I didn’t know what I didn’t know!
When I started my self-publishing journey, I went into the process blind as a bat. I was so excited to publish my book, and I had great information to share! Not only was I completely unaware of the tasks and money it takes to publish a book, I didn’t know where to start.
The book was written; what was next? Someone directed me to an independent publishing company. Great. Right? Not so fast.
I had no idea I had an option to setup my own self-publishing company and no one educated me about this. If I had setup my own company I would have had more control over the processes of publishing and marketing. I would have also worked with a Professional Author Assistant.
Mistake No. 1 – Not educating myself before jumping into the water
Hindsight is 20/20. At the time I was so excited to share my information and becoming a published author I jumped right in trusting others to help me succeed. Remember, we are in charge of our success and no one else…
What I didn’t know at the time was I could create my own self-publishing company. Setting up a self-publishing company is actually easy and very cost effective. Your publishing company can also be your current company brand (as long as it is your author brand too). My point is you have more control over the process, your files, and your intellectual property, etc., when you self-publish. The company I used has control over my book cover and the interior files, and the ISBN is under their company name. At this point in time I have no idea how to find my information!
One reason authors should look at self-publishing is have all of their books recognized as books by the same publisher. International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) are a “product identifier used by publishers, booksellers, libraries, internet retailers and other supply chain participants for ordering, listing, sales records and stock control purposes. The ISBN identifies the registrant as well as the specific title, edition and format.” I also didn’t know it’s much, much less expensive to purchase a group of 10 or more ISBNs than to purchase a single one (especially if I continued to write and self-publish books).
During my publishing process I had no idea what any of this information meant. The most important “aha” for me was learning the difference between an “independent publisher” and setting up a self-publishing company.
Mistake No. 2 – Inadequate marketing
Back then I thought I had a following of people to purchase my book. Little did I know I should have started marketing my book at the start of my book project. I did know my audience (professional women entrepreneurs), but with only a few hundred followers it wasn’t enough. Yes, I was going to go on speaking engagements, but were they “raving fans?” Hope and faith only take you so far.
Several years ago when I started my book project Facebook was just starting. Authors weren’t doing FB Lives, YouTube hadn’t really started yet, and no one was marketing through podcasts. The main outlet authors, especially authors in business, were selling their books was through speaking events.
Mistake No. 3 – Not working with a Professional Author Assistant
Going through my journey, I heard there were Professional Author Assistants (PAA), but again, I didn’t do my due diligence. I only saw dollar signs and quickly finishing the project. Had I talked with a PAA I would have published as an educated author because I would have known:
- the difference between indie, traditional, and self-publishing,
- the many processes to professionally publish my book, and
- I could have given up control of the processes, but kept control of my intellectual property.
Self-publishing: What I know now
After my publishing experience, I made the decision to become a Certified Professional Author Assistant. Besides myself, I knew other writers who wanted to publish a book, but had no idea what was involved or what the next step was in the publishing process. I’ve also heard many, many people say they talked with someone who would “guarantee” best-seller status for a mere $35,000. First, no one can “guarantee” you become a best seller. Second, never, ever pay someone money to publish your book. Yes, there is money upfront when you self-publish because there are several processes needed to make sure your book is professionally published. Professional Author Assistants are paid to complete the tasks to publish your book whether you self- or traditionally publish.
As an author, your book, your business, and your brand is a holistic approach to writing, publishing, and marketing. One isn’t successful without the other.
For example,your goal is to make money off of your book. However, your book is the catalyst to increase your wealth. You can use your book for speaking engagements (live or podcast) and up-sell people into your coaching program or to purchase your products.
If you’re confused by the publishing process and have questions, Peter and I are happy to talk with you. Schedule a complimentary strategy session today!