Whether you've already gone down 'the dark path' or are standing at the 'cliff's edge', Self-Publishing is a big step. Though there are numerous 'How-to's' to gas you up on the 'wonderful world of self-publishing', the real deal is more like finding out 'how deep the rabbit hole really goes!'

I've mentioned in previous posts, SP is a business. If you don't mind putting in lots of work, spending a fair amount of money and are happy with little or no return, then it's a 'hobby'.

But, if you're interested in making a moderate to large profit from your labor, then you best start treating your endeavor like a business.

Before you can get to those book signings, sell at conventions and do radio/tv interviews, you have to do the work first! You have to make a 'product' (i.e. a book, comic, film, whatever) people will want to read, watch or listen to. In order to make product, you need to learn the 'craft'. Sorry, but no one just 'whips out' a masterpiece. If you happen to the first time up with no prior training or work, you're probably going to croak shortly afterward!

Self-publishing is a difficult path to go down. A path fraught with pitfalls, traps and dangers at nearly every step taken. Even armed with significant knowledge prior to starting, mistakes will be made. Your task will be to 'survive' them! The main part of your task starting out or starting again will be to 'not make things harder than they have to be.' Since much of the burden for getting your work done, processed, packaged, marketed and sold will fall upon your shoulders going about it 'half-assed' will cause you problems and cost money (in re-work and in sales.)

Your biggest enemy encountered in the endeavor will not be the 'haters' who try to downgrade what you've done. It will be 'You', the creator. Your 'excitement' about doing the work, getting it done properly, impatience and naivete' will be big factors in keeping your work from being the best it can be. You'll have to overcome 'yourself' to get the work done (and done properly!) Unfortunately, there are no 'silver bullets' for getting around this major hurdle. Our Ego's are useful things to have, but they can be major pain's-in-the-ass when self-publishing.

To become a 'successful' self-publisher (meaning one who gets the work out in professional a manner as possible), you'll need to be both your worst critic and biggest cheerleader independently of the other. Believe that is far more difficult than it sounds, but it is necessary. Just as you will want to shout from the rooftops about your work, during it's production you'll need to exhibit sheer 'ruthlessness' during the design and post-production portion. You'll have to take a hard look at your 'baby' and ask, 'Would I be embarrassed to put this piece-of-$#!% out for others to buy? Would I buy this PoS?'

You have to be harsh, because audiences are harsh. Of course, there is 'artistic integrity' to consider. But you also have to 'consider' your audience. They'll decide on your work with their wallets!

Here's an article by James Altucher with a breakdown of 21 things you'll need to know about Self-Publishing. It gets 'abrasive' in spots, because he doesn't pull any punches. That's good, because whether you're in this for 'love', 'money', or 'both' it's info you need before you jump off into the deep end!


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