How does someone get motivated to actually getting something big done-like publishing their first book?
I once heard from someone "move the needle". Get something done that moves you toward what you want to accomplish. Let's dive into what that really means and get you going on your book!
Alright, enough non-sense! You need to publish your book. I'll summarize the 3 things you need to do to get going on that goal. 1. Breathe; Don't be so scared. And move the needle! 2. Get familiar with the way you want to publish. 3. Publish!
So step one is actually the hardest. Knocking down that fear and feeling fired up about your book is a mind meld for a lot of people. It certainly was for me. I started working on a story in 2014 that didn't get published until October 2020. What was so scary about publishing again...? Once I share what I write it's out there and people can see it! Ok let's say that with a happy, excited tone. "Once I share what I write it's out there and people can see it!" I wasn't convinced someone would want to read my stories. I had been sort of drifting around really terrified about my purpose in life. I'm good at a lot of things, I'm a fast learner and hard worker so why wasn't I feeling clicked in to a calling? I was ignoring what my calling was because of a stupid voice in my head telling me I wasn't good enough. Guess what? I am. You are too. Get those words on a page and embrace this part of yourself. It's important to recognize who you are and what you're amazing at. So moving the needle what does that mean? It's a small thing that has big results. Writing one page a day? That moves you closer to a finished book. Small steps you do daily to move that needle and get you closer to your book being finished. I found this step was great on days when I didn't have a lot of time to work or I had a lot going on and I didn't have the brain power to work more than 15 minutes at a time.
Ok so we're breathing and we've got words on paper so what's next? Getting familiar with HOW you want to publish. I publish with kindle and that was a whole experience. There are tutorials that show you how to do everything. It's very helpful and guided me the whole way but one thing it doesn't tell you-and pay attention because this became a crucial mistake costing me hours upon hours of endless work-The kindle create app they want you to upload your manuscript to is not very intuitive. I ended up putting my rough draft in and having to work around formatting. What a pain in the butt! So write your book out with appropriate chapter breaks, title page and other formatting. Then upload to the kindle create app and it will search your work for chapter breaks to add in automatically. There are other ways to publish so do your research. Dive in and check reviews-connect with writers that use that method of publishing and see what their experience is and if that's the right fit for you.
There it is. The scary button on kindle create "Publish". How many times did I hover the mouse over that and back out I can't even tell you. I was so worried. Then finally I screwed up my courage and clicked it. It formatted the file for kindle publishing and I went to the website. ...holy crap. Steps. I was so worried about my book I didn't even think about the other information. Author bio, book cover, age group, keywords and many other things I hadn't thought of. There's a fantastic app out there called Canva that allows you to use certain photos and backgrounds they have for free-including book covers, instagram posts, Facebook stories and so on. After hours of agony and stress trying to fill in the blanks to publish my book I was tired, irritated with myself and shaking a little. It's finally time to push that big button to publish. Here we go!
IT DELAYS FOR UP TO 72 HOURS?! I felt like crying. So much work to not have the anxiety over with. I had to wait longer. I didn't sleep well that night. I was up entirely too early on my phone with red eyes and a stomach that needed tums when I saw I had an email. My book is live! I was so excited! I woke up my husband and showed him. He yawned and said "That's cool. Good job." Hardly the same amount of enthusiasm but I'll take what I can get. So be prepared for these steps when you go to publish. Make your cover art and think about how you want to display your book. With kindle you can alway go back and change things. Publishing online is so flexible so don't worry. Get comfortable with your publishing method and lastly prepare for the work of publishing. It'll ask about royalties and taxes too.
Once you're comfortable you know where you're going, once the words are on the page you have a car full of gas and publishing is picking up speed. So move the needle, get going!
I've been writing for so many years I try not to think about it! Why? Because it's depressing to think I've spent more than a decade worried about publishing a book. Guess what? I didn't explode. I published a second book-I'm still here. Still alive.
It's ok to be scared like I was but it's NOT ok for fear to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. Don't hang back hiding like I was. People will benefit from your work. If I can break the shell of shyness I see no reason why you can't.
John Hansen from Queensland Australia on November 12, 2020:
I tried publishing an e-book once on Lulu. It worked out okay, but I wasn't entirely happy and the formatting was a pain. I need to try again now I am a much more experienced writer but have been procrastinating. Thanks for the prompt. I need to give Kindle a go.