There is much to address on the subject of self-publishing, so much of it having to do with the mechanics of making it happen. These are the areas I have addressed in the earlier articles, covering book formatting, POD provider and Marketing. Those are the areas which the self-published author will navigate on the way to getting their book to print, and thereafter getting it into the marketplace of readers.
What is not often addressed is the author, or more precisely the author's characteristics. Not to be confused with an author's character, as in being a shady character, or their town's hero. Characteristics being defined more in line with how any writer perceives themselves in the larger world of other writers, how well an author is capable of self-promotion, with their hand perpetually on the horn tooting their cause célèbre to prospective readers, and hopefully in return, the expected attention to their book. One type of attention might be. . . "Loved your book." Excellent read". Or, "Really. . . Have you thought about taking an English course or writing class. . . ? There can be pain for an unprepared self-promoting, self-publishing author if the groundwork is not laid out well. All true. However, when an author believes in their written work, and makes each book a jewel case worth having, the foundation for the process to come becomes ever more solid.
Self-promotion has much to do with self-perceptions, and that does not come in standard doses. For those authors who tend to shun the media spotlight, marketing your newly released book is the proverbial 'long hard slosh'. It might go without saying, if a writer goes the distance in getting a book to print, they obviously think their book is worth reading. Ah, contraire my friends. Thinking your book is a good one, is not to be confused in believing you, as the writer, are suited for banging the gong for readers' attention.
As in any genre of art, the best avenue for the artist to better see themselves, their work, in context with their peers, is to take the time to see/read other artists of your genre, visit their web-sites, blogs and other media platforms to better understand how they look, how well the public is responding to their methods, their work. Many times, that will make you feel very good about yourself, and the book(s) you are showcasing.
Self-published writers must be fearless in their efforts to tell the world about their work. Notice I used the term 'writers' as opposed to 'authors'. I believe the distinction has to do with readership. There are too many 'writers' to even calculate. Anyone can be a writer. An author has the distinction of actually having a book in print. I do not make this statement as a judgement, as in good or bad, or right or wrong. For me it is a simple distinction of either having a finished work in print, nor not. Once might say "I’m an artist" and not have one example of their work in a finished form hanging on a wall. I do not, however, believe that one must demonstrate sales to make that claim, as any indie writer knows, and the earlier postings discuss, an author’s work must been seen before it can be purchased. This is part of the marketing subject heading, not how well one works their craft. If a writer is selling books, that pretty much says she/he can call themselves a successful author. I have no doubt there will be voices who will condemn that assessment, however it's my definition and I'm sticking to it.
For another blogger's take on this subject I offer up Jason Sanford;