The emotional path of self publishing

Writing and self publishing your own business book is significant commitment and sometimes emotionally challenging. Understanding the self publishing journey before you start will help you succeed.

There’s not a day that goes by that I am not working with a client or sharing my experience about the emotional path of the writing and self publishing process.

For many, the decision to finally start writing their books is a HUGE step, something they’ve thought about for years (sometimes decades). They’re excited and a bit scared as they are heading into the unknown.

What most first time authors and self publishers focus on are the tangible elements of self publishing.

  • Writing their book
  • Producing their book
  • Selling their book

What most don’t think about is how to prepare for and embrace the emotional aspects of their self publishing project. And it’s a hugely emotional process.

So I’ve developed the Guide that leads this post: The Emotional Road of Writing, Publishing and Selling a Business Book. If you’re thinking about writing and self publishing your business book, take a look at this guide and print it out. Keep it somewhere close, because there’s a 100% certainty that you’ll feel some or all of these feelings/moment as you work through your book.

I’ve summarised the key highs and lows below.

This is the best book idea ever

You’ve made the commitment, finally, to get your book written and published. You have a sense of excitement and energy. Yeah!!! I’ve wanted to share my knowledge, insights, thoughts for so long now I am finally doing it.

But wait! I’m sure what to write, if my idea really is any good. What if I spend all this time on writing it and it’s not good enough? What do I do? Who can I talk to? Who do I trust to give me honest feedback.

I’m stuck…and I’ve only just started.

Then fear creeps in – the Dark Swamp of fear and insecurity.

Hmmm, I’ve heard of a business book coach…how do I find one, how do I know they are any good?

The track ahead. The opening spread of the Milford Sound hike.

Hurray, I’ve finished my manuscript

After several version of your manuscript you’ve reached the top of the mountain…well it’s actually only the first of two peaks and one longer, more gradual slope.

What! There’s more to do? Oh yes, a lot more.

Completing your final draft is the first milestone of several. At this point you might need to lie down, rehydrate, recalculate your initial plan, resources and route. It helps to have someone as your guide – they’ve been there done that and know what’s coming up, in what order and the time it will take.

Having rested you get up, boot up, pack up and start the next phase, the production and self publishing of your book. It’s a real challenge as you’re learning so many things on the go. And there’s the whole ‘thing’ of marketing and selling your book. This is where more fear and uncertainty comes in. We call it ‘The Pit of Imposter Syndrome’. It’s real and can be debilitating.

It’s one thing to write your book, it’s another thing altogether to get it out into the world, to stand up holding your book in front of you to a room full of people, the media, influencers, podcasters, your colleagues/friends/family.

Your hiking buddies are a support but here’s where a guide really comes to the fore. With the right guide you’re confident your book is the best it can be, reflects your values, delivers value and will make a positive, actionable difference in the lives of others…your target audience.

On my hike in the High Atlas Mountains…our room with a view.

The launch of your book

You’ve done it. You’ve published and launched your book! Goal achieved, you’re on one of the highs of your emotional path.

Get ready for one of your biggest emotional slumps. The effort and adrenaline you’ve experienced up to and including your book launch is massive. And then it’s over . . . and you still have lots of books to share, sell, promote. But won’t it sell itself? Do I really have to keep working on it? How come no-one told me about this part?

Well, if we work together you’ll know all about ‘this part’.

Leverage your book

Ahhh, No. Don’t get me wrong your book launch is a great moment to celebrate your effort and commitment and it’s probably the highlight of your emotional path. But there’s more to come, a lot more to come. At this point it seems the valley in front of you is a long way down and the end far away, and there’s an appealing diversion right in front of you (your business, life…anything).

This is when the committed recommit, and it’s a time and place where all your efforts will really pay off (a bit like when all that training I do before a major hike). You’ve done the work, the planning, executed well to this point…now is the time to leverage it all and secure the real upside…if only you can stay focused on the marketing plan you built, deliver the content within it, follow up on media, speaking engagements and more.

And, this is when around 70% of people choose the appealing diversion. Some reach The Valley of Realisation (about half), munch on a chocolate bar or two and refocus. This group resets, sells more books, secures speaking gigs, presents to company/industry conferences, events, get quoted in the media, invited to podcasts and more.

And this result is… sales, more business, increased recognition, reputation and relevance.

From ‘this is the best idea ever’ to ‘more business’

If you look at the Emotional Path you might see something…the beginning and the end in orange.

This is how most people see their business book project: a great idea that generates more business (or substitute any goal you might have). I get it. I am a hiker. I LOVE the idea of heading off on a new hike with a clear start and end point and imagine the feeling I’ll have when I’ve finished, but I am a particularly goal-orientated person. This said, I know that I don’t really know how hard it’s going to be, what I’m going to be blown away by or beaten by. What I do know is:

I choose GREAT guides with proven expereince

I train well in advance

I check my gear, upgrade if necessary and always add in something I didn’t know I needed to have until I did. There are some absolute essentials that are always in my pack.

I listen to the advice of the guides

I embrace the fact that I am in a new landscape and I don’t know much about it…that I have to be open to listening, looking and learning . . . and occasionally stop and look around…more often than not in awe.

I hike with a great buddy. We’ve been on lots of adventures together. We know each others’ strong points and weak ones (one of mine is I hate downhill, my buddy hates uphill)…and we support each other.

EVERY hike is an adventure . . . and I want more adventures always. Which is one of the reasons I am a business book coach. Every book I work on is a new adventure. I can apply my experience and expertise to every one, but every book is different.

Every business book author has their own emotional path. Each one is unique. As a business historian I experience a different emotional path with every book I research and write and it’s one of the reasons I love what I do. I’m learning, extending myself, meeting new and different people, trusted with their business stories and family history. It’s deeply personal and emotional.

The Self Publishing Expert

As The Book Adviser my role is a bit like a hiking guide. I’m here to guide the way, fully prepped and carrying the tools for every eventuality (even carrying a metaphorical oxygen mask). I’ve been there and done it – writing, production, publishing and marketing – hundreds of times before. I train and keep fit, so I am across the latest inventions, tools and gear. If I don’t know something I go and find out.

If you’re thinking about starting your business book self publishing project email me and let’s talk about your plan.

If you’re half way through writing your book and are stuck…email me. I will be able to help you. And,

If you’ve self published a book and ‘it isn’t doing anything’ I can help you with this.