Did Someone Say It Would Be Easy?

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In all the time I’ve been researching self-publishing, self-publishing myself and reading about the experiences of other writers who’ve self-published (I started my self-publishing shenanigans in November 2009), I’ve never once come across a post by a self-published author that said “My book started selling 1,000s of copies every day almost from the first one. One Friday I couldn’t quite make my rent, and the next I was counting out a wad of cash in front of my landlord, saying “Heck, I’ll just buy the place!”‘ Or, ‘What really amazed me was how, mere hours after I published my e-book, it shot up to the very top of the Amazon charts and never left! All I had to do was press the “Publish” button!’ Or ‘I still can’t believe how easy it was to become a bestselling self-published author!’

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What I have seen plenty of lately, however, are what I call the ‘Woe Is Me, The Failed Self-Published Author’ posts. These are usually written, as far as I can see, by writers who came to self-publishing having previously been traditionally published and/or worked in the publishing industry, or perhaps been a journalist. There’s usually a back-story ranging somewhere on the scale from mild professional disappointment (got a good deal some years ago but the books didn’t sell as well as hoped) to red-rage bitterness seasoned with contempt (has dart board of agent’s face in office, refuses to this day to read any books published by writer’s former publishing house, rubs hands together with glee like psychopathic cartoon villain whenever bad news for the traditional publishing industry comes out), and then a more recent unhappy result to add to it: they self-published five minutes ago, and it didn’t go well.

They might put this down to the Everest of an obstacle they can’t find a way up: obscurity. With literally millions of books out there for readers to choose from, how can they possibly convince anyone to buy theirs? And that would be after they find them and tell them about it, which seems harder still. Or maybe they’re too good for that Twittering business [insert eye roll], so they haven’t used social media at all, and goddammit, they don’t even want to live in a world where no one reads anything except stuff they found out about online. (It reminds me of a participant at a workshop I was at, who told the social media expert at the end of two intensive days that ‘Books sold before all this, you know.’ His response: ‘Yes, they did, but they weren’t self-published.’) Perhaps they have failed to take in a single smidgen of the free advice that seems to now coat a large section of the blogosphere, and didn’t release an e-book edition. Or maybe they strode into this new world still carrying a map of the old one, and relied on things like print media and radio interviews (printed or aired in a specific geographical region) to sell their self-published book (available worldwide but only online).

Maybe they didn’t do anything wrong at all. Maybe they did it all right. But it still didn’t work.

The point of these articles, of course, is to try and make it work. The title of the book is mentioned plenty of times, and there might even be a cheeky link to its Amazon listing. I think that bodes well for the book’s future, because it’s a really good idea. (In a way, it’s how I’ve made my books sell. Blogging is responsible for a lot of my first book’s sales, at least in the beginning.) But what I resent about these ‘Woe is Me’ articles is that, more often than not, they seem to suggest that those of us who say you should self-publish and that you can sell books and you can begin to make a living (or at least part of one) from the thing you love to do most of all are wrong, that you can’t do it and you shouldn’t bother.

Because this writer failed at self-publishing, we must be making the stories of our success up.

(Side note: I notice that none of these articles ever ponder whether or not the author has just self-published a book that no one wants to read. See here and here for more about the No. 1 thing you need to know about self-publishing: nobody gives a tiny rodent’s arse about your book.)

Did somebody say self-publishing was easy?

Did somebody say success was guaranteed?

Did somebody say it was easy, success was guaranteed and that hitting No.1 on Amazon would happen overnight?

