10 things you hear when you self publish
Self publishing has been quite the (un)eventful adventure. No matter where I turn someone has something to say about self publishing, marriage, or just the title of my book. Here are the ten things I hear the most when people have learned I wrote and self published a book on marriage:
1. What makes you qualified?
Well I have a masters degree in curriculum and instruction design (as in writing and educating other people). I've been to numerous relationship trainings and was a trainer. I am married (16 years and counting). I could go on but really what do you mean qualifications? I mean I don't tout my book as a research based self-help save all doomed marriages book. I'm very honest up front about NOT being an expert and that this is just real life experience put into pages. What qualifies anyone to write about anything(rhetorical questions)? Do you think Anne Rice or Stephanie Myer really know vampires? Do you think that Dr. Laura is really the end all be all in marriage advice? No we live in a world of varying opinions and it's cool to put lots of thoughts out there. So chill.
2. So you self published?
Ummm yes... see there is no Random House or Hayhouse or Harper Collins or Simon and Schuster... (need I go on?) attached to my book but that also means I get to keep most of my earnings. It means I am in charge. I actually never pitched this book to a publisher because I didn't want it be changed. Every single editor for big publishing companies will tell you they practically re-write the entire book. I didn't want that.
3. What does it cost?
Self-publishing is kind of a personal thing. How can I count the hours, the tears, the late nights and early mornings. How do you quantify the number of no's and why's and stupid questions I get asked over and over along with the editing, the cover design, the free books I've handed out because people haven't paid or forget to pay, or on and on and on? I'm not sure I could ever put into currency what I've actually poured out... especially the self doubt and rejection I've dealt with. Which brings me to the next thing I always hear.
If I had a dollar for every time I hear no. From no I don't want to buy your book, to no I won't feature you on my blog, to no we won't carry you in our bookstore I'd be a freaking million...well maybe a thousand... umm at least a hundred-air (maybe a thousand air). I've even had perceived friends tell me no. It's hard and heartbreaking, not sure I was really ready for it.
5. Yeah, I read your book (followed by uncomfortable silence (sometimes followed by "it was good"))
I don't get this one... I mean if your family or friends just polite lie. Don't like lie lie but come on, even if it wasn't for you or you don't agree or it wasn't quite your taste you can at least pretend for a minute. I mean whats more important? Your rude comment or my self esteem? I'm just saying!
6. So how much have you made?
HA!! Bwahahahahahahaha... oh wait, you're serious. Ok, well at this point not much. There are incredibly successful self publishers and I intend on hitting those ranks, soon. But right now I've got to pay my mortgage and get my name out there. I'm a teacher, a mom, a wife, and so much more so I'm working on it...
7. I don't read.
Look just tell me my book doesn't interest you, I'd rather hear that than I don't read because those words just spell out ignorant to me. Like really ignorant. You should read if you don't. I'm not trying to be bossy but people who don't read are part of the problem...
8. Where do you find the time to write?
Find the time? I don't. I make time and it takes away from other things, like raising my children or being my husband's other woman (see what I did there?). I have to make the time and make writing a priority and it is H-A-R-D, HARD! People aren't usually asking this though, what they are saying is "it's pretty selfish to take time from your family to chase your dreams" and to that I just flip em the bird because YOLO.
Yes is music to my ears! Yes we will carry your book, yes I will buy your book, yes I'd love to leave a review! I love yesses (I mean who doesn't). Yes is a self-publishers dream! I know I'm using a lot of exclamation points, I kinda do that and I am trying to convey how awesome hearing YES is!!! Seriously, the best! especially when they say YES I want you to sign it. :)
10. Will you speak at my event?
Ok this is a new one and I didn't actually hear it, I read it but it still felt amazing and is something I had to include in my list. Speaking events will hopefully lead to more sales which will lead to more books read which will lead to more people talking about it and could possibly lead to negative remarks but will hopefully lead to even more sales and positive reviews and people talking about it...
So there you have it, the top ten things I hear when I tell people I am a self-published author. Not super glamorous but still very cool and I feel accomplished because I did this. I created it, I paid for it to be edited, I helped with the design (like gave the artist my thoughts), and I pushed the button to upload and go live. I created this piece of art, it's mine and I get to share it even though it feels like I am parting with a piece of my soul every single time someone asks me for a copy.
If you haven't bought it you can order it online here. If you live in the Ogden area you can pick it up at the Booked on 25th, the Local Artisan Collective, the North Ogden Cannery, or Planet Rainbow.