Like many people, I harbored dreams of becoming a writer, writing and selling a bestseller that would allow me to spend each and every day writing more and more successful novels. After taking every creative and script writing course available at college and reading every book and website available on crafting a great novel, I continued writing a little almost every day. After a number of years of writing, a stack of computer files and manuscripts sat gathering dust, unread and unloved by publishers and agents.
Recently a friend of mine read through an old manuscript I had given up on after completing a couple of drafts and enjoyed it, telling me I should self-publish my novel as an ebook. Filled with confidence, I headed to a large online retailer and discovered I could self-publish free of charge and keep the majority of the royalties made from each copy for myself. I decided to take the plunge into self-publishing and was suddenly hit with the reality of what I had gotten myself into.
Firstly, I don’t have an editor, just a few friends who read through my work to make sure it makes sense and spot spelling and grammar mistakes. Suddenly, I began to doubt my skills and began to believe all the classes taken and information read had been a waste of time and money. Would my book be worth reading, or would I be faced with the prospect of a number of negative reviews from fellow writers and those who purchased my novel.
Then came the other issues, such as creating the blurb that accompanies the book about both plot and author; condensing all the information about the plot and making the story I had crafted for so long seem enjoyable was a difficult task. I was also faced with the problem of creating a cover that didn’t blend into the numerous other books in the category I chose to publish my book in. Many of the experts who publish material about self-publishing fiction claim looking professional is the best option with the cover art for your book, I decided the best option was to do something different that I did not see when I did some research into the covers of other books available on the Internet. I was always a fan of lo-fi technology and music and decided to take this to the extreme by ignoring large amounts of Photoshop techniques and focusing on creating a quality original image for the cover art.
Other problems also appear that can be solved with just a little research, such as the price to charge for a download in countries around the world. For example, as an English person living in the U.S., I can tell you what to charge for a book here, but not what the average cost of an ebook is in Brazil or India. Deciding what to charge is one of the most difficult tasks for any self-publishing author, charging too much made me fear I would price myself out of selling any copies and too little brought worries that potential readers would think I lacked confidence in the story being told.
In the end, I set myself a deadline and told friends and family members my book would be available to buy on a specific date, forcing me to focus on perfecting all the details I was worrying over. Only time will tell if my book sells any copies other than a few purchases by friends and family, but by selling at least one copy to a person I don’t know, I will feel like self-publishing was worth the risk and effort.