5 Things I HATE About Being Self-Published
It's great having my work out there! Self-publishing is a fantastic means to an end.
But like most good things there are downfalls!
I like Top 5's. I have a lot of Top 5's. And I don't tend to harbour negative energy- like anger and hate. But recently I was advised to utilise the negatives- and hopefully help other authors in my position along the way!
So these are the Top 5 things I HATE about self-publishing!
1. My Amazon.co.uk reviews DO NOT SHOW UP on Amazon.com
I literally complain about this every time I am asked for feedback!
I understand the explanation. They are 'separate' sites. But my book is a product and it Is an 'Amazon product'- the exact same product on both sites. So why can't even 'verified purchase' reviews be part of my product display page?
I'm proud to have 30 reviews (29 five stars!) and have worked hard to build these up. They are essential in encouraging new readers to buy my books and it cuts off a huge audience not having them available to read across the world.
So frustrating. Amazon, sort it out! I can't be the only person who feels this way!
Anyway. Take a breath! The KDP service is fab in lots of areas- but this a huge bugbear because I feel it could be so easily fixed.
2. The amount of CRAP STORIES that are on offer.
I have to start by saying, I have read a lot of self-published books since discovering this world! Understanding how challenging it is to get noticed, I began reading books by new and self-published authors with the intention of leaving reviews and recommendations across Goodreads, social media, Amazon etc. Some have been great and I have stuck to my word, following authors, tagging them and promoting their work where I can.
Many however have been CRAP!
Eeeek, *insert fist in mouth.
It really does make me feel uncomfortable to air this view. I offer free reviews and only publish those which are 3 stars are more. When a story doesn't meet criteria (see Reviews for Authors) I provide constructive feedback about how it could develop.
I love to read and ultimately crap stories make most bookworms mad! And as a self-published author it makes the job even harder.
Unfortunately, bad experiences with self-published authors can be damaging for our reputation. So please, thoroughly review and rework your story, make sure it is ready for the market before releasing. The number of books being published daily is staggering. Aim for quality, not quantity.
3. Rejection, rejection, rejection.
Nobody likes putting themselves out there only to be rejected.
Rejection hurts and can chip away at your belief, determination and motivation.
And any aspiring creative or entrepreneur will know it is a huge, necessary and unavoidable, part of the process.
It has to be accepted. Time and time and time again... and time again... times a hundred.
I have whiled away days of my time sending emails, messages and making calls. Carefully composed synopsis', cover letters, pitches, CV's, achievements... often for nothing. Sometimes, if you're lucky, it's a non-generic, polite no.
Even on occasion borderline rude. These are the ones that really anger me!
It's a no, it's a no, it's a no... it can stick with you for days and weeks, particularly if there'd been some anticipation and hope over the response!
But keep trying, keep searching, keep experiencing, keep recapping, keep meeting people and keep on top of your aims and direction. There is literally no other choice when giving up is not an option!
4. The Self-Hate Cycle!
In general I am a positive person and I actively engage in a positive direction of thought. I heard this example when I was about nine; if you fall down the stairs and break your arm, be glad it wasn't your neck...
The it could have been worse attitude. Some dislike it, but trust me, it seriously helps in this industry!
Anyway, despite this. Things still anger me. Somebody says they'll review and doesn't, somebody says they'll share my posts because they have an audience themselves and they don't. Sometimes I reach out to random and local 'celebrity' people in the hope they'll help me out- share something or perhaps even read my book, they understand because they've been there themselves... and nothing. The Leicester Mercury won't touch me! I'm a local business woman, working with specialist schools and families tutoring children with additional learning needs and have published a chick-lit trilogy in the last year alone.
What's a girl have to do?
It's disappointing because the impact for me, if some of these things happened, is massive. I need reviews and coverage!
But then Little Miss Positive begins chirruping about the plenty of people who have supported me, and Mrs Righteous pipes up, why should people help me after all!
And for a moment I hate myself for being so ungrateful! Until another occasion when I feel like it's not fair.
You just gotta try and take the good with the bad.
And on a positive note! BBC Radio Leicester have been amazing- featuring me each time I have launched a book in the Jodie series. And so have The Local newspaper group which is distributed around Charnwood and Leicestershire.
5. Time-Turners don't really exist!
I honestly enjoy my 'day job' as in my 'paying work' because I don't just work in the daytime. After putting in a school day, I tutor most evenings and rarely get home before 8 in the week.
I write (and do all things related to my 'author life') as often as I can- a few snatched hours Monday to Thursday- and often the weekends I spend hours devoted to the cause.
I love writing stories and developing plot ideas, I love writing blogs, I enjoy researching and following up on avenues which could lead to publicity or exposure for my published stories.
I just wish I had more time to do it in!
I could cut my 'day job' hours but I have responsibilities I have dedicated myself to plus I'm developing some exciting ideas which combine my writing skills and knowledge of the education system.
So come on J.K, please tell me the inspiration for Hermione's time-turner comes from something real...
And there we have it. 5 Things I HATE About Being Self-Published!
Are you self-published? Did you agree with any of mine? Please share the things which anger you!