A Confession About Self-publishing


There’s something in the air or maybe it’s the alignment of the planets but every other author’s post I read seems to be a confession about failure. Well, why not follow the trend?

The Confession

Back in 2008, I plodded my way through writing the first draft of Masks with the intent to simply finish writing a story. But at the back of my mind was publishing a story. I didn’t believe it would be Masks. I also didn’t believe it wouldn’t be Masks. After working and re-working it, I decided to self-publish. From what I read about following the traditional publishing route, I knew that, at the time, I didn’t have that kind of stamina.

I self-published knowing I would have to do all of my own promotion. I had a half-assed plan that didn’t factor in my daughter, my eight-hour shifts, my personality, my life basically. It was completely unrealistic of me to expect to knock on every bookstore’s door and ask (beg) for some shelf space for my slim, vampire-free, gore-free, magic-free, young adult volume. The fact that I didn’t know any teenagers, nor do my friends, meant I couldn’t rely on word-of-mouth marketing. As for social media, I wasn’t interested. I didn’t know it. I didn’t understand when I tried to know it. It quickly became my enemy UNTIL I accepted the fact that it was the only way for me to promote myself. (In case you’re wondering, it’s working.)

Learn About Self-publishing

So in the interest of all those who are thinking about self-publishing (which coincidentally is as trendy as confessing), I’m adding a few good posts about it on my Learn More About… page. Enjoy!

What do you want to know about self-publishing? What’s your self-publishing challenge? I love to hear from you. Leave a comment.

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  1. #1 by Joanne on July 2, 2011 - 2:11 PM

    I agree that social media is a really effective marketing tool. There are all kinds of ways to be innovative and connect with target audiences. Kudos to you for taking this step with self-pubbing, which is gaining so much popularity 🙂

    • #2 by Patricia Caviglia on July 4, 2011 - 5:33 PM

      You are right about there being all kinds of ways to be innovative and connect with target audiences. The trick is to find what suits an author’s personality and lifestyle I think.

  2. #3 by Elisa Michelle on June 30, 2011 - 3:36 AM

    I’ve heard from some that social media doesn’t help with marketing, and I’ve also heard some swear by it as the single most efficient way to market a self-published novel. What do you think?

    • #4 by Patricia Caviglia on July 1, 2011 - 9:52 AM

      I don’t know if it’s the single most efficient way to market a self-published novel, but it’s cheap, and, once you get used to it, easy. The internet provides access to the biggest potential audience so why wouldn’t you use social media to promote your work? If the book is non-fiction, it’s a little easier for an author to build a platform by using the subject of the book as the main content for social media networking. With fiction, an author has to get a little creative and personal because a social media audience doesn’t necessarily want to read about the book all the time.

      However, either type of author needs to use social media correctly. The goal is to create a presence without annoying potential readers. I think filling out profiles (like on Facebook, Author Central, Goodreads, etc.) is super important. The more readers know about an author and her work, the more opportunities they have to connect with the author and the book on a personal level. And that can turn in to a sale.

      I also believe in doing what’s comfortable because I’ll do it better. I really dislike Facebook so I don’t use it much but I’ve set up feeds so that my page is updated regularly with new blog posts and tweets. I don’t mind my blog or Twitter. I try to maintain some consistency by posting twice a week on my blog. And I try to tweet at least four times (six to ten is recommended to build and maintain a platform) a day although I don’t always meet my goal.

      I’ll add social media and book promotion sections to the Learn More About… page in the next couple of weeks. There’s some great advice on both subjects about what works and what doesn’t work for authors.

      • #5 by Elisa Michelle on July 1, 2011 - 1:35 PM

        Thanks for replying and sharing your experience. So far I’ve come to enjoy my blog the most. Facebook is reserved for personal use only (until I come out with a novel, then I’ll make a page for it). Twitter can be fun but annoying, and I have to admit I use it less than I should, though I’ll have spurts in which I post about three or four tweets in a day. I’m hoping all of this social media exposure will help me when I self publish my current WIP early next year. We’ll see.

  1. What Should An Author Blog About? « Masks' Blog

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