When I started looking into publishing, I found a lot of resources on self-publishing. The encouragement to self-publish made me want to try it out myself, so I set out to publish a short work under a pseudonym to figure out the process. I felt okay with it, but I learned that it has its ups and downs.
Getting a final copy ready for print or e-readers is the easiest part of the process. Something that is often missing from encouragement to self-publish is the reality that one has to sell one’s own work. This proverbially means chasing people down the street and throwing a book at them. It means laboring on social media to let people know who you are and that you have a book. And it also means figuring out when to give books away and when to sell them for dirt cheap. Such a task might be exciting for quite a few people, but it isn’t for everyone.
I’m not saying all of this to be discouraging, but rather to shed a little reality on the process. The best part is that nobody has to take my word for it. If you’re looking at going through the process, do a short story or novella on CreateSpace (Amazon’s publishing firm). Publish it under a pseudonym to protect yourself (like from agents and publishers that don’t consider self-published authors, or in case you don’t feel like associating it with your main body of work). Go over to Smashwords and publish it there, too. Push all the buttons, and turn all the knobs. Blame your pseudonym’s persona for any mistakes. Pat yourself on the back for doing stuff that turned out right.
After you’re done, take some time to evaluate things. At the very least, it will be a learning experience.