Self-publishing Done Wrong

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James Tarbott

Six years ago, I wrote and published a book on Self-publishing. It was a how-to book and I followed that up with a book about marketing plans. Sometime after that, I realized the fallacy in writing thosebooks that way. It implies (to new authors) that first you work on publishing your book. When that’s done, you work on the marketing. This two-step process isn’t how self-publishing works and it certainly doesn’t represent the way I self-publish my books. I do the publishing and marketing together.

For several years now, I’ve struggled how to come up with a way to integrate both self-publishing and marketing into a single plan that would be understandable to authors approaching self-publishing for the first time. In one such attempt, I built a graphical plan using Padlet.com (Did I ever mention how much I love Padlet?). The plan showed each step in a integrated process to self-publish and market a book. Publishing tasks were in one color, marketing in a different color. Tasks requiring funding were highlighted and it was organized by monthly timeframes. The end result was rather large and it looked gorgeous. It even had embedded audio and video tracks.

A month or two later, I realized the work represented wasted time. The objective was to provide new self-publishing authors with a roadmap on how to do it. But the only people who would be able to follow and understand the graphcial plan were experienced self-published authors. Newbie authors would simply scratch there head and go elsewhere for advice. As an example of the disconnect, one such task read “Develop Keywords.” Experienced authors would see that and say, “Yep. That’s when I work on coming up with my keywords.” Inexperienced authors would say, “What the hell are keywords and how do I develop them?”

In other words, my graphical plan told newbie beginners when to work on a task but provided no explanation on what the task meant or how to complete it.

My latest solution is a book that uniquely integrates the publishing and marketing processes into a single unified project. It has detailed explanations and instructions for each task. Like the wasted graphic, the work is organized around monthly time frames. The book’s title is How to Self-publish and Market a Book and it will be published on September 15, 2019.

I built a support page for the book. The page has a lot of material that didn’t properly fit into the book, but could be a boon for the new author. Included on the page is an interactive checklist to track progress. The page can be found at: https://padlet.com/hanque/b0boum9fw405

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Hank writes satirical fantasy and sci-fi. Early in his writing career, he was strongly influenced by Douglas Adams and his Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

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