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I know three successful self-publishers who, at first glance, could be considered to have had an easy time of it getting to the top. The first doesn’t blog, tweet or do any sort of organized promotion, but she’s sold nearly 80,000 copies of her novel and just got a two-book traditional publishing deal. BUT she wrote an amazing novel, heavily invested in editorial input and stunning cover art and worked hard to release it on a date that corresponded to the centenary of an historic event at the novel’s core. Another has four or five books consistently high up in Amazon’s charts, and also just signed a traditional deal based on their success. BUT she has been tirelessly blogging and commenting on blogs daily since before I ever published a post, probably devoting 1-2 hours per day to it, everyday, and she writes 2-3 books a year and still manages to engage with her fans all the time online. And of course, she’s written books people really love to read. And my third Amazon bestseller who, I’m sure, is on the verge of a traditional deal, would appear to have easily sold well over 300,000 copies of novels she writes publicly plus ones in an entirely different genre that she writes under a pen-name, and even if you asked her she would say she didn’t do much promotion. BUT again, she wrote great books (and wrote lots of them), invested in editing and professional cover design, and used the contacts she had in her other life as a book reviewer to secure glowing blurbs from top names. And I know what your reaction is here: she had contacts. Yes, but once upon a time, she didn’t. She didn’t know anyone. Then she started reviewing books on her blog, and did such a great job of it that publishers started offering her the books for free, and then when it came time to publish her own books, her hard work was rewarded because it helped her give a leg up. The hard work she did was in making a name for herself as a book blogger.

I’m a big believer in the idea that succeeding at self-publishing is doable. With a book people want to read, determination, dedication and a LOT of time and hard work, you can make it happen. But it’s certainly not easy, and if you think it is, I can’t begin to imagine where you got that idea.

Because it’s not. It takes time. When I first self-published I was unemployed, and so had nothing else to do all day but work on self-publishing. Even then, it took at least six months (of working full-time on it) to get to 100 copies per month, and a year to get above that.

That was in 2009 and today, in 2013, it’s still not easy. In May I released the first installment in a collection of essays, Travelled, that has barely sold any copies at all, despite the fact that the book of mine that’s most like it is my bestselling one. I’m not surprised, but I did absolutely nothing to promote it except mention it in a blog post here the day it became available, and on my Facebook page at the same time. That’s literally all I did. (Being released in installments, I might do some promotion when the ‘full book’ is out at the end of the year.) So even though I have three successful books, truckloads of blog and Twitter followers and a FB page with over 1,000 likes, I still can’t just publish a book and sit back and relax. It never gets easier. With the continuing growth of self-publishing’s popularity, it might just get harder and harder as time goes on.

People just don’t want everything that’s put in front of them. For example, I loved The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, but I couldn’t find a thing to like about her follow-up, The Almost Noon. This isn’t the way with just books, though: it’s everything in the world. Think of an album you had on repeat for at least a year of your life, and the follow-up to it that you can’t even name. (I’m thinking of Craig David’s. And James Blunt’s. And did Damien Rice ever release anything after O?) Or the movies that come out that nobody goes to see. (I’m thinking Movie 43, one of the biggest bombs of the summer.) That’s partly why I think it’s so funny that one of the main Anti-Publishing arguments is that publishers don’t know what sells books, why one works and one doesn’t. Um… that’s, like, all of the books? In fact, it’s all of the stuff…? Some self-published books will sell, and some won’t. Some products will sell, and some won’t. That’s just the way the world works, because with so many factors influencing purchases, it’s impossible to predict what people will rush out to buy and what they’ll stay at home and ignore.

Success at self-publishing is not guaranteed. But then I can’t think of much in life where it is. What I do know is this though: you should still try.

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And here’s a thought for today, following on from my book blogger friend having contacts now but not always: in a lot of these ‘How can we combat obscurity?!’ groans, CuckooGate is frequently cited as being evidence that even great books can’t compete in today’s publishing world. You must have a leg-up, like a well-known name. JK Rowling has two Top 2 bestseller spots: one for a (many would say) mediocre novel and one for a (reportedly) fabulous crime novel that she wrote under another name. People are buying them just because JK Rowling wrote them, because she could write a Post-It note now or a shopping list, and people would buy it. And since The Cuckoo’s Calling sold less than 1,500 copies in hardcover prior to Rowling-connection reveal (which, news flash, is actually not that bad for a debut in hardcover that’s 30 times the price of most self-published e-books), this proves publishing is in the toilet, unknown authors can’t compete and in ten year’s time, the shelves of bookstores—if there’s any of those left—will only be stocked with novels James Patterson wrote the outlines for.

