After taking a little time to make sure that both the Kindle and Nook versions of the book are in good order, I finally went public with my book this afternoon, starting with a post on Facebook.
And it’s the strangest feeling. While people have read my short stories and said nice things about them before, I still really don’t know what the overall reception will be, especially now that people will be paying to read my work
That’s the curious thing about self-publishing. If you take the traditional route and your book is picked up by an agent, who then finds a publisher who wants to sell it, you will have had an entire team of people expressing confidence in your writing by the time your work hits the streets. That’s not the case when you publish the book yourself, so it is with some trepidation that I await the first reviews of my book.
Next up, digging through my email address book to let all my old friends and contacts know about the book, and then on to the task of creating a more public profile on websites where likely customers can be found. I’ve already done that on The Guardian website, creating a new profile with a link to my book that I can use to comment with, especially on news stories about aliens, or space exploration in general.
I’m not a very public person, so marketing and self-promotion is not something that comes naturally to me. On the other hand, with the amount of work I put into the book, I don’t want to just let it languish in obscurity either, so I really have little option but to bite the bullet and get on with it. You never know, I might even start posting on Facebook more than once every three months.
I’ve been listening to the “Rocking Self-Publishing Podcast” to get a sense of how to market books. There are good resources out there. It sucks that writers need to become experts in marketing, but it seems to the case even for traditional Big Five published authors (unless they were established before Amazon existed).
While it’s true that traditionally published authors get a support team expressing confidence in their books, a self-published author can have the same in beta readers. One could argue that professional agents and editors have more valid opinions than fans of your genre. But one could argue the other way, as well.