In October of 2021, my world was falling apart. I was on stress leave from work, my mom had just passed away, - oh - and we (aka the whole World and I) were in the middle of the pandemic.
Rough times. I may have lied on the couch for weeks and watched 16 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. I may have gained 20 lbs by eating my feelings. But I also made a decision.
After 30+ years of talking about it, I finally decided to publish my first book. And so, I started flailing around, trying to write, learn, and overcome one (usually technological) obstacle after another.
Then something amazing happened - I did it! I published my first book in ebook format, and my book was suddenly available globally on Kindle Direct Publishing! I had done it! I had self-published my first book!
In the two and a half years since, I have published four more books under the same pen name, more than 20 additional books under different names, and have truly found a straightforward way that anyone with a computer and an internet connection can have a printed copy of their own book in their hands in the next three months.
What about you? Have you always wanted to write a book? Do you have a story inside you that you need to tell? Do you want to keep full creative control over your ideas? Do you have expertise or powerful opinions that you want to share with yourself, your network, or the world?
What’s standing in your way?
If you are like me, at least one of my biggest excuses for waiting to publish my first book was “I don’t know how!” Well, that is what this blog series is about. I will walk you, step by step, through the same process I followed to self-publish my first book.
I’ll share what I learned as I went through the process and offer encouragement and stories along the way.
Imagine it - in 12 weeks, you could have a hard copy of your first book in your hands. Are you willing to give it a try? The effort only costs you your time - though if you buy 10,000 copies of your book, that is completely up to you!
Let’s get this challenge started:
Self Publish One Book in the next 92 Days
The Main Quest will be broken down into 12 steps - one for each week. Some weeks will be focused on preparation, others heavy on writing or editing. You’ll have ‘DIY’ options, and recommendations if you would rather outsource. Follow these steps and you will be able to cross “publish a book” off your bucket list in the next few months.
Keep an eye out for side quests. These are optional exercises or efforts you can try to expand your skill or knowledge as a self-publishing author.
Ready to get started?
Let’s discuss the rules:
Rule 1. Start Before You Are Ready
Rule 2. Learn By Doing
Rule 3. Eat The Frog
Rule 4. Keep Moving Forward
Rule 5. Celebrate the Suck
Rule 6. Keep It In Perspective
Rule 1. Start Before You Are Ready
This rule comes from Marie Forleo’s amazing book “Everything is Figureoutable” (highly recommended). Long and short, start now. Waiting till you are ready risks missing out on - or only delaying - important learnings. Start now and keep getting ready as you go.
Rule 2. Learn By Doing
This rule builds on Rule 1. By doing so, we move past the ‘research’ stage and into production. You learn so much more in the application than you do in the research. I ‘read’ about and ‘studied’ about publishing for over 20 years. Only when I started ‘publishing’ did I learn what the process was. This concept was best introduced to me by my study of Adaptive Action and the work of Glenda Eoyang, of Human Systems Dynamics.
Rule 3: Eat The Frog
“Eat the frog” is a productivity concept coined by Brian Tracy in his book “Eat That Frog!” Essentially, pick the worst task of the day, the one you dread, and do that first! Get it out of the way so you can enjoy the rest of your day without worrying about it or dreading it.
Rule 5: Celebrate the Suck
Developing competence at a new task (aka Learning) has four stages - according to American Psychologist Abraham Maslow and those who have built upon his theories. The four stages are
Unconscious Incompetence - when you are blissfully unaware of all you do not yet know and are excited to start.
Conscious Incompetence - the stage where you become (often painfully) aware of all you do not yet know and how far you have to go.
Conscious Competence follows - where you know what to do but still have to put a lot of effort into the new effort.
Unconscious Competence - where you are so good at doing what you are doing, you scarcely need to think about it.
Which stage is the most dangerous? For me, Conscious Incompetence is the hardest, scariest and most dangerous stage because it is where most people quit. This stage SUCKS! You struggle, you stumble, you stagger, and you make mistakes. You become painfully aware of how far you must go, and you start looking for the Emergency Exit. This is where you need to celebrate! Be in the midst of the “suck” and say YES! I am doing this! Look how bad I am at it! That is such a good sign that I have moved into the second stage! This sucks so much I must be learning! If you can do this, if you can see how great it is that you are currently bad at something, you have a much better chance of continuing to stage 3 where you start getting better, and stage 4 where things get easy. But you cannot skip stage 2, so let me know when you get there, and I will celebrate the suck with you!!
Rule 6: Keep it in Perspective
Alright, my baby self-published author, what is the goal?
To publish your first book.
Is your goal to write-the-best-book-ever-written-on-any-platform-in-any-language-of-all-time? No! This is a quest, a class, an opportunity to learn. Perfection is not only NOT expected, it is straight up discouraged around here. I want completion, not perfection.
The assignment is to finish the assignment. If you finish, you pass. If you don’t - well, as long as you learned something, you still don’t fail, but focus on finishing first. You can polish it later.
Please keep this simple. If you are waiting to write your best book before writing your first one, you will wait forever. Lean into the discomfort of the messy middle, and we will get through this together.
Those are the rules of this challenge.
Are you in? Then, let’s get started!
In the next blog post, I’ll discuss the next step- Picking your topic.
Can’t wait? Start writing now! Getting in the habit of writing every day will serve you along this journey, so get started, and I will check back in with you soon.
Regina Grimm is the author of erotic fairytales written for the uninhibited readers 18+.
Check out her books:
Snow White and the Wicked Curse: Chapter 1
Snow White and the Poisoned Apple: The Final Chapter.
Would you prefer to read the whole story at once? Grab your copy of Snow: The Complete Erotic Series now! All five books are available in Kindle ebook and in Paperback.
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