Good morning! Today I’m participating in the splash to help promote the lovely Catherine Ryan Howard’s new book, Self-Printed 3.0! This is a brilliant book, a bible for anyone considering self-publishing, (Catherine’s blog is a wealth of information too!) and I wouldn’t have started without either of them!
For the splash, Catherine offered to answer questions about self-publishing, and here’s mine!
I asked: If you lose your enthusiasm for self-publishing, do you have any tips on getting it back?
Do you ever get disheartened and feel like all the hard work, time, effort, and investment (in covers and editing) is just a pointless shout into an empty void? I don’t mind the hard work and thoroughly enjoy the self-publishing experience, but it feels like it’s getting harder and harder lately for less and less return. I just wondered if I’m the only one who feels like this, and if you have any ways of staying motivated?
And Catherine answered: First of all, you are not alone. At the start of this year I was feeling very low about self-publishing, and I actually thought the two of us might break up forever. My feeling was more to do with the attitudes of some in the self-publishing community – the whole Us V’s Them thing, pick a side, down with traditional publishing thing – but it was also because I didn’t have a clue what to self-publish next. There wasn’t anything I wanted to self-publish, at least under my own name.
Then I thought back to the first days of my self-publishing adventure, and how exciting it was to be up all night making my blog look just right, or the moment the first box of MOUSETRAPPED copies arrived at my door. None of my happiest self-publishing memories had to do with sales, mind you, but with the excitement of creation and achievement. I wanted to feel that again, but I also wanted the freedom to succeed or fail in private, and to write something that didn’t necessarily fall under the “Catherine Ryan Howard” brand. So I started writing a novella that I think I might self-publish under a different name, completely anonymously, and if I do I know I’ll enjoy it immensely because it’s the creation bit that I like.
If sales are disappointing or not in keeping with the amount of effort you’ve put in, of course that can be disheartening. Here’s the thing, though: why not take a break? Why not leave everything as it is, go away for six months or a year, perhaps work on something new and different during that time, and then come back afresh afterwards and regroup? Or you might consider relaunching your book with a splash (not an actual splash, like I’m doing – I just mean with fanfare!). Or you might release another one. Don’t continue to do something that you no longer enjoy, because it’s only going to be an even taller mountain to climb without passion. But you can get it back. I did. You might just need to take a break from it for a while first.
The third edition of Self-Printed is out now and available in Kindle and paperback from Amazon!
Catherine Ryan Howard is a writer, self-publisher and caffeine enthusiast from Cork, Ireland. SELF-PRINTED: THE SANE PERSON’S GUIDE TO SELF-PUBLISHING (3rd edition) is out now in paperback and e-book and available from Amazon. Follow the #selfprintedsplash on Twitter today (Friday 24th) and/or visit http://www.catherineryanhoward.com for chance to win an amazing prize that will get your self-publishing adventure started!
“SELF-PRINTED is my self-publishing bible. It taught me how to format, create and upload my e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks. It showed me practical things such as how to build a website/blog and how to promote my books. More importantly, it taught me how to compete with the professionals. Just look at the results – The Estate Series has sold nearly 100,000 copies and following that I got a traditional book deal with Thomas & Mercer too, so I’m now a hybrid author. Jam-packed full of hints and tips all in one place, I’m always referring back to it. In a word, it’s priceless.” – Mel Sherratt, author of The Estate Series and DS Allie Shenton Series
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Really good question, Jaimie! And Catherine’s offered some good suggestions.
I think that’s one of the reasons Ron and I write short stories: you get that sense of fulfilment and the creative high … but without the hassle of perfectionistic editing and formatting there and then. (Our stories are released as compilations as and when, and we do more work on them at that point.)
It’s all about remembering why we became writers in the first place, to some extent….
Thanks, Joanna! I’ve kind of been taking a break from all publishing related stuff recently, only doing the absolute necessary and spending all my time writing – and it’s been fantastic. For me, nothing beats the first draft, when you’re just writing with no deadlines and no expectations, and it’s been so nice just to do that!
Everything you said makes so much sense, it’s definitely about the creative part for me, and I spent so much time on self-publishing last year that I had almost no time at all left just to write, and it’s been wonderful to get that back lately!
How much fun you’re having definitely illustrates where ‘to be’! So pleased you took that break and have focused on the love of writing for its own sake for a while. I feel a bit the same way now that Mosaic of Light is out – just want to get back to the craft and the storytelling for a bit, and let my desperately-depleted energies recharge.
I need to find more time for reading, too – so many of my author friends’ books are still waiting for me to dive into … I need more time lol!
(Replying to your last comment – for some reason WordPress won’t let me reply to it properly!)
I definitely need more hours in the day too! My to-read pile is ridiculous, there are so many books by author friends that I want to read and there just isn’t time!
Yep, it’s been so lovely to be creative again. Editing and re-writing is great, but it’s not the same as first-draft writing! I hope you have some time to recharge soon!