I grew up dropping most of my allowance at the scholastic book fairs and writing. Looking back, writing stories to distribute to my classmates, I was destined to be a self-published author.
After elementary though, I focused most of my writing energy on writing songs. I wouldn’t attempt to write my first novel until I was 23. I wrote a 15,000-word first draft to a fiction story and till this day still, have not touched it. My second attempt would later become my first completed book, a psychological thriller called, Ideas of Illusion. The first draft was written in a few months. Writing between calls at work and at home. After three years of revising and editing, I released it March 4th, 2017. At the end of March, I would quit my Job and become a full-time self-published author, Musician, and Content Creator. As we are nearing a full year since leaving my job, I still work for myself, over 300 physical books, and a few digital copies are read around the world, and this is just the beginning.
So how did I find success as a self-published author on my first bat in the literary world?
Well, after reviewing all my available data from my website and social media analytics, sales, and experience, it comes down to four columns that are the foundation to my personal success as a self-published author. The four columns are Goals, Edit, Research, Break.
1. SET GOALS
Set goals for your book. Even before you write it. Do you just want to complete a book? How much can you dedicate to writing the book a day? Do you want to sell it? How much do you want to sell it for? How many copies do you want to sell the first week? Month? Year? Who do you want it to reach? Will it just be in one format? Just to name a few.
Setting goals gives you not just something to work towards, but it gives you a direction to go.
2. GET AN EDITOR
This is not common knowledge, and that is okay. If you want people to read your book, let others edit your book.
You could learn how to self-edit your own book, and maybe you can self-edit with your first book. I personally would not advise it. I would get edits back and be in complete shock with how many little things I missed. Personally, I had a few eyes on my book for editing, and I used tools online such as GrammerCheck and ProWritingAid to name a few. People on Amazon and other places will rip your books to shreds for not having it edited. Invest if you can for an editor, but also look around and reach out. Get creative. Reach out to an English teacher that supported you, a local newspaper writer, even someone who despises you. There are so many options, which brings me to the third column.
3. DO YOUR RESEARCH
Are you unsure how to self-publish a book? How to format an Ebook? Marketing ideas? How to get reviews? Research. Research before you write the book, during the writing process, during the editing, when it is completed, after the release. Every step of the way for your journey as a self-published author should include research. The reason why I felt confident enough to release my book was mostly due to all of the research I did prior. It is easy to get lost if you don’t know the area. It will save you a lifetime of stress.
4. TAKE A BREAK
Creating is work and work is just the use of directed energy. After you have completed your book, take a break. Rest. Schedule a time of recovery before releasing the book so you can have the energy to market it. Even if you wrote the book just to have for yourself, take a break. Soak in the victory of completing your novel.
Want to self-publish your first book? Take a look at this article from Self- Publishing School.
Also, check out the recent episode of my podcast Thoughts & Chill, “You don’t have to be Famous, You just have to be Creative.” I speak with the author of, “The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting”, Bunmi Laditan about her start in writing, tips for writers, and debunking a big myth about self-publishing.
My Vlog, From Self-Doubt to Self-Published is available on youtube.
You can find me
(Currently, I’m working on a non-fiction book, From Self-Doubt to Self-Published, as well as fiction novella, Shadow in the Dark, and novel, Pin The Face on The Beast. Musically I am working on releasing two albums this year. Digging in the Midnight Garden and Nightmare before Sunrise.)
Looking for your next read? Click the image to read the summary, reviews, and order my first work of fiction, Ideas of Illusion!