Except that J.K. Rowling was once nobody at all who got numerous rejections for her debut novel, was told there’s no money in children’s books and got only a £2,500 advance for a novel that not only became the first in a series of globally mega-selling books, but spawned a blockbuster movie franchise and a cash-cow for Universal Orlando, and turned Rowling into a billionaire.

Rowling wasn’t born a brand name. She earned the right to sell things just because her name is on them. She started from total obscurity, just like all of us will or did.

How have we all forgotten that?

How are you feeling about self-publishing these days? Did you think it would be easier than it proved it be, or have you been pleasantly surprised? 

Yes, my blogging break is over and I’m happy to say a draft of The Novel has been completed. Woo-hoo! To celebrate my return to the Land of the Living (Bloggers), you can purchase the PDF of Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing for just 99c (normally $4.99) for a limited period. Click here for more information.

43 thoughts on “Did Someone Say It Would Be Easy?

  1. Dougie Brimson says:

    Great blog and absolutely spot on.

    I’m certain that people think that as authors, we simply churn stuff out and it all takes care of itself. Oh that this were the case!

    It takes time and it takes graft. It also takes a thick skin! But as increasing numbers of people are starting to realise, self-publishing isn’t simply a case of writing a book these days. Indeed, that’s often the easy bit!

    • thedwaparayuga says:

      Hi Catherine,

      You have mentioned that some books sell and some don’t, some products sell and some don’t, this is so true and this is how the world runs — unpredictable about what a person’s need. A book tops the best seller when it touches all the generations and how, that depends only on the author’s imaginative world because I believe “Innovation is always inversely proportional to the competition” so one’s vision only makes one stand out of box. Nice and informative as I want to self-publish my book.
      Title – “TheThird Day – Dwapara Yuga”

  2. Debbie Young says:

    Well said, Catherine! And as I say in my book, “Sell Your Books!”, the only way to fail is to give up trying! I think too many people assume that because, technically speaking, you can self-publish a book very quickly, success should follow equally fast, if it’s going to come at all. Self-publishing is not for the impatient!

  3. nanette12013 says:

    Great post, Catherine! I self-published my first novel at the end of 2012 and the sales have been dismal. Prior to its release I paid for a blueink review. I used the positive review on promotional materials, but I need to work on building a platform and becoming better at promoting myself and my novel. I’m currently working on my second novel and finally started blogging this summer. It’s great to hear that successful self-publishing is possible with hard work and a strong book. I hate to admit it, but I rarely read self-published books because the few I’ve purchased have been incredibly bad. Like it not, a traditionally published book has at least gone through a vetting process and been approved by someone who knows about books. Nanette (thesailorswoman.wordpress.com)

  4. diannanarciso says:

    Excellent points! I don’t feel obscure…but apparently, I am. I still have the dreams of my ten-year-old self…I’m going to be a STAR! I’m settling for author. Because when it gets right down to the nitty gritty of it…I just want to write books and publish them. Whatever else comes is icing. (chocolate)

  5. Turnip Times says:

    You said a mouthful…all true. I decided to go the self-publishing route for my children’s book “Forty Days and Forty Nights, Rain, Rain” because at the age of 71 I didn’t want to wait the years it usually takes to get a publisher. It is hard work promoting the book, but there is also great satisfaction in being a one man band (not really one because my husband Michael Jaron helped write it and has been a great encouragement). Readers love the illustrations and many enjoy the educational qualities and the accompanying song. A trickle of sales is far better than no sales and I will keep hammering away at it, keep on writing, and I will succeed. Thanks for your words of wisdom.

