Learning by Doing
by Markie Paxton
Taylor Must Behave
I have no idea what I'm doing. Ain't it great!!
You have to take a course in obnoxious.
Hi, it's me. I would love to be able to sit here and spew out the ultimate genius information about self-publishing, but I can't. I've only just done it myself a couple of months ago.
But let me tell you, no matter what happens, this has been a most aggravating and terrific experience so far!!
I have an actual book that I wrote and illustrated and had a wonderful time doing. I have sold 30 copies of my little book, but it feels like a million! I've received compliments and raves I never dreamed of (little kids can be quite touching). I've met terrific people along the way whom I never would have met otherwise. I've learned a LOT of stuff (#1 - any time anything says, "it's so easy," just throw your crayons and computer out the window now, or gird your loins and position yourself for the fight ahead).
And now I have a little book. And people are buying it! And now people are buying my second little book, and it feels just as monumental. I feel like Hemingway!!
BUT - what I DO know is self publishing means you do all the heavy lifting. I used CreateSpace, and they're just terrific and very helpful, but you have to learn how to do all the steps required. And it's frustrating as all get-out. But a man from their community blog (very cool) contacted me via my frustrated posted questions and taught me how to do it.
You draw, you write, you learn about margins, bleed (not actually physically - it's a printing term), sizing, fonts and any other technical thing they can throw at you. You finally finish it, you send it, they return it with corrections, you send it again, they return it again so many times that you think you can actually hear them laughing at your frustration.
But if you want it badly enough, you just keep going until you get it. And then you have your own little book, and it is so cool.
AND THEN you have to get it out there.
I have 2 books on Amazon. So what? All they basically do is print it and put it on their site.
No one is going to beat down your door to buy your book in the beginning. You have to take a course in obnoxious and go out there and beat the streets, show it to friends, neighbors, total strangers, anyone who will listen, to make things happen.
Do readings at libraries, schools, find privately owned small book stores; they love to showcase local artists. I sold 2 copies the other day just walking around WalMart, holding the books with the covers strategically facing out. Find fabulous websites like this one that are encouraging and helpful. Just keep learning and doing and thinking and pushing.
It's like the lottery - you can't win if you don't play!
Taylor Must Behave at CreateSpace.