Things You Should Not Expect When Self-Publishing


I’m not claiming ultimate authority, or that I can see your personal future. But there are some things you shouldn’t expect to happen when you self-publish.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)

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Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Things You Should Not Expect When Self-Publishing

  1. Hey Kate, how are you… Hey Thanks for Following “The Dark Globe”… It’s June Follower’s Appreciation Month over there, you should Check it out

    DarkJade-

  2. This is my favorite post. Thanks for the hope 🙂

  3. Tima Maria Lacoba

    Kate, you’re so right. I’m just discovering all that since embarking on my own self-publishing journey with CreateSpace. Facebook is useful, but you know who your real ‘friends’ are when you ask for Likes (as I did on my author page). I needed nine, so sent a fb message out and got back five. Which I suppose is better than nothing, but it was disappointing. I’m still waiting for four more.

    • I think a lot of the problems with facebook come from the fact that they made it useless. I’m certain that people who actually want to see my posts miss them. How are the people who have no clue supposed to see?

    • Wow. You have 5? I have 2….and one of them is me….LOL.

      I’ll look you up 🙂

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