  6. Rich says:

    You’re quite right. As a long-time book marketer, I can vouch for the fact that it isn’t just newbie self-publishers who grouse so much. Established traditional authors who should know better do the same: blame everything but their mediocre book or their complete distain for promotion.

    Trouble is, many people seem to want to be writers, but equate that with sitting at a desk capturing beautiful thoughts on pristine white paper. Few want to be authors, getting out there and engaging with an audience, having an opinion and defending it, networking to get their book out there, meeting readers and booksellers, and engaging in the much-larger conversation about books and stories of which their novel is only a tiny part. Of course, the reverse is also often true: obnoxious authors pushing themselves into every conversation to plug their book with no regard for the opinions or work of others. Somewhere in the middle lies the sweet spot: the balance between creating good art and helping it find an audience. Some writers never find that balance, some don’t even know it’s there.

  7. Kitt Crescendo says:

    I chuckled when I read the part where you pointed out that no one says a word about whether or not the problem was the books itself. You’re so right about the bitterness vibe, too. Personally, I think self publishing can be an awesome opportunity, but it’s not easy.

  8. loulocke says:

    As always, enjoyed your post. I started out at about the same time you did, published Maids of Misfortune, my first novel, Dec 2009, and I have become one of those success stories (now making enough money so I could retire completely and write full time), but I have to keep reminding people that the “success” wasn’t over-night. My first 6 months sales were abysmal (and mostly to friends and family) and while the second year’s sales were 5 times what the first year’s sales were–this said more about the first year’s sales! It wasn’t really until the third year (and the second book, plus 2 short stories), that I hit my stride.

    And, from the beginning I spent an enormous amount of time promoting and keeping up with the changing face of indie/ebook publishing (as Amazon changes it algorithms, promotional sites come and go, etc,), so that I could keep experimenting with how best to promote my work.

    Finally, even for books with a professional cover, well-written and edited text, and visibility from good promotional activity, sales might not soar, simply because the market for that kind of book isn’t as large or filled with people who are reading ebooks. I was fortunate that my Victorian San Francisco mystery series taps into the cozy mystery market, which is large and seems filled with people who read copiously on their Kindles!

    But this might just mean that “success” takes longer or more books on the market. So thanks for reminding people not to stop writing because their expectations were unrealistic.

    M. Louisa Locke

    • thedwaparayuga says:

      First of all I would like to say thank you for sharing you experience Louisa Locke. While writing my book I read many blogs, websites, posts giving brief discription about comparition between traditional publishing and self-publishing, in the beginning I was very confused about what to choose, but later found very nice articles on self-publishind and catherine you blog is one of them. Thank you once again.

  9. Kevin Brennan says:

    Thanks for this rant. It comes at a great time for me, since I’m about to publish a small story collection in advance of a novel this fall. I’ve been doing the groundwork for a while now and know there’s much more to be done — ongoingly. And I’m one of those authors with a traditional publication under my belt!

  10. JP McLean says:

    Sure enough, self-publishing is a tough route, but it’s also an opportunity to learn new skills. It forces you out of your comfort zone.

  11. Andrew Toynbee says:

    I remain patient, slowly but steadily building my author platform (blog, Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook) whilst my debut eBook sells virtually nothing. But my long-term plan to keep producing and promoting and as my catalogue increases, the books will demonstrate credibility and reliability to the point where the whole thing starts rolling. I can hope for the same success as Loulocke above, but we never know what will happen, do we? Every author’s story is unique and so will be their experiences.

  12. juliandeagreene says:

    I think one of the problems is the media hype such as Jasinda Wilder’s interview. She recently sold her millionth book on Amazon.. The way she tells it, one day they were nearly homeless, they wrote a book and before the end of the month, they had enough to pay their mortgage. That’s the kind of thing that leads to disillusionment by the masses. Her first covers weren’t great, but she does have a recognizable brand. She can write, albeit the one I read was really corny and totally unrealistic, but maybe that’s what the romance and mommy porn crowd want. I don’t know. She is prolific, and she has plenty of detractors in her reviewers but it doesn’t seem to stop the numbers. So there you have it. Anybody can write a book, but not everyone is an author, and very few write really good books. But apparently, certain audiences don’t care.

