As a woman in business I suffer from a DIY syndrome; in other words I do it all – myself. I notice that men in business do not suffer from this syndrome; they usually organize a support team for the admin tasks and get on with the big stuff. Smart!
That said I am learning the value of asking for help; it’s about letting go of the ego and, fixed outcomes and expectations.
This particular story belongs to my latest publishing journey
I was encouraged to re-publish my Entrepreneurship made Easy book, which was first published in 2000 by a large publisher. Publishing was very different then, as an author could only publish books through publishing companies, who took on the responsibility and costs for everything, providing the author with a small royalty. That said there were many challenges and I landed up being the publisher. My publishing school fees.
So here I am in 2019, doing it again and in an entirely different ball park. Now the author can put any book onto Amazon and other books sites, as a publisher. Whilst I love putting books together and also helping authors to do it, self-publishing digitally on the World Wide Web is scary stuff, so I reached out and asked for advice from a few friends with new age publishing and cyberspace/social media experience.
My young cyberspace mentor has, along the way, pulled me into the modern digital world, helping me to update my website, introducing me to many design websites offering free templates for book covers and many other digital wonders. Loving the creativity aspect, in I went, researching, testing and putting five covers together. My publishing mentor suggested that I design a cover that goes POP and stands out. Okay, I think I’ve got it. Now test them. I sent the five different covers to my support group and received a suggestion that completely changed the design; but it felt right. So back we went. My cyberspace mentor with his skill re-arranged the cover and I learnt all about the psychology of colours on covers. So redesign, test again and POP!
Now it’s time to put the book onto Amazon, both as an e-book and a print copy. Whilst Amazon has an amazingly simple process and clear guidelines to upload book content and covers, it took a few attempts to get the hang of it all. Whilst my formatting was accepted, it seemed our cover was the wrong size, which eventually required three changes. Thanks to my local printer we finally did it, also giving me a print mock-up for a small ‘print-on-demand’ order. I find a print copy very valuable to check gremlins and layout etc. But we’re not finished with Amazon yet. We need a book description that has to PING. Ooh. When you’re all copied out, whom do you call? Another friend put my two attempts together and PING!
What a rush of emotion when that publishing computer out there in the World Wide Web gives you a big tick and says ‘Congratulations – your book is now available on Amazon. Phew!
But now it’s marketing time: The journey just begins.
I’m enjoying self-publishing more and more, as it gives the author wonderful avenues for creativity and control over the end product. Responsibility too, if that’s not too scary.
Even mentors need mentors and every writer (everyone if fact) needs a support team. I am so grateful for the valuable advice, ideas and inspiration to just to do it, one dot at a time.