I talked a little in my last post about how self-promotion took me about a year to figure out. I am not saying I am perfect at it either, I am always learning from the experience. The other piece of this self-publishing writing journey I am learning about this year is business.

Selling books

When I published my first book, I did not have a lot of confidence. I had enough of an ego to hit that publish button, but I don’t think those two things are connected. I waited for negative comments to flood in. I anticipated it and dreaded the thought of it. While the Kindle version was out, I did have a few kind people point out grammatical errors that were easy to fix. As far as scathing reviews on my content – it didn’t make its way to me. I’m not assuming every reader has liked my book, but the negative feedback didn’t pour in the way I anticipated it too. I eventually got my paperback copy out to the world, and again, no scathing reviews came.

While the grammatical errors did knock my ego down, they didn’t make me want to stop writing. People were connecting to my characters, they enjoyed my setting, they were attached to the plot. It built my confidence and when I published the second book I didn’t wait around for those bad reviews. I just kept going with what I had already established myself to doing.

A good friend invited me to write a blog post for his website Mental Geek. Since he has finished reading my books and wants to help promote them while he promotes his Mental Geek project. His excitement helped inspire me to try new things this year with my writing.

For the first year I think it was good and safe for me to allow Amazon to do most of the work for me. It let me try out publishing, promoting, receiving reviews, all at no real cost to me. This year, I’m going further out on a limb, I’m risking money, and time, to take Dandelion to the streets. We created a beautiful bookmark that I am passing out like free candy. I’ve hung them in coffee houses, taken them to events, mailed them to friends and strangers. I am participating in two local day festivals with music, food, and vendors. I’ve begun to print and fill out applications to sell my books in local bookstores.

I was able to switch on the business part of my brain this year, and tell myself, ‘let’s really do this!’ I’ve done sales before and this is no different. I need to schedule time to write, but also, promote, blog, mail bookmarks, and make connections. These things don’t come as naturally or easy for me. The difference with selling someone else’s product and trying to sell your own, I really believe in mine. I think I have something with Dandelion. She won’t be for everyone and that’s ok. She’ll be for enough people to make a difference.

What’s your least favorite thing about being a self-published author?