    Like you, the rest of us have to work really hard. Thank heavens it’s our first love, eh?

    • catherineryanhoward says:

      I’ve seen that happen with my own story though. When you do an interview, you don’t really have any control over what gets printed. Sometimes it can be made to sound entirely different to what you said, without anything be made up. Once I did an interview with a newspaper where I spent an hour on the phone with the journalist, telling him every aspect of my story, and in the printed version he had me saying that I just decided to self-publish on a whim and only published e-books because I was ‘bored’ waiting for my proof copy to arrive! And of course it sounded like my sales had just taken off overnight while I was filing my nails or something. That’s why I was careful to say ‘…posts by self-published authors’ because I don’t trust much that I read written by third parties about them! 🙂

  13. feelingfabulousdarling says:

    Great blog post! A good reminder to just keep on writing and not let others’ journeys determine my own. (Well, not for longer than 5 minutes…) I left my small press to self-publish and no, it’s not easy. (Try the insanity oka attempting to get your books up on IBookstore.) Some books sell better than others. Who knows? It’s a bit of the Wild West in publishing right now.

  14. n3melnyk says:

    thank you so much for writing this. I’m very new to anything outside of traditional publishing and and admittedly behind technological, the blog makes the whole magic behind “self- publishing” seem reasonable and totally do- able. thanks

  15. J-L Heylen says:

    Well said, Catherine. I self-published. I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I worked hard to make my first novel as good as it could be. After another three novels published I no longer think the first novel is as good as it could be. I was surprised that publishing was, in fact, easier than I thought it would be. As a speculative fiction author with lesbian characters and set in a dystopian future in Australia, I thought I was publishing merely for the kudos of saying I was published. I chose e-Books because I knew I couldn’t sell hard copies and didn’t want to kill a whole lot of trees for that kudos. As it turns out, I am doing better than expected. I was gratified to see you were once at 100 copies a month too. It took me three months to get past the 100 items sold per month. It’s been another 6 to get past 200. Even this, on Amazon eBooks, is enough to put me in the top 10% of authors fairly consistently, and in the top 100 offerings in some obscure genres. I may never progress past that, and I’m not giving up my day job. I write for the few hundred loyal fans I have, and I still have time and motivation to talk to each one of them if I am lucky enough to be contacted by them. I thank each person who reviews my book by posting a note on my facebook page, and I genuinely hope they see it. I didn’t do nothing, and I could do more, probably, but I am happy with my lot. Those whiners who seem to be more motivated by ego and arrogance than a genuine wish to entertain and inspire others really do annoy me too.

  16. Ellie Stevenson says:

    As others have said, it isn’t easy. But then, the things matter rarely are. Which is why we have to keep on with the effort, work hard and rise to the challenge. Thanks Catherine, I really enjoy your posts!

    • thedwaparayuga says:

      @Ellie I do not prefer to call it as “Hard work”, we love writing books and publishing, we are doing this wholeheartedly then why should we call it as “hard work” when hard work actually meant for doing hard/difficult labour work which we usually don’t prefer to.

  17. Pat Fitzpatrick (@Pdfitzpatrick) says:

    My problem is that I’m a 46 year old man. So getting used to Facebook and Twitter at my age is a bit like learning Chinese. But I realise there is no point l in self-publishing my novel in November if I don’t lead a full and interesting life on social media. My blog charting this journey into self-publishing along with my articles in Ireland’s Sunday Independent has been on the go for a few years. I’m about 9 months old on twitter. I’m a mere 3 month old on Facebook, barely able to talk. In internet terms I’m young but I’m willing to learn. Here’s some simple things I picked up on while doing the advance marketing for my book.

