I’ve self-published my ebooks off and on for 10+ years now. While this service is fantastic and I do suggest it for anyone interested, it isn’t without its faults. Today I want to discuss various self-publishing realities that not only writers face but any other artist or content creator going the independent route. This way you can prepare to endure the lengthy journey ahead.
Self Publishing Realities: You Must Pay To Play
When you go the self-publishing route no matter what industry you’re in, you must pay to advertise yourself. If not, then building your brand and gaining the public’s attention will become nearly impossible.
Yes, you can build your brand through free, organic means like deploying a website and through word-of-mouth but the Internet is vast place. Thus, you will get lost in the shuffle. If you want to stand out then you must pay for attention.
First, buy a domain name. There are inexpensive and you will need one for your website, which is the next service you need to pay for. Yes, I know you can build and deploy a website for free but those services usually don’t allow you to use a custom domain name. Services like WordPress.com start at $48 a year for their basic website. People spend more than that on Netflix subscriptions.
Third, invest in advertising. Again, this service can be expensive depending on the type of campaign you want to run but the return on investment is worth it. Yet, the public respond well to ads and many do the products and/or services shown to them through this media.
Finally, pay for the services of individuals who can help you succeed in self-publishing. You only have so much time in the day and you can’t spend it all building your website, marketing yourself, selling your products, and creating your art. So spend some money to pay others to use their time to run your ads, or build your website, or promote your event.
Self Publishing Realities: You Must Learn How To Sell
When you’re an independent artist and you go the self-publishing route, you must learn how to sell. Hence, if you can’t sell yourself or are unwilling to then this journey is not for you.
Frankly, I avoided this lesson. I didn’t like to talk to individuals and sell my books due to fear. I feared rejection. Yet, every good salesperson knows rejection is part of their job. Everyone is not going to say yes. Thus, you have to face that reality.
So I became friends with rejection. I learned it isn’t a mean friend. Rejection comes around because a person may not have the money for my book. Or rejection pays a visit because a person is just browsing. Finally, rejection appears because the person needs convincing.
I watch YouTube videos to learn different selling techniques. And I learned how to compose myself when I ran into a difficult customer. Now I feel very comfortable telling people I’m a writer and advertising my books.
Self Publishing Realities: The Starving Artist Trope Is True
All self-publishing content creators must face the reality that we will not make vast sums of money from our art immediately. We aren’t going to get an advance of pay from a publisher or music label to live. And if we pursue our art full-time the starving artist trope becomes true quick.
I highly suggest you have some form of income during your self-publishing journey. It can be a part-time job, contract/freelance work, a spouse/partner, or a fat savings account. You need money to live because you can’t create music or paint when the lights are out or hunger gnaws at you due to lack of funds.
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