A Slightly Comedic, Wildly Inaccurate Guide to Self-Publishing
Late August is upon us, and if there was any good and justice left in the world, I’d be unveiling the cover for See These Bones and talking about the forthcoming release.
Narrator: There was no good and justice left in the world. Both had taken an ill-timed vacation to Mars. Don’t nuke Mars, Elon!
Instead, I’m still where I was last month, which says dire things about my anticipated
September FALL release. In lieu of shiny book-related treats to share, I decided to instead whip up a guide to self-publishing, leveraging my vast stores of non-existent experience and a passing familiarity with the general concept of humor.
Follow these steps to achieve world domination through publishing. However, should you stray even a little bit, I cannot be responsible for the outcome.
Also, for legal reasons, I’m not responsible for the outcome even if you do for some reason elect to follow these steps exactly.
Step 1: Write your book
This is the easy part. Make it a romance; people like romance. Also, add robots.
Step 2: Edit your book
So easy a robot could do it.
Step 3: Query your book
Ideally, you should do this even before Step 2. After all, we humans may be an imperfect and eminently fallible species, but it’s common knowledge that the first draft is always the best draft.
Step 4: Reject ALL offers of representation
Why give someone else the excitement of managing every business-related facet of publishing your book when you can hoard that fun for yourself? Anyone can be a writer… you want to be a writer/lawyer/artist/accountant/marketing exec/astronaut/clown.
Step 5: Format your manuscript
This is almost as easy as Step 2. Just put it in the magical format machine and press a button.
No… not THAT button!!
Oh God, what have you done?
Step 6: Commission a cover
This should take no more than a day. Every cover artist will instinctively know what you want and deliver it to you without fail or hesitation. The really good cover artists will also be able to guess your book dimensions when creating a paperback cover. To make absolutely certain that your cover artist is one of the good ones, don’t provide those dimensions to them.
Step 7: Reject the cover and commission a new one from someone else
A key part of being a writer is flexibility, and there’s nothing more flexible than changing your mind at every opportunity and without provocation.
Step 8: Send your ARC (advance review copy) out to online reviewers and writing contests
Look for the reviewers and contests that have the highest admission fees. If the reviewer/contest isn’t charging absurd amounts of money for the service, how can you be certain they’re taking it seriously? That’s just science.
Step 9: List your book on a website
Any website will do. A lot of people choose Amazon, but you’re a trailblazer; list yours on Home Depot.
Step 10: Profit
Buy a new house with an enormous football-field-sized vault. Fill that vault with gold doubloons and treat it like a swimming pool. If it was good enough for Scrooge McDuck, it’s good enough for you. Also, monitor the billionnaire’s board1 to make sure you remain in 1st place. If anybody ever passes you, repeat the above steps, and laugh maniacally2 as your personal wealth soars to ludicrous new heights.