We have to label things (Oops, my labels fell off) so we’ll call it paranoia. Making the decision to self-publish took some thought. Not much thought really because I’m an impatient person when it comes to waiting. It isn’t especially easy to do all the different aspects required in writing, publishing and marketing a book all by yourself, and there are lots of sites out there that will tell you how to go about it and who to contact and what you must have. The combination that you choose is entirely up to what suits your needs and budget. In my case it was ‘I need it now’ and ‘my budget is zero’.
Writing wasn’t a problem. I could sit and type like a woman possessed, losing hours at a time as I was engrossed in what my characters were getting up to in my head. Making a cover wasn’t a problem. Marketing, well, that’s still a problem. And I put it down to paranoia. If you’ve ever looked for indie authors on Facebook, you’ll find thousands. I personally had never looked for indie authors on Facebook and somehow managed to find them while I was figuring out how to get people to see me. There are a lot of them and some of them are incredibly popular. I still don’t know how they became that popular, and may never know, but it gives me hope.
Back to the paranoia. Well, it was already hard enough sending the first three chapters to a publisher. My suspicious little mind said ‘they will just steal your concept, give it to one of their authors and get them to run with it’. My self-esteem turned around and said ‘don’t be stupid, your first three chapters aren’t that great’. Okay, so they weren’t and you know what happened (from my other blog post and how it became a series) but the concept was there. So when I self-published and realised that they give away the first chapters as samples, my suspicious little mind said ‘don’t make the first three chapters that great or someone will steal your concept and run with it. You will never know it happened because they will call it something else, and they’re already popular, and no one will ever know they just stole it from some nobody indie’. My self-esteem shrugged. ‘And same with the blurb’, my SLM said, ‘don’t be like those other people and put the whole story in the blurb.’
So there’s the rub, as they say. If a legitimate reader reads the blurb, they’re not getting the whole story. If a legitimate reader reads the sample, maybe they’re going to wonder why they should continue. What a bind. I want to shout it out and tell them what’s happening, and why they should find out more about the main character, and tell them about the other main characters, and tell them about the twists, and tell them about the psychology and the … but I can’t. Call it paranoia.