Throughout this self-publishing process, I’ve had a few bumps and hurdles. But it wasn’t until recently that I could actually say I had my first full-blown self-publishing panic attack.
With my children's book slated to come out in June, I told myself that come January I would start reading all the marketing materials I had been collecting. I started with a blog post about preparing for your book launch. Seemed like the perfect spot. It had a dozen links, all of which gave me more information, most of which I didn’t understand. These links sent me to more links, which led me to more links, followed by more things I didn’t understand and before I knew it I was so far down the rabbit hole I had forgotten where I’d started.
I was suddenly paralyzed with overwhelmedness. Yes, it’s a word. More importantly, it’s a state of being; or not being. I didn’t even know which burrow to follow. I found myself just blinking a lot. One article touted the benefits of new authors using Pinterest. So I read more articles on how to use Pinterest as a new author, which then led me to exploring Canva, which then led me to googling “how to use Canva with Pinterest as a new author“. I was starting to crave carrots.
My husband came home that night and I practically ambushed him and verbally puked out my panic. “I need to create a launch team! And you create a launch team from your followers. I only have 38 followers, three of whom are me! I only have 180 friends on Facebook. I’m supposed to get 10% of my followers to help with my launch team. That’s 18 people! Other people have launch teams of 700 people! And Pinterest! I have to learn how to create a presence on Pinterest. I don’t know how to use Canva! How do I use Canva to create pictures that are Pinterest-worthy? Where do I start? I don’t even know how to tweet. Should I tweet? Some say it’s been taken over by the politicians so don’t worry about it. Others say I should still do it because it has analytics to Google. And what about LinkedIn? I thought it was just to help get a job but now authors are using it as a marketing tool. Then someone mentioned Peach. What the hell is Peach? When did it become more than a fruit? And I’ve done nothing on my Instagram account for months. How am I going to handle more?”
When I finally paused to take a breath, my husband said, “Why don’t we go to the movies tonight?“
That actually helped. We saw a silly movie and I was distracted and taken out of my whirling thoughts for two hours. The next day, when the kids were in school, I sat down and read through a handful of saved articles and purposefully didn’t follow any links. I also read through one marketing e-book. And I took copious notes on all of it in a pretty new notebook.
At the back of the notebook I created a simple “to do“ list. And I took an hour and read more on Pinterest and Canva and practiced a little and tried to remember that this was all for the purpose of helping to get my book - “Nonni’s Moon” - to as many readers as possible who could enjoy it.
I have five months until R-day (release date). I still have moments where I can feel the burrow walls closing in. But I just take a breath, back up a few steps, clean my whiskers and move steadily forward.
Like any new endeavor, self-publishing can be as big or arduous as you want it to be. However, in order to be successful, you often need to dig harder, refocus, rely on the wisdom of others and be kind to yourself during the process. Now, let’s all breathe together, grab a carrot and get back to digging!