5 Questions to ask Yourself BEFORE You Self-Publish (Workshop Wednesday)

An online friend, Suzanna Medeiros, wrote a post on May 30, 2012 about self-publishing. Should she or shouldn’t she. It got me to thinking, as you can tell from my comment on her blog. I thought I’d share those questions with you and answer from my perspective.

notepaper with penQuestions to ask yourself if considering self-publishing.

1. Am I ready for the loneliness of doing this without a publisher to help, to tell me job well done? An editor to say, this needs some work, a cover artist to do the cover…and I can just write?

A. Yes, I’m ready for that loneliness. In fact, I welcome it. With my agoraphobia, it affects not just going out in public, but for me, also my online relationships. I’m not able to handle the idea of a publisher, editor, cover-artist, agent, publicists and more all needing me at one time. All wanting something from me at one time.
2. Am I ready to do the marketing and promotion necessary, not just AFTER I publish the book, but BEFORE. Am I willing to set aside my writing time on my books, to do tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, media kits, etc?

A. Yes. I researched what’s needed, and continue to research into how to market and promote myself and my books. I look at and consider each form of social media, and use the ones that I feel will work for me. I choose to use Facebook Pages, Twitter (With Triberr for extra oomph), LinkedIn (For the professional, more business side of marketing/promoting.) I also use Pinterest to put up special blog posts, books, and so much more…like recipes and such. It’s not all work. As more than one person has said, “It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason!” Truth is, I rarely promote my work. Maybe once a week. The rest of the time, I’m trying to build my relationship with editors, authors, friends, family. The sales will come. I have time to take it slow and steady.

I’m still learning. For instance, I’m only now realizing the benefits of a media kit…so I’m  slowly getting things together to do one. One customized to MY needs. What Nora Roberts needs in hers, isn’t necessarily what I want or need in mine. I know I have to find my own reviewers. This is harder, and the agoraphobia kicks in to stop me. I’m learning to carefully go past that, little by little and do it. I’m willing to guest posts, and have guest posts. I’m willing to host a blog tour or to go on one. These are all parts of marketing/promoting myself. Not just before a book comes out, but during and after.
3. Am I ready to spend the money necessary to publish this book? To pay for quality editing, cover design, etc? (You already answered yes to this, just one of the questions I ask others to think about)

A. I am. I know I can’t afford to put much into it, but because I have a husband who also writes, and understands editing quite well, it works. I can do the cover art, he does the editing. I do his beta reading/critiques, he does mine. We know it’s business and treat it as such. We started out own Social media firm, our own publishing name, our own graphic design studio. They work well together and allow me to work on all the aspects at one time, and not feeling like I have 6 jobs to do at once.  When it comes to doing print, I made the decision to do it, with my husband’s encouragement. I haven’t made back my investment, yet, but I’m willing to give it time. I’ll admit, it makes me less likely to go into print again anytime soon, but that could change, it I think I have something that will benefit from print. (My reviewer Guide can, I just haven’t found the right buyer’s market for it yet.)
4. Do I work well on my own? Do I have what it takes to be self-motivated and to write even when I don’t feel like it? (Not due to illness, but just, I don’t want to type of don’t feel like writing.)

A. I work very well on my own. Better than with others. (In school, Mom often got report cards with “Does not socialize well with peers, does not play well with others.” so I guess I’m just a born loner. That’s okay. It suits me and my needs for now. I am self-motivated, but like others, procrastination can play a major factor. I need to work on writing more, and editing more.
5. Do I have a support group of friends, writers, fellow authors to turn to if I need some hand holding, some encouragement, some kudos, etc? Do I have the support of my family to do this? Does it matter to me if I do or not?

A. Yes. I have my husband’s support 100% and his was the only family support I really needed. My mom’s support is extra and gratefully received. I have a great online support forum of writers who really encourage and share their success and failures. We all learn from one another. It does matter to me to have these support systems. I’m willing to work alone, write alone, but I want, I need someone to share my success with…someone to share my failures with.

These are just some questions to ask yourself if you think you want to self-publish. Self-publishing is not for everyone. If you are looking for a quick, easy way to make money with books, this is NOT the right path for you. It’s hard. The responsibility falls solely on you for the product you put out. It’s YOUR name, not a publishers that gets seen. It’s YOU who promotes and gets it out in front of people, not a publicists. (Unless you’re really famous, but even then, it’s still on YOU to do the work.

Are you self-published? If so, why did you choose that path? If not, have you considered it? If you have, and you decided to not self-publish, can you tell us why?

Feel free to comment away! Comments are always welcome.