Self-Publishing is a great thing. You have limitless creative freedom, with no editor or marketing people telling you how long your stories have to be. I’ve been enjoying it immensely. Admittedly though, there is one major downside: self-promotion.
We’re taught early on that we shouldn’t really self-promote. That’s something show-offy, it’s not someone does that has confidence in their work, someone trying to hide the flaws in ads. I used to think along these lines. Once you start self-publishing though, you learn quickly that this is the exact wrong way to actually get anywhere. You are on your own, and that means you need to rely on social media and other websites to get the word out. Ask your friends, ask your family, post wherever, whenever.
Take for instance the sub-reddit “Wrote a Book”:
That one allows you to just post a link and promote your book. But if you scroll down the site, you are once again reminded why you might not want it. Do you want to be associated with the dozenth romance novel this week? If you want to exist outside traditional publishing I would say: yes. In an ideal world all self-publishing authors would work together, trying to get the word out over each other’s books, but the world isn’t really perfect. For one, people still scoff at ebooks priced higher than $0.99, as if a cup of lukewarm coffee for “Janothizanlafaeiohsf” from Starbucks is a better value proposition.
So by all means: promote your books, price them higher than $0.99. The pricing is an important part of self-publishing, I think. It gives a statement to the world: I am confident in this book. Also I paid an artist for the cover and need my expenses covered.
Seriously though: self-promotion is a hurdle we need to get over. I need to get over. Here goes…