I’ve been reading tons of blog posts and articles about just how hard and yet liberating self-publishing can be. It’s a challenge, that much I’ve learned so far. You not only have to believe in yourself enough to come up with a book concept, put the words on the page, and then finalize it to formulate a full novel, but you also have to learn how to be an advertiser, marketer, business(wo)man, and publisher all at once. It’s time consuming, hectic, exhausting, heartbreaking, mind numbing, and yet it is one of the coolest things I have ever done.
How neat was it to see how many people downloaded my book when I ran my first KDP free promo last weekend? The number astonished me! And I don’t know what the average number of free downloads is during free promos, but I was blown away by what I experienced. And just to think that maybe (just maybe) some of those people who were perusing Amazon that day and downloaded my book on a whim might take the time to read it, and maybe even like it, and then hopefully post a review or at least a rating. Then, if they like it enough, maybe they’ll even buy the second book in my series when it comes up for sale. Then maybe the third, and the fourth. Hey, you never know, right?
It’s fun and exciting to meet new people, to connect with other authors and share experiences and ideas, to explore a whole new side of networking that I had yet to bother with before I had written a book. I mean, a blog? I had never even wanted to bother with something like a blog. I had a Facebook, and that was about as far into the networking world as I got. But now I find myself with accounts on several sites (GoodReads, FB, Twitter, Shelfari, WordPress, Tumblr, Youtube, etc.) and the list gets longer every day as I branch out and try new things. And as I’m going, I’m gaining more courage to share myself in ways that I had never been comfortable with before. I’m putting my name out there, my blood, sweat and tears (in the form of my books) and my reputation. I’m giving people the open opportunity to criticize me, or judge me, and yet for the first time ever I’m completely okay with that. Because I have to be. The only way to sell books as an Indie Author is to market yourself and network, network, network. If you don’t do that, then your book sits alone on Amazon or wherever and never gets noticed.
But I really don’t want to let that happen to my book(s), because I do believe in them, as all authors should when they put their work out there. If you don’t believe in what you create, then how can you expect other people to?