Setting Self Doubt on Fire: Beat the Fear of Self-Publishing
Hey, everyone, the self-doubt-fighting writer is back! Where have I been? Well, fairies abducted me and brought me to their Pinkfey Kingdom, and because I’m so pinkalicious, they begged me to become their Queen Pinky — the original queen fell down a well and turned into something resembling that chick from the film The Ring.
So for months, I ruled their Pinkfey Kingdom, and… okay, okay, that’s a load of crap. But, the real reason just isn’t as interesting. The truth is I was unwell, but I won’t bore you with all the details here — I explain all on my blog. But now I’m recovering it’s time to return to my self-doubt fighting ways.
So, what do I have for you today? I am going to talk about how you can beat the fear of self-publishing.
Self-doubt makes you feel like you’re not good enough, so the thought of self-publishing your own stories (or poetry) will terrify you — I know it terrifies me. For some of us, the submission process is a test of our abilities. If you make it through and an editor or publisher accepts your work, then your work must be good enough.
With self-publishing, you don’t have that test. And, the only way you know if your work is good enough is if readers read and review your work — yep, scary thought, right? The thought alone will fill your mind with so many questions: Will people hate my story? Did I publish too soon? Will people buy a book from me again? With these questions swirling around your head, self-publishing will no longer look like a good idea.
Well, we can’t have you giving up now. I have recently experienced self-publishing for the first time. And, I put fear aside (it wasn’t easy, but I did it) and allowed the world to judge my baby (I’m referring to my book. I don’t have a real baby). How can you do the same? Well, my fellow self-doubters, I have some tips for you:
- Start small. If fear often cripples you, it might not be a good idea to jump into self-publishing a novel-length piece — diving into the deep end might work for some, but others (like me) might benefit more from paddling in the shallow end first.
So, if you’re like me, I suggest you try publishing short stories (or flash fictions) on your blog or story sharing websites like Wattpad. Then you can see what people say and take on board any feedback to help future projects. Believe it or not, there are some people out there who will give feedback to help you improve and not to tear you down. Sharing your stories this way might even help you find a readership.
Then from there you can try publishing a short story collection e-book and work your way up to a novel.
- Find beta readers to check your work before you publish it. If you’re part of a writing group, you can ask the members to be your beta readers. This will help you to spot any issues before your book ends up in the hands of your readers. You’ll also get valuable feedback, and any positive feedback will be a boost to your confidence.
If you’re not part of a writing group, you can find writers online, or you might know people who love reading. What’s important is that you get honest feedback.
There’s also an option of hiring an editor to edit your work for you. Having your book professionally edited will be good for your book, but it’s not something that we can all afford to do.
- Fear of something can often be reduced by gaining knowledge of what you fear. So, find out as much information as possible about the self-publishing process. This will allow you to find out how to avoid mistakes and how to make the process easier. You can also read about other author’s experiences of self-publishing, and this will allow you to see that you’re not alone in your fears.
- Seek support. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to your concerns. And once you have got your fears off your chest, you’ll find yourself feeling more positive. So, if you do need to talk, then reach out to your loved ones or a writer buddy, either off or online.
- Just do it. Like I mentioned in my ‘Let’s Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway in 2019’ post, sometimes the best way to overcome fear is to do what scares you. So edit that book, format it correctly and press on that publish button — of course, don’t forget to give it to your beta readers first.
When it came down to publishing my e-book, I kept checking all the details I had entered, even though I knew I had entered everything correctly — I was trying to avoid pushing the publish button. But, I knew I had to just do it. So, I pushed the button and threw my book into the pool of hungry readers. I have to admit it was a huge relief when I finally did it.
So, there are my tips. I hope they help you to beat the fear of self-publishing and share your amazing stories with the world. If you have any tips of your own, please comment below. I’d love to hear how you push fear aside.
For those of you who are interested, my e-book, The Book of Drabbles, is available to download for FREE from Smashwords and any other e-book retailer.
“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?”– Vincent Van Gogh