-   Part   1   -

If you are a newbie to self-publishing I offer you here a collection of random thoughts from which you may find some useful advice and encouragement. 


I knew absolutely nothing about publishing a book when I started making the attempt 12 years ago.  Now, 11 self-published books later, I have the basics down...but not much success.  This leads to


the first tip: be humble,  Have no delusions of grandeur.  Most self-publishers are like wannabe rock stars.  Few become one.

Okay, so I am self-taught. But experience--good and bad--is reality and sometimes that's the best teacher.  But experience has its shortcomings; you cannot learn entirely on your own.  You will need help and it shan't come from a friend or relative. That's tip #2:  if you really really want to succeed as a professional writer, get professional help.  First and foremost should be an editor I never could afford one, but if you can, get yourself a real pro editor and your self-publishing career will have one less regret.  So start filling your editor piggy bank today.


Most of my background in writing evolved out of my career in radio--things like news copy, feature reports, commercials and promotional campaigns.  My first book was "just for grins," something to keep me active during my first year of retirement.  What did I know about children's picture books?  I have six grandchildren--that's it!  Not much to go on, but I went for it anyway.  


One highlight: I searched for an illustrator on Craig's List and was referred to a young mother in the U.K. (I live in the USA).  She won the job instantly and the two of us spent the next eight months marrying text to picture--entirely via e-mail.  We never met, never spoke on the phone or text-messaged each other...just e-mails!  The book is titled NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE. What a great experience.  And, if you don't like the rhymes I wrote, you should at least appreciate her crafty contributions. 


So, in the end, I did experience lots of grins and I enjoyed the self-publishing experience. However, and it's a big HOWEVER, if you self-publish and you truly want to sell your book, and maybe even experience some success as a writer, you will need to be an incredible marketer with exceptional reach and an impressive list of worthy contacts.  And, oh yeah, a supply of marketing cash helps too.  That's tip #3. 


Next time (watch this space!)  we will talk more about money and why you don't need a dime getting self-published.