Saturday, March 26, 2011

Self-publishing is Exhausting!

When I read that Indie Princess Amanda Hocking had sold a 4-book series to St. Martin's for over $2 million, I'll admit that my first thought was "She sold out!" But she explained to readers that she did it because she wants to spend her time writing, not doing all the other things that self-published authors have to do.

Now that I am knee-deep in the self-pub process, I completely understand what she means. It's downright exhausting (hence the picture of our kitty Sam when he was little- isn't he cute??).

My book will be "released" on June 1 and in order to kick off a book blog tour on that date, I need to have ARCs to bloggers by the first of May. That means that the book has to be polished and ready to go by the first part of April so I have time to get a proof, check it, and do another if needed.

Formatting the book for print and ebook is an undertaking (I am currently stuck in header/footer hell), not to mention the work that goes into making an attractive cover (I will spill more news on that in the coming days). But that's not the whole of it.

The truly exhausting part of self-publishing is the marketing.

Besides blogging and Twitter, I created a Facebook author page and spent hours trying to figure out how to add "like" buttons and widgets to the blog. You can see that I have been unsuccessful in that endeavor. :(

Here are some other items on my to-do list:
  • Create a book page on Goodreads
  • Create an author page on Goodreads
  • Create an author page on Amazon
  • Create an author profile on
  • Record a reading of the intro chapters of my book for the radio spot
  • Create my own website since I now have the domain
  • Finish creating my YA author and blogger list on Twitter
  • Solicit more reviewers to participate in the book blog tour/review ARCs
  • Set up an "event" on Facebook regarding the book release
  • Set up giveaways on Goodreads
  • Post details about the release on group forums in Goodreads and LinkedIn
  • Set up a reading with my local bookstore
  • Reach out to reviewers who liked it on Authonomy, Wattpad and Inkpop
All of this is while doing the editing and production prep for the book. Don't even get me started on the fact that what I really want to do is to get the sequel whipped into shape!

Yep, I think if I were Amanda Hocking, I'd take the $2 million, too.

What about you? Are there marketing pieces on your list that I have missed on mine?


  1. First off, Sam is adorable!

    I think you have a great list there. I don't think you missed anything from what I can tell.

    I don't blame Amanda Hocking at all for taking the deal. The work that goes into self-publishing and being successful at it is amazing, and so far it's not for me.

    I wish you the best of luck. If you need some extra promotion, I'd be happy to mention your book on my Promo Mondays when it comes out. :)

  2. Hi,

    Gorgeous kitty!

    Sincere good wishes with book launch, and I feel sure the blogosphere will rally to the cause. Just keep us updated, and I bet the YA fans out there will be clammering to host promo blog tours. I'm not a YA writer but I'll help promote where I can. ;)



  3. Love your kitty!

    I think poor Amanda Hocking is getting a lot of "you've sold out" comments, which isn't really fair since she was never indie out of any sort of principle, just because she thought she'd try it and it worked out for her. I'm glad she's getting to do both traditional and indie publishing. It's the best of both worlds.

    I'm working on an ebook too, and the formatting especially is a bit daunting. Hang in there!

  4. Cherie and Francine- Thanks for the offer of promotion assistance. I will definitely be letting you know when I am ready for reviewers! It should be the first week in May.

    Katie- I agree that Amanda Hocking is getting comments like that and I feel bad that I reacted that way at first, but I did. Thinking through it after the initial reaction, I would have gone the same route she did.

    I think it's an awesome new world we're in where an author can choose to do traditional pub, self-pub or a combination of both. More power to the authors! :)

    And good luck with your epub. It's not for the faint of heart!

  5. I always thought touting Hocking as the magical indie success story was unfair. Both to her because of her lack of ideological alignment to the super "Screw the man" indie publishing and to the indie publishers holding her up as an unrealistic idol to emulate.

    On the grounds of your promotion, your blog fans and twitter followers are ever-willing to help. ;]

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your addy! I'm now following both here and on Twitter. The Indie author network grows! I LOVE it!


  7. Let me know when you get close to release date!
    I'll help ya if you want!