There are 3 views on (self-)publishing - leaving out those who don't publish at all.1. Traditional publishing, which is top-heavy and expensive and almost impossible to get a contract with - and has agents to take a percentage of your already low royalties.
2. Guru's and perfectionists who hand out advice which can't be followed by more than a few. They advise to spend money you don't have to achieve standards which are so high to also be nearly impossible to meet (again, without a huge social following, lots of money to hire outside help, and a suck-up attitude.)
3. People who just honestly want to tell their story.
The first two don't really want the competition of everyone and their brother producing their story.
And so they arrange all manner of blocks in their way. Most of these have to do with the age old traps of Approval, Control, Security, and The Club.
What self-publishing has done is to make it possible for everyone to have their book, or several, or as many as they want.
And there is room for as many as want to do this. For the long tail stretches to infinity, but there are only a few who can stand on the short head and stay there.
This is what the first two categories are based on. And they are each incredibly defensive of their positions, because they know that they are trying to balance on a narrow ledge which is crumbling.
What I have objected to all this time is pretending to give help, but instead simply raise artificial barriers to anyone else actually succeeding in this. There's a "bestseller" out there right now where the authors have spent a great deal of money to get PR and all sorts of interviews in order to spread their view of how to self-publish.
Unfortunately, few others can follow their footsteps simply.
That's the rub.
I've been trying to follow their advice and at every single turn, I've found that it doesn't work.
Sure, I've been able to publish over 4 dozen books on Lulu which never really earned me much more than some pin money. But they were honest works. Now that I've moved over into ebooks, the sales of these same books have increased tremendously and look to soon be able to cover all my expenses in these area - meaning I'll start showing a profit.
There is a point where you simply have to let go of things which don't work. Especially where a person (or several) just keep giving bad advice.
Instead, a person has to listen to themselves and do what they know is right. Right for them, not someone else.
Look all the interviews in the world don't mean a thing. Being on the NYT bestseller list doesn't mean a thing either. Neither, as it's proving out, does being a "bestseller" on Amazon - as that system is rigged as well.
The key point a person has to live with is how many people they 've helped, whether they feel good about all they've done for others, how they sleep at night.
I could care less about celebrities, whether they are social media moguls or elected politicians. Please just keep them off my lines. They don't help me get or keep a job, they don't help me raise my beef cattle, or fix fences, or bring rain for our drought, or help my grass grow.
In short - they're worthless to me.
Much like what passes for "news" these days. You can turn them off and live simpler, more peaceful lives.
So I am.
- - - -
The bottom line was writing a book the way it was "supposed" to be done instead of how I was needed to write it. So I quit that online community which was just a suck-up to that celebrity, and "uncircled" that guy so I never had to hear from him again.
There are people who are interested in hearing my viewpoint on things. And those are the people I'll deal with.
That is the actual way you write your own story - in a series of essays. It doesn't matter if your language is good, or your style is good, or your headings and hyphens and periods are in the right places.
It matters that you get your story out so others can benefit from the lessons you've learned.
And that is all there is to writing a book.