Writing is the easy part of self-publishing. The words flow, the pages fill, and then you’re sighing with satisfaction as you place that last period. After a year of self-discipline, concentrated story-telling, and four hundred pages later you experience closure. There is little time to celebrate as characters from the next story begin to stir to life. And this is, after all, why we write, right?
Yes, it is, but if you ever expect to share your story with readers beyond your circle of friends and family, and if you ever hope to recoup some remuneration for your hours of labor and imagination, you will, by necessity, find yourself wading into the swamp of editing, marketing, publicity, and accounting. It’s dirty, frustrating, and often humiliating, but it must be done if you want to call yourself a writer.
True, it wasn’t always like this. I’m sure Mark Twain didn’t have to worry about getting Huck and Tom from his imagination to the end-reader. And Virginia Woolf had a brother-in-law in the publishing business, so she never had to worry about how she would popularize The Lighthouse or Mrs. Dalloway. Self-publishing has leveled the playing field, but it is has also put the burden of every aspect of publishing on the writer. I hate it. But I don’t hate it enough to start submitting my books to traditional publishing houses again.
While I’m sharing, you may as well know, I have a B.S. in Marketing (B.S.- an apt abbreviation if ever I saw one). Interestingly, most of what I know about marketing my books, I’m learning as I go.