    On Facebook, your family are your friends. Particularly your female relations. None of my male relations or friends are on Facebook. Most of their female counterparts are. A couple of my female cousins got the ball rolling for me when they liked my Facebook page. So be nice to your relations, particularly the ladies.

    Facebook loves a photo. I knew this in theory but only really got to see it in practise when I posted up the cover of my book Keep Away from Those Ferraris. Previous text only posts reached an audience of about 70 people. Likes and comments on the cover photo post meant that 400 people got to see it. So I’ll be putting in a photo from now on. I was hoping to keep my two cats out of this, but it looks like they will be making their internet debut any day now.

    Twitter is tough. Unlike Facebook, I knew hardly anyone on twitter when I started out. So I went to that dance alone. I am lucky enough to have a regular slot on TV here in Ireland, so that got things started. But I still only have 200 or so followers. I need some more luck.

    Which brings me to the final point. You need luck. A journalist retweeted something innocuous I put up one day and I had 20 new followers within seconds. I’ll need plenty of that good fortune along the way. So if prayer is your thing get praying. If it’s rabbit feet, get rabbit footing. And maybe get a photogenic cat.

  18. Rena George says:

    You’ve said it all, Catherine. Self publishing ain’t easy, you just have to stick with it because one day…one day, it will all be worth it.

  19. rilzy says:

    You make some excellent points. I think people must realize that everything takes hard work, patience and sacrifice. I am still trying to figure out if self publishing is for me but I am definitely at the stage where I am trying to get as much writing experience as possible. I have been writing since I was a kid but there is still soo much to be learned. But, there is one thing I have always believed: you work hard to make your product good and then you prepare yourself for the hard work to follow because it never, ever gets easy but I think we will all agree that it is worth it!

  20. Thomas Rydder says:

    Catherine, this easily ranks in the top 5 of maniacal rants I’ve read – that is, maniacal but making perfect sense. Everything you say is absolutely true. Including the part about maybe doing it all right and STILL not selling anything. I think many don’t realize just how many books and authors (in many cases using those terms loosely as possible) are out there, and how clogged the market is. And I, like you, get tired of hearing the moaning (even when it occasionally comes out of my own mouth.)
    A true author – at least nowadays – has to take a genuine pleasure in writing, creating, and the incredible challenge that comes with fashioning a world. Because, as you so eloquently noted, if you’re in it for the money – at least right away – you’re very likely going to end up bitter and defeated.
    Fantastic post, Catherine. And duly linked, digged, blogged, faced, pinned, googled, tumbled, and stumbled.

    Thomas Rydder
    http://thomasrydder.wordpress.com/

  21. Steve Vernon says:

    Amen, Catherine.

    Life DOES NOT come with a guarantee – and even if it did it would only be one of those guarantees that you wind up paying extra money for and is only valid on days that don’t end in “Y”.

    Same applies for writing.

    HEY – all of you moaners, groaners, whiners and drama-llamas – stop with the kvetching already. The job you signed up for says INDEPENDENT WRITER not INDEPENDENT GET-RICH-QUICKER!!!

  22. Steve Vernon says:

    Reblogged this on YOURS IN STORYTELLING… and commented:
    Life DOES NOT come with a guarantee – and even if it did it would only be one of those guarantees that you wind up paying extra money for and is only valid on days that don’t end in “Y”.

    Same applies for writing.

    HEY – all of you moaners, groaners, whiners and drama-llamas – stop with the kvetching already. The job you signed up for says INDEPENDENT WRITER not INDEPENDENT GET-RICH-QUICKER!!!

  23. Andrew Ashling says:

    Well put.
    A lot would also depend on what your definition of success is. Making oodles of money or telling a story that needs to be told, telling it as well as you can and have people read and enjoy it.

  24. Kim Cleary says:

    I’ve come to self-publishing late – my debut novel will be on Amazon by the end of the month – so I’m lucky to have had the advice of trailblazers like yourself to absorb. I paid for professional editing, proofing, cover and interior design, know I need a brand and platform centered on relationships, to expect slow growth of sales, and most importantly to respect readers and work on the next book and the next.
    I read your great advice all the time Catherine – this is my first, woefully overdue, comment!

