It was 2 A.M. and I had been up for nearly two days. Then it hit me and I had to face reality. I was going to start my own publishing company. Just for this one book, I lied to myself. You know the lie. That little untruth you tell yourself so you can feel better about what you’re doing. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad of a lie. But, I did tell myself that I was only going to do it once. That was the real lie. In the back of my mind I know my subconscious had to have been laughing at me.
If you’re only doing it once, why are you sending so much time on it?
And there it was. As soon as I started researching how to publish a book, I knew I was hooked.
Anyone that knows me, knows that I love research and learning new things. That should have been my first clue. Add on to that the fact that I love to share what I learn with others, and I should have seen the path I was about to take. After all, my wife saw it before I did. Other than looking back and forth to see if I was still on the right track, I’ve kept moving forward.
My intention at first really was to just publish the book I had written to share with my family. Eight years later now and I’m still publishing. That night, at two-in-the-morning, I started Loconeal Publishing, a small press, with the intention of discovering new authors in the early stages of their writing careers. Along the way, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a lot of authors, including the core group of authors at Loconeal Publishing.
It wasn’t long before the teacher in me felt the urge to share what I had learned. Since that time, I have consulted, coached and mentored thousands of authors, speakers, and publishers. Some just needed guidance in the development of their book, while others wanted to learn how to start and run their own publishing company. In some cases, we walked the path and learned together. In others, they began as green as I had. Only now, I could help them avoid some of the mistakes that I learned the hard way. There were even a few cases where my heart felt like it was breaking for them, after finding out how they had been taken advantage of by predatory publishers.
There are a multitude of paths to publishing. Below, I have listed a few mistakes that I see repeated over and over by well-meaning enthusiastic indie authors when they decide to become publishers.
1. Don’t lie to yourself, this is going to be hard.
You need to really love what you are doing. Once you accept the fact that it is going to be hard work, the quicker you can actually get things done. Carve out time in your day or week to take care of your publishing education needs and to work on your next step. That’s right, you don’t have to go it alone. There are many people out there just like myself that want to see you succeed.
2. Don’t wait until your manuscript is finished to start researching how to publish.
For some reason, this step seems to escape many writers. If you plan to self-publish your book, you can’t wait until the very last minute to figure out how to do it. Well, I guess you could, but you’re also going to run into a lot more mistakes.
I can understand the unconscious desire to put off what you might perceive as difficult. It’s human nature, we tend to avoid the uncomfortable. However, if you wait until the last moment, it’ll only get worse. You’ll just feel overwhelmed with the abundance of information out there. Then, you start to feel pressured to just pick a vanity press to do it for you. But wait! How do you know if they are legitimate? If they are the real deal, how does their price compare to others? What services do they offer? Does it really cost that much? You see where I’m going hear right? Share your fears and get rid of them by asking the right people the right questions.
3. Never forget, publishing is a business.
Even if you have another job out there that pays the bills for now, you need to treat publishing (just like writing) as a job. Sure, it’s a job that we love, but you need to have a plan. If you want your publishing business to be successful you will need a business plan. This does not have to be overly complex either. State your yearly goals, your mission statement, and your action steps. This is where an accountability partner comes in real handy. Someone to bounce ideas off, besides your pet that just looks at you with their head cocked sideways when you ask them, “Does this book cover catch your eye?” You need someone in your corner that’s there when you have questions.
I hope these few items have been helpful and that they have given you something to think about. You can also get more publishing tips and information from my free newsletter, Publisher’s Corner.
Do you have a publishing question or frustration? Let me know here and I’ll answer it in an upcoming blog or my newsletter.
Now you can stop reading here if you like, but please read on. I’d like to tell you a little about my most recent project called, EntrePublishing Community. This is a new membership site that I’ve started, or will be starting officially in January of 2017. However, I’ll be starting up with an introductory group in mid-December.
EntrePublishing stands for Entrepreneurial Publishing. The EntrePublishing Community is a combination virtual coaching, mentoring, and accountability group with live weekly office hours. This group is designed to answer your questions in all areas related to the publishing business, whether you are an indie publisher or publishing the works of others. For more information about when the EntrePublishing Community doors open, join my mailing list by clicking the link below or by going to www.entrepublishing.com.