Self-Help for Self-Published Writers

The other night, I posted some thoughts on the challenges of this whole self-publishing business, followed by a handful of tips for maintaining sanity. They were fairly well received, so I’ve decided to repost them here. If you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, this may actually help. Maybe.

Here’s how it goes: things will be moving along swimmingly one day and then suddenly go silent the next. It’s mysterious, frightening, and frustrating, and it can feel like your faith is constantly being tested.

The truth is that we’re only here doing this because we have that faith, and it’s the nature of faith to be tested.

These are the things I try to keep in mind when I feel like the world is doling out a particularly fierce beating:

  • If this weren’t challenging, it probably wouldn’t be worth doing.
  • We’re not major publishers, so we can’t afford a massive marketing blitz. We work slowly, methodically, and above all else personally.
  • This isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon. If we run at full-steam, we’ll just end up passed out on the side of the road.
  • No one knows our names, so our biggest daily challenge is fighting obscurity. Be notable.
  • Everybody finds their own path to success, so we shouldn’t compare ourselves to other writers.
  • Celebrate the small victories. We only get so many.
  • There’s no sense beating ourselves up; the rest of the world will always take care of that.
  • If we work to improve every day, we’ll eventually be among the best.
  • Everyone who enjoys our work will help sell it to someone else.
  • Day to day statistics will drive us mad. Try to look at the bigger picture.
  • Smile. It makes the hard times easier to bear. 🙂
  • It’s too early to think we’ve failed.

Nothing too profound, but do I hope you find something useful in there. Take care, and stay sane!


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