend more money than you thought. Amazon wouldn’t bother if they weren’t making any money off of selling your work.
- You shouldn’t expect everyone to be excited about your work. This one was hard for me. I had really hoped that I could get at least 50 sales out of my 250 Facebook friends. Didn’t happen. I don’t know if it is just that they aren’t readers, or that they aren’t readers of Fantasy or Science Fiction, but they weren’t very interested. They have been less interested in subsequent books too. It’s not as if it was too expensive for them. Just because I would get excited about a friend writing a book, doesn’t mean anyone else will. Also, almost a year into my journey, people are still just noticing that I wrote a book. I don’t know what to say about that. I’ve bugged them enough about it, I’m sure.
- You shouldn’t expect anyone else to do it for you. They do, frequently. People you never expected support from just appear and do amazing things for you because they are so cool! But you can’t go at it expecting it. You have to roll up your sleeves and attack it yourself. People respect that and offer to help because you are taking the initiative.
The reason I still love self-publishing:
Even though it isn’t what I expected, it has brought so many unexpected, wonderful things to me! I now know and work with people around the world. The work that I slogged through myself is now knowledge that I own like treasure, saved up. I can help others with what I know. I can drop everything and make cinnamon toast for my kids, but still write things I love and share them with others. (My kids just interrupted me asking for cinnamon toast.) I can reach people all over the world with my experience, all while sitting in a chair in my living room, in my bathrobe. (Yep. I really did.)