I was reading this post over at Chuck Wendig’s place and I just had to share it.
1. NOTICE THIS LIST HAS MORE THAN TWO STEPS
If you thought the two steps of this process were STEP ONE: WRITE A BOOK, STEP TWO: CLICK “PUBLISH” ON THAT SUMBITCH, you need some deep brain rearranging. If you’re going to do this, you need to take this seriously, and not just upload every barf-bag with your name on it to the Internet at large. Some of these steps are practical. Some of them are about your mindset. These steps are not universal nor are they meant to constitute an exhaustive list. But this process should never include just two little steps.
2. ADJUST YOUR MINDSET, PART I: LOSE THE TERM
Being self-published in this day and age is no longer the albatross around your neck it regrettably was — once, if you told people you were self-published, they’d look at you like you were a smelly old jobless hobo just come off a dusty boxcar with soupcan shoes and a hat made from a coyote skull. Though sometimes even still you get that look, as if the person listening is thinking, oh, you’re one of THOSE. Here’s a radical notion, then: get shut of the term “self-published.” Forget “indie.” Forget “DIY.” Just be an author when you’re being an author. Just be a publisher when you’re being a publisher. (Or, go with a term I quite like, “author-publisher.”) People ask you what you do, you write books. People ask who you’re published with, give them the name of your one-man publishing company. Or say, “I did that shit myself,” and if they look at you funny, pee on their shoes and smash gum in their hair. This isn’t because of shame over the term. It’s because the term is increasingly meaningless. Anybody who asks is probably inside publishing somehow anyway, because most readers just plain don’t care who publishes someone, whether it’s you, a Random Penguin, or some magic coyote hobo.
3. ADJUST YOUR MINDSET, PART II: YOU’RE THE PUBLISHER, NOW
You’re not just an author. You’re not just a “self”-publisher. You’re a publisher from bottom to top, from feet to forehead, from asshole to eyebrows. Being a publisher means being a business. A small business of one. I’m not saying to go get an MBA, but you need to start thinking at least a little bit what it means to go beyond being a writer to become a micro-publisher. Start wrapping your head around marketing and advertising, distribution, budgets, taxes, and so forth. A traditional publisher ideally brings things to the table to help the author’s book succeed; how are you going to help your own book succeed? You’re the publisher. The responsibility is yours. But so is the fancy chair. You did go buy a fancy chair, right? No? Rookie
to read the remaining 22 steps, just follow the white rabb… um… the link.