1. No matter how many times you and others have edited your manuscript, you need to go back and edit again. I can’t even tell you how many mistakes I’m STILL finding! For example, I wrote “bus” instead of “but.”
2. Commas are hard.
3. Research is literally going to become your best friend. Be prepared to spend a lot of time at the library! Of course, as an author, you should do that anyway.
4. It really pays to know someone who not only knows business, but also has a genuine interest in it.
5. You are not supposed to present yourself as a “self” publisher. You are a publisher. Your publishing career is separate from your writing career.
6. Trying to be a writer and a publisher and a designer and a businessperson all at the same time is really stressful.
7. I am poor.
8. I think I’m about to get a lot poorer.
9. I now know what an International Standard Book Number is.
10. There are a lot of options out there for self-publishing, vanity-publishing, and print-on-demand. I’m still not one hundred percent certain which company I’m going to use. I think I’ve narrowed it down to two, however.
11. When reading through your manuscript AGAIN, make sure you don’t have anything that will make a person or a company want to sue you. I realized that I slam a certain energy supplement (that is known to cause heart problems, by the way) quite a lot in my manuscript, so I’ll probably go back and change the name to something generic. Better safe than served.
12. The whole process can get really overwhelming and intimidating, so pace yourself, set daily and weekly goals, realize that you do not have to get everything done in one day, and most importantly, have someone who loves you there to cheer you on and reassure you and, if you’re lucky, help you.
I’m still pretty early on in my journey, but I’m still moving forward. There have been times when I’ve begun to question if what I’m doing is worth it, but I know that I’d regret it forever if I didn’t see this through to the end. I’ve come too far and dreamed of this for too long to stop now. It’s a lot more work than I expected it to be, but nothing worth doing is easy.