  25. josois says:

    This blog post was definitely a reminder to aspiring writers including myself that you can’t expect immediate success in self-publishing. I found it particularly humbling considering I’m trying to self-publish my first short story this fall, while trying to create buzz with a blog of my own. I’m trying to have realistic vs. idealistic expectations going into this so I don’t come out feeling disillusioned. Overall I appreciate you sharing your insight of the business for the rest of us.

  26. M T McGuire says:

    Absolutely with you about time. The more I read about self publishing the more obvious it is that the thing you need on top of talent, in abundance, is time. I seldom have 2 hours a day to write, let along to do social media.

    The fact is, I am a stay at home Mum and I write… well, actually I write because I can’t not. I’m an authorholic, it’s like a bad crack habit. If I worked at it like a job, 9 – 5 it would probably take me a bout 6 months to write each book,, which is lucky because doing the Mum thing I have much less time than that so it only takes me about 2 years. It seems sensible to do something with the crap I spew out, and so I get it professionally edited, get ritzy covers done and then publish it myself.

    I hope to succeed, no, scratch that, I hope to write a book that is so good it will succeed on its own merits, because for someone like me that’s the only hope I have… Yeh, I’m a realist, so I know that may take me a while, possibly several millennia. And that leaves me here, with two award-winning books in a trilogy down and one close to complete. I’m an ex marketing manager, I know how to promote stuff and I’d say I’m quite placid and relaxed but even I find it hard to take sometimes, the realisation that even if I cracked it with a really good novel, the difference between success and failure is, above everything, to do with time.

    I hope… I very much hope…. that I will be able to prove the world wrong and succeed in slow motion. Because lord knows that’s the only possible chance I have. I don’t begrudge anyone their success, I appreciate how hard they must have worked for it, but the fact that I do what I do in 2 hours a day, without holidays, doesn’t make me any less committed, or serious. Phnark! Although it might make me a bit more frustrated.

    Thanks anyway, that’s a great post.

    Cheers

    MTM

  27. josois says:

    Reblogged this on Writer's Nook and commented:
    A growing number of writers are choosing to self-publish vs. the traditional publishing route. Is it necessarily easier? What should we expect from self-publishing? Catherine, self-publisher and blogger, keeps it real in: Did Someone Say it Would Be Easy?

  28. elysesalpeter says:

    Wow, this is a great blog and it hit home for me. I’ve been actively doing social media daily for hours a day, trying everything and was slowly falling into that “woe is me – this is never going to work” category. I must change that mindset of “what is the point?” This was a very nice wake-up call and a great post I really want to save and reread now and again. Thank you.

  29. Diane says:

    I’ll confess: I still live in the fantasy world that when my book is finished a publisher will pick it up. But the more realistic me knows that as an unknown, the odds are stacked against me and I will more likely have to learn to navigate the self-publishing world. Do I expect it to be easy? Not a chance. Can I do it? If I do my homework, am persistent enough and learn from others who have swathed a path…maybe (but either way, it’s worth the try). Thanks for another great post!

  30. N P Postlethwaite says:

    Refreshing & inspiring to read this blog. I just self-published my novel and wow, it’s rock hard, but I keep thinking ‘don’t forget why you write.’ It is my craft, a compulsion and I want to get my work out there to be enjoyed by others. I’ve shut my ears to the debate about self-publishing – the market is saturated with published and self-published novels anyway. I just think the more choice of good published or self-published novels out there, the better. Well done with your success!

  31. Talia Hardy says:

    Informative article and it does seem to work for some, Especially so when the novel is historiographical. The problem here with self publishing is that Amazon is cluttered with books that are badly written, full of grammatical errors and are clearly written by people who do not have an understanding of market and audience. In short it prejudices serious reader’s opinion about self published authors.

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