Surviving and Thriving: A Guide for Self-Published Authors 

JD Caron
August 29, 2023

Stay safe and sane, self-published authors!

You've poured your heart and soul into your book, and now you're ready to release it not through the comfy means of traditional publishing, but into the world of self-publishing like Kindle Direct Publishing, Apple Books, etc.

The journey ahead may seem daunting, but fear not! We're here to provide you with a survival guide that not only equips you to navigate the treacherous terrains of book publishing but also ensures your mental well-being stays intact.

So, let's embark on this adventure together, where you, as a self-published author, won't just survive – you'll thrive!

tips for self-publishing authors

Sales Report Syndrome: Don't Get Caught in the Refresh Cycle

Picture this: You've just launched your self published book, and like clockwork, you find yourself constantly refreshing your sales report page, hoping to see skyrocketing numbers.

We've all been there, right? It's like checking your reflection in every passing window – momentarily satisfying, but not the best use of your energy.

The book market, much like any other, has its ebbs and flows. There are peak months when sales soar and quieter periods resembling a serene Sunday library. Falling into the trap of obsessively tracking every change can lead to a wild and exhausting ride. However, it's essential to remember that these fluctuations are entirely normal.

Instead of chaining yourself to the relentless refresh cycle, consider allocating specific times, perhaps once or twice a week, to delve into your sales data deeply. This approach grants you the gift of perspective, enabling you to identify trends, comprehend patterns, and make more informed decisions.

For self-published authors, the journey to success isn't about obsessing over each micro-moment but understanding and appreciating the broader narrative. Keep your sanity intact and focus on the bigger picture, all while ensuring your mental well-being remains a top priority.

Information Overload: Seek Knowledge Rooted in Data

The vast realm of self-publishing often bombards authors with an overwhelming influx of information. It can feel like every day, a new "expert" is touting the "next big thing" in book marketing. But let's distinguish fact from fiction.

In our team, we prioritize data over guesswork. We dissect hard data weekly, identifying what genuinely impacts book sales and what's mere fluff. Our advice is based on proven strategies, not speculation. We're here to share these valuable insights with you.

If you're tired of wading through endless and often conflicting advice, we offer you a lifeboat – our free pre-publishing and book marketing checklist. It's a game-changer designed to steer you in the right direction. For those seeking a deeper dive, our coaching program is where we cut through the noise together.

The Quest for Perfection: Set Firm Deadlines

Perfectionism can be a significant hurdle for a writer. It's natural to aim for excellence, but there's a fine line between making genuine improvements and stalling out of fear. Setting a firm deadline is crucial.

While you're agonizing over a single adjective, someone else is publishing their fifth book. Remember, your work can always be refined and republished based on feedback. Allow yourself a moment to perfect your craft, but commit to releasing your work into the wild.

Mastering Social Media: Choose Wisely

Social media is a bustling modern-day party, and as an a self-published author, you might feel compelled to be everywhere at once. However, it's essential to strategize effectively.

For self-published authors, platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer solid ground due to their large, diverse audiences and author-friendly tools. TikTok, the new kid on the block, can be a goldmine for those inclined toward short-form, dynamic content. But it's essential to assess if it aligns with your personal brand and book's essence.

Remember, it's not about being everywhere but being effective where you are. Dive deep, engage authentically, and, most importantly, enjoy the process.

Embracing Reviews: The Double-Edged Sword

Reviews, both good and bad, are a part of every independent author or any other writer's journey (even authors under the umbrella of a traditional publisher). They serve as affirmation and, at times, a blow to the ego. Understand that literature is subjective – what captivates one reader may not resonate with another.

When faced with a negative review, allow yourself a moment to absorb it. Focus on constructive feedback if available, and then move forward. Reviews are a badge of honor, indicating that you've connected with readers. Wear them proudly.

Balancing Time: Writing vs. Marketing

Balancing your time between writing and marketing can feel like juggling fire on a unicycle atop a tightrope. It's a challenge, but a crucial one.

Both creating new content and promoting your work are equally important. Your readers eagerly await your next story. Striking a balance between sharing your work with the world and creating the next masterpiece is key.

In our coaching program, we emphasize this equilibrium, offering strategies to market effectively while ensuring your love for writing remains intact.


How Self-Published Authors Can Thrive and Survive

  Information Overload

  •   Prioritize data-driven strategies over overwhelming information. Use a pre-publishing and marketing  checklist for guidance, or consider a coaching program.
  The Quest for Perfection
  •   Overcome perfectionism by setting firm deadlines; remember, you can refine and republish your work based on feedback. Release your work into the world.
  Mastering Social Media
  •   Be selective with social media platforms. Facebook and Instagram offer wide audiences, TikTok can be effective for short-form content. Engage authentically and enjoy the process.
  Embracing Reviews
  •   Reviews, good or bad, are part of every self-published author journey. Embrace them as affirmation and constructive feedback. Remember that literature is subjective; wear reviews as a badge of honor.
  Balancing Time
  •   Balance time between writing and marketing; both are crucial. Find strategies to market effectively while preserving your passion for writing.

Remember, your passion for writing initiated this journey – don't let marketing drown it out.

As you embark on your self-publishing adventure, keep in mind that survival and success are attainable. Stay informed, set deadlines, choose your battles on social media, embrace reviews, and maintain the balance between writing and marketing.

Thriving as a self-publishing author is not just a possibility; it's within your reach.

You can become the next Andy Weir, Stephen King, Hugh Howey, or El James, if you just persevere and never give up on improving your writing and book marketing as an indie author.

About the author 

JD Caron

Denis was a coach long before he ever knew what that was. From his time in the military, to the decade he spent as a 911 ambulance dispatcher, he constantly found himself in leadership and teaching roles (he knows his way around an emergency). And after struggling to self-publish his first book, he knew he could help others do it better.

Currently, Denis is traveling around Europe, exploring WWII sites and sampling all the delightful cuisine the continent has to offer.

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