I have to get something off my chest. I’m sharing this with all of you because my experience isn’t unique. There will be times in your indie-publishing journey where you will receive praise, and support. Then, there will be times where you will receive harsh criticism.
What you do with this criticism is up to you. If you haven’t already noticed, I changed the cover and title to my book. When I was in the process of creating the cover and writing the blurb, I would post in one of my critique groups for opinions.
Now, I had done this many times over with my fiction books, and I always received constructive criticism and helpful advice. (Side Note: One of the many lessons you’ll learn along this journey is the advice to listen to, and the advice to take with a grain of salt.)
Anyway, when I posted the first versions of the cover and blurb of Intro to Indie Publishing up in that same group, I was met with a flood (Yes, almost 200 comments between two posts) of harsh and unwarranted comments. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before in the writing community. I’ll spare you the details, but suffice it to say, there were tears.
What it boiled down to was them basically asking me, Who are YOU to write a book like this?
I wasted a lot of time and energy trying to explain myself. “But I’m just helping newer authors out with the basics.” “I’m not trying to sell success, just providing a foundation of knowledge” “I’ve gone through the self-publishing process several times over, I should be able to explain how it works.”
It didn’t matter. The negativity ranged from subtle, “What about your front cover is going to make me choose you over everyone else?” (Meaning I have no name recognition) to “Why would I even listen to you? Do you have an English degree?” (I minored in English. What does that have to do with the process of self-publishing?) These were all responses to the question “Hey guys! What do you think about my cover and blurb?”
I was, (and still am) flabbergasted. I’ll never understand why my writing a book to answer very basic, indie-publishing questions was so offensive to people. I let it ruin my day. It killed my productivity when I was already on a tight deadline. I let them win.
I could think this over and talk this over until I’m blue in the face, and I still won’t have an answer as to why people were so cruel.
In a former life, I was a business analyst and a project manager assistant. It was my job to take the processes and procedures we were implementing and put them into words to create a manual called Standard Operating Procedures (OR SOPs). The International Council for Harmonisation (ICH) defines SOPs as “detailed, written instructions to achieve uniformity of the performance of a specific function”. That’s all I’m doing here. I took the process that I had replicated several times over, and created a manual. I then took that manual and published it to help out others. Plain and simple.
I re-titled my book and reworked the cover to make things clearer for you, the reader. I turned off comments on the latest post, and I’m moving on. I just have to accept that there are unkind people out there. That there are people in this world who are insecure in themselves and cut others down in order to make themselves feel better. Why did 100 of them gather onto one of my posts? I’ll never know. I’ve always presented myself in a humble and respectful way, and I will continue to do so.
I need to keep moving forward. I hope that by sharing my story I’ll inspire others to move forward when faced with unwarranted opposition as well. Don’t entangle yourself in unnecessary BS. Just keep learning, growing, and stay on your path.
There will come a time when you put your work out there, and it won’t be received the way you hoped it would be. Sometimes, the criticism is right, and you’ll have to go back to the drawing board. Sometimes, it’ll come from a negative, and ugly place and you need to dust yourself off, wipe your tears, and press on.
Who am I? I’m Niki Morris. I’m an Indie Author, Mother, and Wife. At the end of this month, I will have published my 6th book. Having gone through the process several times myself, and several times helping friends, I thought it was time for me to write that process down, create an SOP of sorts for myself and then share it with all of you. A degree in English, a hefty bank account, and a recognizable name was not needed to do so.
Back to the book…
Like I said, I re-titled the book for clarity. My book, is very much an intro to indie publishing. It gives you the basics, lays out your options, and provides all of this information in a step-by-step format.
If you know who Joanna Penn, and Chris Fox are, if you listen to SPF, or are a member of 20booksto50K®, this book isn’t for you.
If you don’t know what KDP, Ingramspark, or D2D are, and you want to become an indie publisher, then you’re in the right place.