As expected I made every mistake there is to make while self-publishing a novel. After its “Hydra leak” on the 1st of January I went through the Kindle version and found no less than 25 translation, formatting, or just-plain-dunce errors that had to be fixed.
The Orange Beast is still laughing at me for that.
However, I do feel better about this because if I hadn’t been so hopped up on cold medication I would have found those errors in the week prior to its official release anyway. This just means that those unfortunates who purchased the leaked novel are going to have a one-of-a-kind “whoopsie” version that no longer exists.
I’ll laugh about it in a couple of years, I’m sure.
In any case, the novel was fixed before its official release. (To include the spacing issue that had the printed version sitting at over 500 pages. That would be one of the just-plain-dunce errors.)
What have I learned from this whole self-publishing adventure?
1) Editors are worth their weight in gold.
No, seriously. They are. Those 25 errors were mostly formatting and translation problems that happened while I was bouncing between Scrivener and Word.
2) Never work while on cold medication.
3) Marketing is pretty much the same on your own as with a small press.
Yeah, there’s really very little difference here. As much as I love my publishers and the validation they gave me for even accepting my work to begin with, a book doesn’t just fly off the virtual shelves on its own.
That said, I’m still not doing much marketing-wise. I’ll submit Tapped to various review sites and all that, but otherwise I’m not going to stress this point. I made this decision way back when Sedition was first published and while it makes no “business sense” I’m sticking to it.
I want to be a better storyteller. I want to tell stories that move people, even if it’s only a select number of people. I feel totally awesome about the readership I already have. (Hey, Readers! I uber loves you all!)
4) This is fun.
In spite of my fights with Scrivener and my frustration with Word and staring at documents for hours on end while trying to make the formatting right, I had a lot of fun doing this. Don’t ask me why. I think only writers can really understand it.
To sum up, I will probably do this with more than just the Tapped series.
Yes, I understand the stigma that comes with self-published authors but I’m going to lean back on the real tradition here; the tradition of storytellers wandering from place to place, giving their entertainment away for lodging or food. Celebrities for a night or a day, or a holiday week, and then they faded into the background directly after their job was done.
They didn’t have publishers back then, just word of mouth and a distinct love for what they did.