When I first realized I wanted to be an author, I found that I was easily overwhelmed by the extreme learning curve I had before me. And it wasn’t just stuff you had to learn, but also execute every day after that. To keep from getting ulcers (jury is still out on that) I told myself that if I could just learn one new thing a day, I would be okay and I wouldn’t get so stressed out that I wanted to quit.
Well, that kind of worked. Ha! But I thought I would share some of the things I learned along the way on this blog.
Sh!t I Learned Today: Don’t Get Complacent with your MONEY!
I’ve recently had to learn a really, really hard lesson about self publishing. I think it’s one that a lot of us have to learn as we begin this journey. At least I hope so. Otherwise I’m the only dumbass in this pond.
My big lesson recently was not getting complacent with my money. By this, I mean I had become settled and assured in the idea that I had put together the best team (editor, formatter, cover designer, etc) that I could for my money. I believed I had stumbled over the best people possible for me. But I was very mistaken.
For months now, I’ve been paying out the ass for services to get my books ready for publication. It was my own fault. I didn’t look around enough and research prices. I thought I’d done a good enough job, but I wasn’t even in the same ballpark. I’m so close to making a profit each month with my book sales, so I finally sat down and looked at my expenses. I also asked fellow authors what they spent for their services.
What I learned almost sent me into a spiraling bender.
I was paying double and sometimes triple for services that I wasn’t happy with. Now I’m not saying the people I hired were bad. Actually, they were very good. Too good. And too expensive. I learned that I have to adjust my costs relative to the projected return I would make on these books.
That was hard to realize, because I thought if I had the best cover and the best editor and the best blah blah blah, I’d be a superstar. Please see Sh!t I Learned Today: It’s All Just a Big Pile of It.
So now I had to find new services that would fit my current budget. I couldn’t keep spending and hoping I’d make it soon. This is long term, and you have to see your expenses as if you were a business.
After this awful realization, I went out and found cheaper services. It was excruciating and awful. I hated telling my team (who I had become good friends with) that I had to move on to someone with more competitive prices. It sucked. A lot. But it was the best move for my business.
And it will mean that my books finally make a profit per month. None of them have paid for their expenses yet, but hopefully with this adjustment, I’ll get closer to achieving that goal. And that’s huge. For me, that’s a success: when my books can pay for themselves and I make a profit each month.
That may not seem like a big goal, and maybe it even looks like a failure because I haven’t achieved it yet. But it’s a big step for me. And that’s just a part of the journey I haven’t made it to yet.
And that’s fine by me.
At least I’m not selling my first born to create a book.
So what did I learn? And what do I hope you learn from this post? Don’t settle and think you have the best prices. Always look around. Stay updated. Stay informed.