Self-Published is Only Half-Finished

I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to release my first book at the beginning of November¬†and try and do NaNoWriMo too. I guess I figured once my debut romance novel, Buzzworthy, was done and up on Amazon for sale I could just brush my hands and walk away. Ha! Rookie mistake.

Because, you see, when you’re self-publishing, writing the book is only part of the process. It’s not even, like, a third of the process. Besides writing the book, there’s editing the book, formatting the book (for print and digital), designing the cover (or getting someone else to), and repeating all those steps over and over until you’re so sick of looking at it you don’t even care if there’s a hanging em dash in that one paragraph. But really you do care, so you go through all the steps again. And once that’s done, there’s the whole process of uploading and waiting for it to go live and look! Someone pinch you! You’re a published author on Amazon, right up there with your favorite authors! Just like you’ve always dreamed!

But.

No one is buying the book.

I won’t say no one, because I got eight sales the first weekend it was up, including six pre-orders (I’ll do a post later about why it’s a dumb idea to do pre-orders for your first book — another rookie mistake). But then it just kind of stalled. Because I forgot about marketing. You’ve got to promote the book. Which is kind of meta, actually, because the love interest in Buzzworthy is a movie star who hates promoting his movies. Wonder where that came from?

I have a Twitter account and I have this shiny new blog. I’m trying to be more engaging and put myself out there. But it’s hard. Especially for writers, who tend to be an introverted lot. So this week I’m diving into marketing and we’ll see how it goes. If I make any more mistakes other new writers could learn from, you’ll hear about it here.

Oh, and please feel free to check out my book on Amazon! If you like it, be sure to leave a nice review. I have only one so far. Bless you, Jeri T. Ryan, whomever you are. I’ll bet you get mixed up with that actress from Star Trek all the time and that probably kind of sucks, but you seem super nice. You were the first stranger to review my book, and you gave it five stars, so I wish only good things for you and your loved ones and your descendants in perpetuity.

Like I said, I’m still figuring this all out. And maybe tomorrow I’ll get back on track with my NaNo project.