So here's another brutally honest post.
The hardest thing about indie publishing or self publishing is NOT doing the cover or writing the jacket copy or even the marketing.
At least not to me, anyway.
The hardest thing is coming up against the people who look down on self publishing. The people who don't give you a chance from the very start. The people who assume you are not good enough before they even read your first page.
The uphill battle we - as self pub or even indie authors - face is just getting our work to be considered equally as other authors.
We have our books judged by its cover - and I mean that literally. That's why it is so important to do everything you can to make sure your book doesn't appear self pubbed. Because then maybe - just maybe - you can sneak by the doubters and get a Kirkus Revew :).
Last week, I had one lady at a newspaper email me for an interview. She talked about how much she loved my cover and jacket, my press release, and the sample chapter. But the minute she realized I was indie/self pubbed - she simply cut the conversation short and said, "I'm sorry we don't review self published work."
Really? Why? She loved everything I gave her! My feelings were hurt and to be frank - it just sucked. In a moment when you are doubting everything you have done and are doing - those people just make it worse. Once again, the negative stigma of self pubbing gets in the way. Every time a friend turns her back b/c my book is self pubbed or a reviewer refuses to give my writing a look - it stinks. To be honest it breaks my heart. I can't help but immediately go back to that space of "I'm not good enough". Self pubbing still gets you rejection and its just as hard.
You don't have a team of marketers, or your agent, or your editor to pump you up and have your back.
You are alone.
And for me - at least not yet - those rejections never gets easier.
I just want to be judged on my work. My writing, my story. My plot, my character development, and my voice. I don't want any favors or undeserved reviews or breaks. I just want the same chance for my little book to shine as the author that pubs theirs with a large house. And to be frank - it sucks when it's not.
That is why I have spent the last two long months showing you everything I have done - the behind the scenes - gosh to honest truth - about how to tackle doing indie pubbing the RIGHT WAY. I am not saying my way is perfect - it is different for everyone and just as in traditional pubbing - there is no magic formula.
But you will automatically hit discrimination to a certain extent because you do your book on our own. So if there is anything you can do to avoid some - do it.
Even typos come down hard. Every book I've ever read has had some typos. But - if you are self pubbed - those typos (along with any plot holes or underdeveloped characters) are magnified. The typos suddenly mean you are not good enough and that is why you self pubbed.
You already get shunned by those who don't think you are good enough. And you would be surprised who those people are who turn their back on you. I guess it's a moment when your true friends and blogger buddies shine through. For some reason, self pubbing divides people and you can easily see (and quick) who falls on each side of the line. You can see those who judge you not based on your merit or writing but based on a perception...a judgement...that you arent' good enough or that you sold out in some way.
To be honest, I don't blame the naysayers to a certain extent - I've seem some serious crap put out and unfortunately - we ALL get lumped together in self pubbing or even indie pubbing. And even though some books that are traditionally pubbed suck - they don't all get mixed in together. They each get a small shot to stand on their own merit. Unaffected by their predecessors.
When a big house signs an author - that author automatically gets credibility - esp if it is with a big house or if it is a big deal on PM. People say - "Oh they must be good enough b/c a publisher bought it".
When someone self pubs, without even looking at the work, people automatically say, "Oh. They must not be good enough." And we self pubs have to spend all of our time overcoming that stigma by making sure what we put out is quality stuff. We have to work hard to shine - we have to work hard to be seen as credible.
So from that perspective - self pubbing or indie pubbing is an uphill battle. I'm not saying that traditional authors don't suffer - they do. I have a lot of friends that don't get fair breaks on their books and don't succeed the way they wanted because they didn't get the support they needed.
What I am saying is that it is GUARANTEED you will hit that hardship if you self pub or even indie pub. There are no maybes, you WILL be turned away, you will be snubbed at some level, and you will work your tail off to stand out.
In the end - it is how hard you work and you hope your work will find a way to stand on its own.
To me, I'd rather face an uphill battle than no battle. And for 8 years, I've face no battle. I wanted to get in and fight but I was sidelined and was refused to be allowed to play.
But if you are going to self pub - you HAVE TO DO IT RIGHT. You have to find a way to set yourself apart from all the other self pubbers or indie pubbers out there. Good and bad. If you don't - you may not stand out and you may get buried.
This process is not easy. It is harder than I thought. It is daily work to try and stay at the top of the pile so people see you waving from the top of the peak. If you don't, you will get lost.
So just know that this is a different way of pubbing. But it is not the easy way. We hit hardships just like traditional authors - they are just different.
You have to push forward and forget the naysayers. At the end of the day, you have to have faith that your little book will stand out. On its own. And if for some reason it doesn't - that you did everything you could and have no regrets.
let me know if you have any questions!