10 More Steps to Self Publishing

Safety gear

Did we bring the safety gear?

I’m sure there’s a word for the arrival of inevitable doom following hubris. That moment when you think, “Well, of course, that was bound to happen”. I don’t know what it is and have no energy to google it.

  1. Do what you can with what you’ve got wherever you are. Monday I was at the doctors getting antibiotics for me – I’ve had a virus and am immune-suppressed and just not getting better. Tuesday I spent worrying about Patrick who has given up smoking and therefore should be feeling better but isn’t. Wednesday I was back at the doctors with Patrick. His liver is enlarged, his whole system is crashing and they want him to go to hospital except it’s Easter and there will be no-one there and he’ll just be lying around stressing about being in hospital. He’s better at home where he can fart and swear in peace. They gave him diuretics. I made fruit crumble and watched him pee. Thursday we spent with more doctors getting him scanned and tested and x-rayed. So today I MIGHT send out the review copies but I’m much more likely to lie on the couch, eat crumble (I made lots) and look after us both.
  2. Finding Certainty about The Product. I’m using the time between medical appointments to think about the order of the stories. I did a publishing plan for the year. Then I re-did it and worked out I have 3 short story collections to publish this year. I mostly know what is in each one; I’m just not certain about the order. I want the stories to flow as much as possible. It’s like those favourite LPs I had as a teenager when the songs just melded one to the next and the whole construction was just perfect so that I hear one of the songs again now and I still expect to hear the next song that followed it on the LP. The aim is to have 8-10 books up on Kindle; that’s how you start to make something approaching a living.
  3. Don’t Rush.So this week I decided to wait until I have a cover design before I sent out the review copies. Morgan did a few versions of the cover based on my really sparse brief. A moth slept on one version one night, so we added in moths. And there was something delightful about the idea of a teapot full of herring.mothVersion 2
  4. Author page – I don’t want this to be about who I am and where I live. I want to write about WHY I write these things, what I’m exploring, what’s interesting for me, what I’m curious about ooh look, it’s Value Based Language!
  5. Book page – I’ve pretty much got this, I think.
  6. Instructions for Reviewers – How to post an Amazon review – this is what I also need to send to the reviewers.
  7. Enough = Finished. Doing a lot of writing about life at the moment. Also working on the stories for the second and third books. Starting to imagine the covers for those now that Morgan and I have settled on the ingredients for the brand. Not, NOT, not editing anything that is ready to go for Halibut, Herring and You. That’s done, over and hopefully my lovely picky reviewers will let me know about any errors they come across 🙂
  8. PDF vs Advance Copy. I really wanted to send the review copies out of Kindle. I don’t have much time or the headspace to work out how to do this. Today I’m Version 4focussing on making chicken soup. So I have decided an emailed PDF will be fine.
  9. Email List. And I wanted to spend time finding out how to email a campaign out of Mailchimp. I just have to watch the video tutorial. That would mean concentrating. So, I can still just email the PDF from Thunderbird. I don’t think anyone is going to mind.
  10. Hacking Amazon – this is a great series of short videos about self-publishing on Amazon:

and finally…Having a Plan is the Best Plan. If I didn’t have a plan, the emerging medical crisis would have stopped me cold. As it is, I can still keep creeping forward, step by step. And if I have to push something back and re-adjust, The Plan is still there to guide me. It’s a nice simple plan and every so often I tick something off on the whiteboard behind me.

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