Writing and Self Publishing My First Ebook in 3 Months? What?
I’ve been meaning to write this post since the day I published but I was burnt out after the 3 month process of writing and self publishing Stitching My Life Back Together, now for sale in the Guru Store as an ebook.
I set the goal originally to do this in one month and actually was on schedule to do so. I made myself a schedule that was easy enough to stick to. Some days I did nothing, other days I’d write 5 chapters so it evened out.
Then the worst thing happened and I managed to delete my chapters, permanently, leaving me to start over on a project I was already burnt out on.
It’s those struggles that birthed this post, one where I share the things I learned during the process of writing and self publishing my first ebook in 3 months.
1) Backup, Backup, Backup
As I mentioned I learned this one the hard way as I managed to delete my book permanently. It’s a long story that ended in me needed to reformat my computer to switch operating systems for a separate reason. I did it and when finishing a chapter the next day I realized my mistake, I’d deleted nearly 30 finished drafts for the book. I looked where I thought I’d backed it up on my harddrive and it was gone.
The ONLY thing that saved me was I had written down the patterns themselves, not the stories before by hand in my notebook when drafting the outline. My solution as I rewrote was to upload every chapter on Google drive as I finished. I never needed to reference them, but I HIGHLY recommend doing it. It takes a minute per chapter at most.
2) Canva is your friend.
I’ve long since talked about the wonders of Canva.com but that’s what I used primarily to make the graphic masterpiece that is my book. Everyone who has purchased my book has remarked on the beautiful, playful but professional format.
3) Start with an outline.
One of the first things I did when writing this was start with an outline. Even if it’s just a random list of ideas to talk about or patterns that’s a start. Before that a book just seems like a confusing abstract concept to write and produce.
4) Be open to deleting or replacing originally intended chapters. Go with the creative flow.
I realized part way through that some of my original designs were better left out of the book to be replaced with more recent, better patterns. After all my crafty journey has been a learning adventure. I didn’t come out of the gate a crochet expert and while I feel I could get there, I don’t consider myself a crochet expert now.
5) Photos, photos, photos.
If what you’re writing about is practical stuff like tutorials take photos of everything you do as you do it. Make it a habit. Now I take photos of the process of everything just so I can have them to share later in patterns and future books. You will thank yourself, I did. There’s more than 300 photos in my book I took myself, or had my life partner take for me with my camera.
6) Self Publishing Win
When the murder (talked about in my book) happened I had a talk with Thaddeus Russell about the best way to sell a book. Getting a deal v self publishing. He told me the difference in how much you get per copy sold between the two.
That convinced me to give this first ebook a self published go and so far it’s been encouraging. I have total control and even making deals with websites to sell it for me I still bring about 85% home of what I make, and that’s common for self published works.
7) How to Build A Store
One thing I had to do while writing this ebook is build The Guru Store it’s sold in. I did so with a few WordPress plugins including Woocommerce and Coinpayments.net for crypto payments. It takes some research and technical knowhow but it can be done. I can also be hired to build online bookstores for other websites, just contact me!
8) Actually, start with a topic.
I know above I said to start with an outline but that’s once you start actually writing. The most important thing is to have a topic, a purpose a reason for writing the book. What problem are you trying to solve? My book was a first attempt at self taught crafting trauma therapy. This should be different than writing an ebook unless you intend to write an ebook about writing an ebook.
9) Marketing is more work than producing the book and it never ends.
This has been the struggle. I even went silent about the book for about a week focused on other projects to give myself a break. It was hard to share my excitement over something that I was at the time feeling oversaturated with.
Sometimes a few day break is needed but in truth, yes, marketing never ends for the self published ebook author. Also don’t be afraid to contact independent publishers after self publishing. You can offer them a cut to list your book to help increase your reach and decentralize your sales!
10) Personal Deadlines are HUGE!
Usually people tell you not to set deadlines on yourself but for writing a book it can be necessary. I broke it down into manageable components and set a very realistic deadline from there.
The original intended month for publishing would have worked and it was. I basically said “one chapter for every day” and I stuck to it till I accidentally deleted it. Before that I was convinced the book would take me months to write, not including the time for production itself. It took me weeks to put it all together after writing!
These are the biggest lessons I learned writing my ebook in 3 months.
What ebook have I been talking about? Stitching My Life Back Together is available in the Guru Store, now!
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