Frank Thoughts and Current Status

Confidence is important for any endeavor. And I have it when it comes to my writing about 90% of the time. (I don’t think any writer is 100% confident 100% of the time.) And I’m building confidence in my self-publishing abilities as the launch date for Thank You for Ten: Short Fiction About a Little Theater later this month approaches. (The 21st, mark your calendars!)

Even modest self-publishing is not for the weak-willed or the lazy, and I knew that going in. Each step I go through in the process, each new skill I learn, each new uncharted (for me) ground upon which I tread only serves to strengthen my self-publishing and marketing knowledge. My operation may be small for now, but it’s a stepping stone. I am more at ease with each passing week. It’s a net gain.

Yet I don’t believe in false confidence. I believe in being open with my concerns and my feelings and my anxieties about this. I realize that Marketing 101 would probably advise me to never indicate the slightest weakness within me. For not the first time, I’ll be ignoring what Marketing 101 suggests when I say that the closer I get to the 21st, the more nervous I get in some ways.

Things skidded on the road a bit when it came to the book’s cover, as you readers already know. With some help, I got the situation corrected in short order, but even once the spinning stops, there’s still some dizziness remaining, and that’s what it was like with the cover situation. That was also what it was like as I learned to format the manuscript. (A process I won’t be able to truly check until I actually upload the piece.) That was time consuming, and I check on that every few days to make sure I have everything even now. But it was a challenge to undertake for a while, even though it wasn’t as worrisome as I had feared.

But I did fear, and I do fear. Not mind-numbing existential fear of course, but this is a big deal. Yes it is a learning experience, and a few mistakes here and there are to be expected. They can be corrected. The next time I self-publish something after this, I will know more, and will be better. It will be faster. But none of that takes away from the immediate concerns of looking respectable the first time out in the time before people even read my book.

I see what I have yet to do, I read the advice, take in the success stories of luckier people than myself, or those with more resources, or those who are better at all of this publishing/marketing stuff than I am and sometimes I freeze for a few hours or a day or two. Do I have enough of a clue of what I am doing to get away with this? And even if I technically accomplish what I need, what sort of success will the book see? How will it make me feel?

I believe in the book, and in myself. Yet so much of this is new to me. Not just new, but in a sense foreign. I’m not just learning new skills, but new ways of thinking in regards to some ways. You can call it “getting outside of my comfort zone” if you want, though I hate that term. Whatever I call it, though, I confess to being a bit on edge about adopting entire new ways of thinking about process.

Now I won’t let the concern prevent me from moving on to the next step and the next. I can’t. Too much is invested, and the whole point is to make this all about what I have written, and about my eventual readers. (I hope all of you will get a copy.) Nobody will see the writing if I don’t do all of this stuff that overwhelms me a bit. And I’m not even doing everything that most people in the field suggest.

So with 19 days to go, I’m a bit anxious about it, even as I proceed to cover all of the bases, and seek advice from those who know better than myself. I’m anxious about getting right, getting it done in time, looking good as a self-publisher, nailing the technical specs, getting the word out. And that’s just the stuff before the actual reception the books gets.

Its going to happen, even if there is another slip on the order of the book cover. At some point in time, Thank You for Ten will be available for the world to buy and read. And when it is, I can rest somewhat easier. Yet until then, yes, I’m nervous at times. While some authors may not acknowledge that, I want part of what’s associated with my name to be frankness. I want people to appreciate my stories and my candor.

And now, I am off to look into how one formats for Amazon.


  1. The learning curve is steep. 🙂 But like you said, it will (and does) get easier each time. And I completely understand feeling nervous about how your book is received, but, I find, that gets easier too. Looking forward to seeing “Thank You For Ten” out!

  2. Thanks, Amanda. They will always be some nerves, I’m sure, but I suspect that once it’s all out there and available I’ll start to feel a bit more relaxed about it. That is my hope at least. =)

  3. You know, the writer blogs I read who were all “Woo self-publishing is the bestest thing ever!!!” were never as helpful as the writers who posted things like, “This was my self-pub experience, these are the challenges, here were some of the pitfalls I suffered and here are my successes.” In other words, I’m instantly wary of anyone who claims to have had a completely idyllic experience with self-publishing. Those people tend to want to pitch self-pub as this glorious, easy thing that anyone can do. And, yeah, it’s easier in SOME ways, but I appreciate that you’ve been honest with your readers about the process. I don’t know if you plan to self-publish more in the future, but everything you experience now just helps you learn. 🙂

  4. Thanks, Laura. I like to think too that readers and other interested parties will appreciate the candor. I know too much of it can sound like negativity, and though I am not as negative as people sometimes assume, I still want to be careful of being a downer. But I believein healthy frankness. Especially if the collection exceeds my expectations of success, I don’t want to simply appear as some guy who snapped his fingers and made it happen, but rather as someone who studied, messed up a few times, got nervous, and got through it. (Which will be true no matter what in the end, really.)

    If this process goes well, I will probably self-publish again. If it goes extra-well, I may point to my numbers with this collection and look at agents, but that’s far in the future for now.


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