Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like
Once again, a list of intimidations vis-à-vis the wisdom of self-publishing, this time from “hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, and author,” James Altucher (h/t 1WriteWay). “21 Things You Need to Know About Self-Publishing 2.0.”
It’s a worthwhile read, if you have already or are considering self-publication, but it is very much a bucket of cold Gatorade on the head, in case you were starting to feel optimistic about your chances. Altucher offers plenty of terrific advice about growing a blog audience, assembling your self-publishing team (cover artist, editor, designer), and using social media. He also tells the truth about traditional publishers and how little they do marketingwise for the average author (they pay you an advance and get you into a few bookstores) — reasonable motivation for pursuing the self-publication idea. I wish the writing had been on the wall back when Parts Unknown was published, but then again Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, et al. didn’t exist at the time. It’s actually easier to market yourself as a writer today. Or seems easier.
But what irks me a little bit about Altucher’s advice is that, though he seems to mean his article to be inspiring, he apparently started with quite a large audience for his self-published books. He’d written for a variety of popular news and financial outlets and had a huge audience ready and waiting. One gets the feeling he didn’t face the odds and obstacles most of us do. His blog has had 10 million hits, fer chrissakes.
Likewise, he has a hedge fund manager’s perspective on personal investment in one’s own book. A professionally produced audiobook? Ka-ching. A video trailer that doesn’t look cheesy? Ka-ching. That whole team thing? Yeah, right.
Still, I can’t help but feel that these are things to have in the back of my mind as I get closer to publishing Yesterday Road. Eyes wide open. I’m doing my due diligence, weighing the array of options, budgeting, planning, fretting. I’d hate to go in with Pollyanna blinders on and get crushed like a bug on the windshield of the marketplace, to use a morbid metaphor.
This much is true for sure:
You are the one who believes in the message and your art and now want to share it with others and ultimately it is you who is choosing yourself to deliver that message. A message that, when properly packaged, will be a delight to the reader to receive.
You think a list of 21 must-do’s is scary? Or, to some of you who have already gone through it, does this seem about right? (Minus the audiobook, of course…).