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A Beautiful Tribute From My Fans

Saturday, September 1, 2012

10 Things You’ll Learn in the First 6 Months of Self-Publishing

10 Things You’ll Learn in the First 6 Months of Self-Publishing

Chris Robley

 Courtesy of Chris Robley

Last week I read an article by Jennifer Ciotta called “10 Things I’ve Learned in My First 6 Months of Being a Self Published Author.” It was full of honest, practical, real-world advice for anyone about to embark on a self-publishing “journey” (which is really more a roller-coaster ride between crushing self-doubt and triumphant ecstasy.)
I asked Jennifer if we could share her advice with BookBaby authors. She said yes and even shot this video outlining her experiences.Check it out, or read her original article here, or—if time is limited—see my quick summary below.

10 self-publishing lessons you don’t have to learn the hard way

1. It takes time to build your audience- 
Be patient. If you’re in it for the ride, you’ll be successful.
2. Shortcuts don’t work-
A daily commitment to your writing and promotion is the only way to succeed.
3. You will spend a lot of money-
Digital Publishing. Book printing. Publicity. It costs money.
4. Be skeptical of where you spend money-
Beware scammers and sharks who say they can turn you into a best-seller in 30 days! Ask questions, get references, and do your research.
5. Pricing is key-
Unknown authors shouldn’t charge too much for eBooks.
6. You will receive bad reviews-
Art is subjective. No book is perfect. And plenty of classics still don’t get 5 star reviews on Amazon. If the critism is contructive, learn from it.
7. Remember etiquette-
Concentrate on the positives. You’ve gotta let negativity brush off your shoulders.
8. You’ve gotta be tough-
“No one puts Baby in the corner!” Be persistent. You’ll have to fight for things.
9. Go after the big guns-
Every publicity opportunity begets another publicity opportunity.  Just because you’re self-published doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pitch yourself to CNN, the Today Show, etc. You might get lucky! But make sure you’re prepared.
10. Keep learning-
There’s a lot to figure out early on, and the landscape keeps changing. So you need to stay open to new ideas. If you’re new to self-publishing, check out Jennifer’s upcoming book called No Bullshit Guide to Self-Publishing. (Due out in early September, 2012).
Jennifer Ciotta is the author of I, Putin, which won Honorable Mentions at the New York Book Festival & Hollywood Book Festival, 2012. It is her debut novel. She has had short stories published in Del Sol Review and New Voices in Fiction. Besides her writing career, she is a book manuscript editor at Pencey X Pages and an advisory editor at Author Salon, a writers community that connects writers, agents and publishing house editors. She holds a Masters degree in creative writing and Russian studies from the Gallatin School at New York University.
Thank you for reading this article.


  1. Some good basic advice. I think marketing strategy is probably the biggest hurdle to self-publishing. So many authors complain that they know how to write the book but not how to sell it. It's tough.

  2. Thank you for your comment.Selling self published books is a business not an art.The authors must devote a lot of time to advertise their product. To write a story is the pleasant part.Some self published books are great and worth reading. Illustrating, publishing and promoting your book is another story. Many self published authors do not have the financial resources. They have no idea where to start and how to promote their product. Marketing and selling your own product was always the most expensive and time consuming part. However,many authors know how to use the Internet tools, which are very affordable if not free.If the authors learn how to balance social media and still have time to write, then they will succeed.