At the beginning of 2020, I finally published my first novel after a year and a half of tirelessly working on the manuscript (Fun fact- I actually designed the cover🔥). It’s been exactly a year now, and in this first #BYJOLAAGuideTo…, I share my experience with self-publishing and four top tips if you’re ever thinking of self-publishing. Let’s go!
Research, Research, Research!!
So, you’re working on your manuscript or you have a first full draft and you’re thinking of publishing options. I think the most important thing is to understand what your publishing goal is (and the aim of publishing), who your target audience is and also your intended budget (in the event you don’t get a publishing contract with a publishing house). Once you’ve gotten a good grasp of this, my next piece of advice is: RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!! The importance of research for authors intending to self-publish, cannot be overstated! You need to know and understand how the publishing industry works, and which option is best suited to your needs and that of your target audience. Read articles, watch videos, speak to someone in the industry if you know anyone.
Resilience & Discipline.
Rejection is such an important ingredient to success. Read that again. Fact is, you’re going to experience numerous rejections in one way or the other. I can’t begin to list the number of companies I sent my manuscript out to, and yes, I GOT REJECTED numerous times. But I never got tired of seeing those rejections (weird I know). Why? I think it reminded me of how far I’d come- that I’d actually taken this big leap and put my creative work out there for professional scrutiny- scary as hell😂. Ultimately, the question is how do you respond? Do you let these rejections determine the outcome of your goal? Remember- life is 90% about your reactions- do you take rejections in good stride or allow it determine your outlook on your potential in the long run?
Creativity in Solutions
After getting my multiple rejections from publishing companies, knowing I had a goal in mind, I set out researching on alternative ways to publish (and cost effective ways). This made me realise that Amazon’s kindle direct publishing programme offered me the best alternative, especially in catering to my target audience- it was a relatively straightforward process, and for potential readers, offered the opportunity to either purchase hardcopy version or the e-book, saving me any extra resources in publishing an e-book version separately. Additionally, I enrolled on the KDP select fund programme which allowed me sell my book under kindle unlimited for free, for a period of time (and make 35% royalties from every free book downloaded). What’s the point? Thinking about it now, if I hadn’t thought outside of the ‘publishing companies’ box, I never would have realised the world of opportunities available to me regarding self-publishing.
Self-Confidence is Key!
If you don’t have confidence in yourself and your abilities, how would you expect your future company to do so? Similarly, if you can’t see your OWN value, how do you expect your future employer to do same? This is probably the most important thing I learnt throughout this journey. Know yourself inside and out, and importantly, BELIEVE in that self knowledge! It was this self believe that convicted me enough to take the self-publishing route- that I have value to share to the world, I believe in my art and I believe in my content. Till today, these are things I still say to myself until I’m sure I’m actively believing them.
So there you have it, my top 4 tips for self-publishing!
Of course, if you’re curious or have any questions, don’t not hesitate to email or message me and I’ll be sure to respond!
Till the next one, Peace & Light!