A self-publishing journey of disappointments, setbacks and a passion for the written word
Being a self-published author is one of the most fascinating journeys any person can embark upon.
I started writing 7 years ago with my head full of dreams and hopes. I write children’s books about a zany bunch of dogs who belong to a secret organization that rescues other dogs from neglect. I have published over 15 books, and I’m still writing today.
Over this time my understanding of what it means to be an Indie author has changed dramatically, and despite constant setbacks, I am still passionate about writing and getting published.
Changes to self-publishing
There have been many changes since I started writing which have molded and shaped all authors – traditional and self-published. Without going on about who the good guys and the bad guys are let us say that the value of the written word has certainly fallen making it more difficult for authors to make a living, and also be found online.
We have also witnessed the demise of physical bookstores, which has added further strain on traditional publishers and Indies.
Telling a story
Drawing on my long ancestral links of storytelling, I know how important it is to re-tell and share information, articles and stories. I am a natural storyteller, and love sharing even the smallest event in story form.
One thing I did in the beginning of my self-publishing journey was to read everything I could get my hands on about the industry. Heavens, in those early days I didn’t even know what an Indie was! But, I read and studied and most importantly, I learned and put almost idea into practice.
I acted like a sponge and I tried everything at first. Perhaps I was desperate, and perhaps I was curious. Whatever my motivations I was drawn into a brand new industry and I wanted to know more.
Once I got more experienced I only did what I knew would work and what I could afford. I hate to think how much money I floundered marketing my books. Sure, I got some sales, but nothing that kept my books selling after the promotion had ended.
Step out of your comfort zone
Many things I did included putting myself out there and showing up to libraries, markets and even cafes with my books and flyers. This is one of the most humiliating things in the world! Being criticized online is one thing, but sitting behind your table and being ignored in a busy area is another.
I wouldn’t change what I did, though. Each time I stepped out of my comfort zone I learned something important. Sometimes I learned about how other book related industries work, and others times I learned a lot about myself. I also learned how good my books were because I received awesome feedback.
Create your own self-publishing journey
If you are not sure if writing is for you then try it. Listen to what everyone has to tell you and give most of their suggestions a go – you just never know what roads they will take you down, and what you will learn.
It doesn’t matter if you are talented or not because the only thing that will keep you going is your passion for writing. Without that you won’t survive all the knockbacks and bumps you are going to experience in your self-publishing journey.
If you want to be an author and be published, do it. Love every minute of it, and be determined. Hone your craft and learn everything you can. Ultimately, you’ll either be a success or not because in the end it all comes down to how passionate you are. And, no one is a success without passion.
About the author - Susan Day
Susan Day is a children’s author and writer. Her blog, Astro’s Adventures Book Club, is full of ideas and tips for grandparents who want to build a strong relationship with their grandchildren. In particular, Susan specializes in helping grandparents share their love of books with their grandchildren. Susan is currently writing a book titled, The Top 10 Things Happy Grandparents Never Regret Doing!
Susan lives in country Australia with four dogs, three boss cats, three rescue guinea pigs, and an errant kangaroo. And, apart from blogging, writing and reading; she loves drinking coffee, painting and learning to box.