A couple of months ago I decided to accept that I needed an official cover artist, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. Recently I also accepted that it was time to hire a professional editor as well. Coming to terms with spending the money was the first hurdle (along with accepting that I couldn’t do it all myself). But the second hurdle is the waiting.
The editor I’ve chosen is popular (with good reason) so I’ve had to put my plans for unrolling the rewritten first book in The Conjurors Series, along with the almost-finished second book until 2014. That means that the entire series might come out in the same year. It’s so hard to hold back my beautiful new cover and rewrites until I’m really ready to promote the series. It’s also hard to keep the momentum going to begin writing the third book in the series as well, which I planned to release in the late spring/early summer.
All newbie mistakes, I suspect. But it does leave me wondering what other surprises are in store for me in the beguiling world of self-publishing.
For those who have self-published a book, what unexpected hurdles did you run into?
I made the same decision about a editor, at about the same point in the process, and am so very glad for it. My cover got redesigned the following spring, when the staff at StoryBundle wanted to include my novel–but only if the cover was more professional. Lesson learned. 🙂
The other lesson involved categorization and keyword choices. Had I categorized my novel as “dark fantasy” from the start, it likely would have been far more visible on the list, for much longer, because “dark fantasy” was a much smaller sea of titles than “epic fantasy.”
Great advice! I’m going to take that to heart and really think through how I classify my series now before it gets established.
Keywords are just as important as categories, too. You can use them to drill down to smaller, more specific categories.
I think it’s pretty awesome that you are going that route. Sure you have to wait, but in the end, I bet it will pay off. Waiting is a pain, but I think personally, I would still be excited about everything else, especially the cover art! I believe your patience will be worthwhile!
I have not yet self-published my work but I definitely understand the difficultly of having to wait. I have been trying to edit and fix a few things in my first novel, but my computer decided that it no longer wants to cooperate. Now the document won’t open on my computer. Luckily, I do have a file in my email, but my computer just won’t open it. I’ll have to wait until I can replace my current computer before I can really start working on it again. It shouldn’t be long now, but it’s been almost a year since this problem started and I’ve still got a lot of work ahead of me.
Best of luck to you! It makes me nuts when technology gets in the way of your muse.
I have found the whole process to be a huge learning curve – hope that means it will be easier next time! Technical things were the worst – I’m not at all tech savvy so that has been really frustrating at times. Also, like you, waiting for things to happen and accepting that your plans sometimes have to go on hold. I had my paperback and Kindle version ready to publish but didn’t realise I would have to wait a while for the proofs (I publish through CreateSpace). Next time I will concentrate on formatting the paperback then work on the Kindle version while waiting for the paperback proofs. Have to say though, nothing has been so awful that it has put me off!
Ah, yes. Formatting for CreateSpace takes the patience of a saint. But you’re right – for all the grief, I wouldn’t trade it!
I self published and there were definitely aspects I loved and hated about the process. I will start with the positives. I absolutely love the fact that I had a professional editor. As this was my first time out as a writer, their comments back on my first draft (which had already gone through several rounds of editing) really did help me feel confident on the quality of work going on the virtual shelf for all the world to see.
Then there was the cover art. I thought I would be upset that I did not get a number of options to choose from, but it turned out I didn’t need a lot of options. They nailed it on the first try. I filled out a basic questionaire about what I wanted and poof there it was.
Now what I have not liked – I did not like the number of times I had to change my primary point of contact. I had a very good relationship established with one and then suddenly had a new contact. I felt as if I had to repeat a number of my goals so that they could just check me off a list.
I also have not liked the limited choice of keyword descriptions I was given to choose from. I understand how important this is for getting your piece noticed in SEO and the control freak in me is very uncomfortable missing this vital piece of control.
when I attempt to publish again – and I will – I may try to do a better job of cherry picking the services I do and don’t want.
You’re so right. You need a cover artist and editor you are always working with personally so you know you’re a good style match. Thanks for the advice!
I am waiting to self-publish because I realized that I needed more lead time to promote my book. Not enough people know about my upcoming memoir. Initially, I thought September (2014), tthen October, and now Feb 2015. This gives me a good 6 months to promote, get the cover and final editing done and arrange a couple of blog tours.