Writing a book has its own charm. Anne Frank speaks about the mysterious pleasure of writing a book in the following words;
‘I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.’
Writing anything has a deep association with the emotions of the writer. If the writer weeps, the reader is just going to follow the same pattern as long as his writing has pure emotions. Writing wipes out sorrows and refills your heart with pleasure. That’s why most people regard writing as the most arduous task.
But facts enforce a different idea. According to the latest statistics, 77% of write-ups don’t reach the public. You might have gripped your pen and wrote the whole book, but taking your inner words to others is the biggest obstruction in the path of publishing. Even if by any means someone has overcome this barrier, the complexities of publishing put a break on his dreams.
To cope with such issues, a vast majority of writers are switching towards self-publishing. Within a few years of proper accessibility to self-publishing, this sector has reached its new heights. In 2016, self-publishing alone generated $1.25 billion out of a total $6 billion publishing industry.
But you might ask yourself about the optimal time to self-publish your masterpiece. You might have written it, but just like other writers, you got stuck in the publishing phase waiting for the ideal time to publish your writing.
Truly speaking, that ideal time never comes. There’s no ideal time to do anything but a proper time with a calculated strategy. So, if you’re curious to know about that proper time and measured move to self-publish your book, then this writing is for you.
In this article, we’ll talk about multiple signs that will indicate the starting point of your publishing journey.
But before that, let me quote some fantastic words from Kim Catanzarite from janefriedman.com
on how and when is the right time to self publish your book.
So, let’s jump right into it!
“It’s a tough decision for a writer to make, one of the toughest. All your life you’ve fantasized about one of the big New York publishers buying your book and its subsequent astronomical launch into the stratosphere. But it hasn’t happened yet in spite of your eating, sleeping, and researching the craft of writing for years.
While the non-responses (don’t) come in, and the polite rejections clog your inbox (and your arteries, or so it may seem), the option of self-publishing hangs out there like a flag unfurling in the corner of your eye, waiting for you to take notice and give it some attention. It’s Plan B and has been for a long time.”
Are you on the fence?
When do you decide that it’s time to pursue Plan B? When do you turn off the traditional road and drive the indie path? There is no easy answer to this question, but if you take the time to consider the following, you’ll come that much closer to knowing.
- The agents, by and large, are not responding with feedback or questions. This is not uncommon, as agents sort through piles of queries every day, and the large majority of submissions receive form rejections. Maybe you’ve sent out a significant amount of queries for a significant amount of time (a year or longer), and you’re frustrated with the lack of response. A few agents may have requested chapters or a full here and there, but afterward they replied with a “no.” Or, you’ve had some luck, enough to keep you motivated, but agents/editors all say the same thing in the end: the premise or hook just didn’t grab them enough or your platform needs work.
- You’ve taken your manuscript through the whole nine yards of the editing process, from beta reading to professional editing and the manuscript sparkles. When you read your book, you’re not tempted to make edits. It feels finished. (Learn more on preparing your manuscript.)
- You’ve entered contests, and you’ve either won or become a finalist, or simply received high scores and enthusiastic feedback, such as “great hook,” or “I love the protagonist.” You’ve considered the constructive criticism the judges have posed and made changes when that feedback made sense to you. You’ve taken full advantage of the prepublication contest experience. (More on the benefits of contests.)
- You’ve enrolled in a course on book marketing and promotion, or educated yourself via blogs like this one that provide quality content, because you’ll need to grow your platform no matter how you publish. You’ve built an attractive author website that includes a bio with some interesting facts about you, a page dedicated to your work-in-progress, a professional author photo, and a means for interested parties to contact you. Your site also has a “subscribe to my email list” pop-up or contact form, and you’ve slowly but surely begun to build a following.
- You have a blog or YouTube channel or newsletter featuring the genre or subjects associated with your book, and you enjoy sharing your knowledge and communicating your thoughts and experiences to the public. You’re excited about the prospect of growing your platform by offering helpful content to others. (Here’s blogging advice from Jane.)
- You’re engaged with social media. Though you may not love social media, you do like to quote or recommend your favorite authors on occasion, and you’ve started posting and sharing. Or perhaps you’re an amateur photographer, and you share your amazing shots of the forest on Instagram because that’s the setting of your novel. Either way, you start commenting on the posts of others and building some relationships with people who have similar interests. (Here’s social media advice from Jane.)
- You like the idea of being in control of all aspects of your book: the cover, the page design, the illustrations, the pricing, and the marketing. You like making decisions and feel educated enough to do so. If you don’t know something, you’re confident you can research the subject or reach out to the pros for help.
- You’ve made a “final list” of agents to contact. A couple of dream agents might be on the list because you’ve been saving them until your manuscript was in the best shape possible. Now is the time to send those queries.
- You want it to happen sooner rather than later. You don’t like the idea that even if you do land an agent, it will likely be two years or more before your book appears in print—and that’s only if the agent can quickly find an editor to sell it to.
- You’re a self-starter. A go-getter. You won’t take no for an answer. Or, maybe you’re not this fervent in every aspect of your life, but when it comes to your book, you’re ready to do what needs to be done. You want your dream of publishing to happen. You’ve been saving money for a possible “self-publishing venture,” your Plan B. You believe your book is worthy and that it will find a readership. Do you have the patience to wait for an agent to make the grand gesture? Or are you fired up and ready to move ahead right now?
- You’ve considered your goals for your book, and what you will consider success. Does it have to be a bestseller in order for you to be happy with it? Does it need to make a million dollars? Your goal may not have anything to do with money. It might be something simple like impressing your family and friends with your literary prowess, or even simpler, holding a finished book in your hands (an undoubtedly awesome feeling!). What are your goals, and can self-publishing satisfy them? (Learn about goal setting from Joanna Penn.)
The Bottom Line
After reading the signs given above, if you find yourself at any of these levels, then the stage is set for you to rock. It was actually a diagnosis of your inner hurdles stopping you from reaching the next phase of the journey.
When you have diagnosed the central cause of the stoppage, now, it’s time to eradicate that cause.
If your illustrations, page design, cover, pricing, marketing, and other such stuff are ready, then move ahead. If you are still stuck at any phase, sendme a message and I’ll be glad to help.
A few things to think about: If you can maintain a newsletter, start a blog, and keep up with social media engagement you will have a head start.
Never forget to tie your struggle with some power goal. There’s no need to try and do everything. Start small. and be consistent.
Do it now or wait for never. now is the time to turn your dream of writing into a reality. If you have a proper publisher with you, go for it; otherwise, the doors of self-publishing are always open for you!