Publishing your book is a journey. A long, tedious, topsy turvy journey, especially if you are a new author. When working on my first book I encountered major obstacles along the way that took me by surprise and had the potential to derail my plans completely. I had not anticipated the difficulties that would present. So now I am more purposeful about ensuring there are basic structures in place that will minimise significant disruptions.
In my experience there are 3 key actions that you can take that will significantly support your progress so that you are not sidelined and discouraged from publishing.
Set up a routine
Completing your manuscript is the first and often most difficult task to accomplish. It’s time consuming. Establish a routine; it will keep you on track. Set a specific time each day to write. Put it on your agenda. Carve out a spot for writing where you will feel creative and where there are minimal distractions. Most importantly, commit to the process. So, even on the days when you don’t feel like writing, show up anyway. Don’t worry if it’s 5 or 20 minutes, the goal is to put pen together daily. On the days you don’t feel like it - don’t succumb to your emotions. Stick to your schedule.
Choose a Publishing Path
There are a number of considerations that go into deciding whether to self-publish or to go with a traditional publisher. There are benefits to both.
Self-publishing allows you to have autonomy over the process. You determine the team that you want to work with (eg. illustrators, editors, marketing), but this also means having to find the time to coordinate your team. Whereas traditional publishers will already have a team already assembled for you to work with. Self-publishing is an easier process to embark on. Once you’ve chosen a platform and your manuscript is complete you pretty much determine your own timelines. However, with traditional publishers you will be required to submit a proposal and there’s no guarantee that you will be offered a contract. If you opt for self-publishing you will have to fund out of pocket but you will have control over your sale price and the royalties you earn. Regardless of the avenue you choose, most of the marketing will be your responsibility.
Choose your path carefully based on the amount of control, time and resources that you have to devote to the process.
Choose Your Team Wisely
Pulling all the pieces together for your book can feel intimidating. It is important to surround yourself with a team that understands your vision, are open-minded and that you’re comfortable working with. One of the biggest struggles I faced when I first started publishing was finding illustrators who were transparent about their rates and time commitment. This proved to be very costly time-wise and financially.
Ideally you should build a team that is familiar with how the publishing industry works, or at least be open to learning more about the industry. Not sure where to start? Sites like Fiverr and Upwork have a range of professionals that will fit almost any budget. Local professionals and university students are also a good resource.
Don't Get Sidetracked
In a nutshell, publishing your own book can be very rewarding and is worth pursuing. However, it can be a daunting process. My 3 key recommendations to help you stay the course would be to establish a writing routine, choose your publishing route wisely and surround yourself with the right team.
This week I officially launched my online store. I have recently added new merchandise based on my new publication Freedom Field . If Liza was your favourite character you're sure to want a reminder of her spunk and optimism. Pick up a Liza water bottle or t-shirt. Check it out at the link below. Let me know if there is anything else you would love to see in the store.