5 Things I Learned During My First Book Launch
Updated: Oct 13
Learning is Key
Growing up I loved to learn. I hardly missed a day of school because I loved it so much.
Even now, it has been 7 years since I left college and I still feel the urge to learn something new. Usually, when I'm interested in a topic, I will dive head deep learning as much as possible.
The most recent, of course, is learning how to self-publish my own book. Publishing was something I was interested in since my freshman year of college. When Kindle Direct Publishing(KDP) first released back in 2007 I remember using any spare time to read up on the topic in hopes one day I would publish my own story.
Even though I read as much as possible on the topic I was still able to learn some things along the way when it came to publishing Princess Gabriella and the Never-Ending Kiss(PGNEK). If you have published a book or, are in the middle of publishing a book, here are some things you might experience.
5 Things I Learned
Publishing a book takes longer than expected. Most posts nowadays suggest you can write, edit, format, and self-publish a book in 30 to 90 days. This can be true if you've done it several times and are use to the process, but for my first time it took 14 months from start to finish. PGNEK included illustrations which take time but for some authors, it can take them years before they publish a novel. Unless you are a stay at home mom or full time author expect the process to take about three times longer than planned.
Finding good help can be hard. If it's your first time writing a book then finding help can be hard when you don't know what to expect. Luckily, I used Fivver.com which helps narrow down exactly who you are looking for when it comes to hiring someone. The site has ratings out of 5 stars along with different packages to choose from, and reviews from previous sales. Keep in mind there are people from other countries where the language barrier might be tough to work through. But, overall, the experience brought my children's book to life with the help from others!
People will support you. When I first started telling people about PGNEK I was shocked to find out how many people cared or wanted to be involved. This only increased when I created my street team, TEAM BOOK, in which a select group of people would get an inside look of behind the scenes. When I finally announced the launch date loads of people jumped on board and were super excited about the experience. So don't be scared to let people know what you are working! I promise it's more fun when they join in.
Publishing a book can be expensive. Even though self-publishing is cheaper than traditional publishing, publishing a book still costs money and time. If you are wanting to publish a children's book, illustrations can cost anywhere from $20 to $500 a page depending on the illustrator. That is quite a big chunk of change which isn't even the half of it. Don't forget about costs of an editor, formatter, book copies, marketing, etc. These expenses add up quickly and can range anywhere from 1k to 10k. So start budgeting sooner rather than later if you are wanting to publish a book.
Everyone wants a hard copy. When I first set out in writing my book, I was going to go through Amazon to publish an eBook and a hard copy. After a year of working on it, Amazon no longer published the dimensions my illustrations were set as so I was no longer able to have a hard copy of my book. My eBook launch was a success, but everyone wanted a hard copy. So now I've been working non-stop to try and find someone who will publish and fulfill the shipments. So when you go to publish your first book keep in mind how to create a hard copy of your book. People will want it! Update: You can get your copy at Blurb.com.
Even though you can read and learn as much as possible before testing out new and exciting ideas, expect to learn something new once you experience it for yourself.
This is what makes the journey so much fun! Not only will you learn something new, but you can apply the information going forward in similar situations-which is exactly what I plan to do!
This doesn't just include self-publishing though. I encourage you to do the same about a topic you are interested in!
Tell me something you learned while working on a project in the comments below.