20 Things I’ve Learned about Self-Publishing . . . so far

  1. Read out loud everything you write.
  2. When you think your manuscript is done, keep working six more months.
  3. When you think your manuscript is done a second time, keep working six more months.
  4. When you think you are ready the third time, edit 10 pages a day.  The next day, review the prior day’s edits with fresh eyes. Edit 10 more pages.
  5. Editing can be fun.
  6. Writing and editing are two different skills.
  7. Read the work of others while you write and edit.  The best writers read.
  8. Creative writing and writing promotional copy are two different skills.
  9. Get signed releases for photographs (both author photos and cover photos).
  10. You CAN tell a book by its cover (use a professional cover designer).
  11. A year before you publish, create your own author website and blog (see WordPress.com).
  12. Build your social network (see Facebook, Goodreads, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube).
  13. Give away your writing with free excerpts.
  14. Don’t start promoting your book until you know it’s available (buy copies to check online availability).
  15. If you don’t market your book, no one else will.
  16. Vist local independent book stores to let them know about your book.
  17. Once published, readers own your book (embrace the feedback!).
  18. Start writing something new.
  19. Use what you’ve learned to live creatively (see Big Magic:  Creative Living Beyond Fear by Gilbert).
  20. Relax, and live with the fact that what you have created will remain lovingly imperfect!

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