5 Things I Learned about Self-publishing

Yesterday I launched my method book Woodwind Improvisatory Techniques of the Classical Era.

The journey was anything but straight and smooth, 
but what I learned along the way has been priceless.

I started this project 5 years ago,
and it is the culmination of two scholarly papers and an independent study,
complete with lecture recital.

What I didn't realize when I decided to self-publish
is that the process would take so much time
and have such a large learning curve.

I could have tried to find a publisher,
but having recently gone through the dissertation process,
I wanted the control.

Yes, I had to learn about beta testing, cover bleeds,
templates, and reviews, 
but what I really enjoyed discovering
were the things that had nothing to do with publishing in particular.

  • There is always a way.
    Get ready to troubleshoot because there will be problems.
    They may seem unsurmountable, but they are not. 
    Try different ways to fix the problem,
    and try different ways of thinking about the problem.  
    Embrace the excitement of the challenge to keep frustration at bay.
  • You are never alone.
    Support is just a question away.  Don't be afraid to ask for help!
    There is tech support for a lot of the tools you'll need.

    Friends and family can offer a different perspective to a challenge.
    Talking about your book with others can give you the dose of inspiration you may need.
    Find out who is excited about your book and ask them to help you promote it.
  • Deadlines are negotiable.
    Deadlines are there to motivate you to get stuff done,
    and you should definitely try to hold yourself to them.
    But life happens.  Family crisis, illness, and so many other things are out of your control.
    People aren't judging you nearly as much as you're judging yourself.
    If they really want it, they'll wait.
  • Live your life.
    Yes, the journey of self-publishing is exciting AND time consuming,
    but it shouldn't dictate every aspect of your life.
    This is a journey, and it doesn't end with the launch.
    There will always be more marketing/work/business to do.

    Learn to make decisions and then make them right.
    Don't waste time wondering if it was the right decision.
    Enjoying the journey is more important than trying to achieve perfection.
  • Believe in your worth.
    There will be haters.
    This is a good sign; it means you are doing something big.
    When you start doing big things, ultimately there will be people who will feel smaller because of it
    or they just may not not realize how rude they are.
    These people are not your concern.
    If you believe that your voice needs to get out into the world,
    that what you're doing is important,
    no one can stop you.

If you are tenacious about your vision and your ability to help others,
I would strongly suggest self-publishing.
Even more so if the thought of helping others excites you to your core.

Its rewards far out-weigh the troubles.
(Trouble is actually half the fun!)

Dr. Nancy Williams is a musician, educator, and Leadership & Life Coach.  You can purchase her method book here.

1 comment

  • Madilynn Dean
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