I used to think I could do everything myself. There's no need to hire editors, designers, and publicists, I'd say. Waste of money, I'd say. But that was before I understood the overwhelming amount of work it takes to write and self-publish a book. I soon realized that no matter how smart I thought I was, I couldn't go it alone.
I was in deep. Deep in the bowls of book writing, when the first sign of brain itch hit. The itch was telling me to think about the next steps for my book: What was I going to do once it was written? How would I catch all my mistakes that my tired eyes could no longer see? What kind of book cover did I want? How could I make people by my book? How would I find a distributor? What was my marketing plan? What kind of launch party did I want?
Until then, I'd just shrugged off these questions as needless worry. I could write, design, plan, and execute ideas myself, therefore, I could handle everything that needed to be done. Besides, I only had one book to worry about, so how hard could that be? The answer to that--really, really hard. So hard and so much work, in fact, that I started to give myself stress headaches.
Finally, after months of agonizing over what to do and coming to terms with my own fallibility, I took the plunge and reached out to professionals to help me. And I'm happy to say this was the best decision I've made so far. In the past week alone, I received from my editor a perfectly proofread copy of my manuscript, and my designer sent me five beautiful cover design options to choose from.
I feel like I'm on top of the world this week -- like sitting on a giant chocolate cake with thick butter icing and eating it, too. I've learned so much in these past few months, but most of all, I learned that I will never go back to my old anti-collaborator ways again!
Stacey D. Atkinson is working on her first book, Stuck, and will be self-publishing under her company Mirror Image Publishing.