So, in the later months of 2011, I enjoyed my first taste of Self Publishing.
I published a YA book of short stories called Finding Stories in The Rain.
Though this process was an adventure that I thoroughly enjoyed, there are a few things I wish I'd done differently.

First of all, I wish I had known and followed the WBEA steps (Write your manuscript, Build a platform/fan base, Edit your manuscript, Advertise your work), focusing especially on building a fan base and editing my work.

In retrospect, my two greatest pitfalls with Finding Stories in The Rain were my impatience, which led to a lack of confidence in my work.

Had I been more patient during the self-publishing process, I would have spent more time editing my work, perfecting it until it was exactly what I wanted it to be. Meticulously editing Finding Stories would have led to it becoming a piece of fiction that I would have been very proud of.

Instead of pride, however, I honestly view this work as a cute but laughable first attempt at publishing. I like the stories, but every time I read them I see my mistakes screaming back at me.

This leads me to feel as though I can't honestly advertise Finding Stories in The Rain as the great piece of fiction that I wish it was.

Don't get me wrong, I am proud of it, but I don't love this book as much as the other stories I've written (and have yet to publish).

So, my lack of patience while editing led to a lack of confidence as I attempted to build a platform and fan base.

But it's not all gray clouds, crows, and hissing cats...there is a HUGE silver lining in all of this! : )

My initial dive into self-publishing was a wonderful experience not only because it was fun, but because it has equipped me with the needed foresight to make my second self-publishing venture even more of a success!

I don't expect to make a lot of money from self-publishing, but what I hope to gain is an opportunity to express myself, to move readers who enjoy seeing life from a perspective other than their own, and to gain what most of us want...the opportunity to be heard.

So, if you've decided to take the plunge into self-publishing I wish you the best and I hope you it brings you the success you're looking for!!

-Paula : )
Now that the word has spread about your book, all that's left to do is to continue advertising.

As easy as this may sound, you and I both know that it requires a great deal of tenacity and patience.

It may take a while for word to spread, but eventually potential fans will hear about your book and they'll want to read it for themselves!

So, here are a few tips to keep in mind as advertising continues:

1) Stay in touch with fans (and potential fans) via social media. Every day, use at least 15 minutes to check and respond to comments on your Twitter and Facebook accounts. For tips on how to keep your Tweets appealing, click here!

2) Keep your blog up to date by posting topics that are of interest to you as well as to your potential fans at least once a week. For tips on blogging, click here!

3) Remind your family and friends to spread the word about your book. Word of mouth goes a long way!

Any venture that ends in success takes time and patience. That's why it's so important to keep writing and keep advertising- even when you feel like giving up : )

Your work will inspire someone, so keep advertising if only for that one "someone"!

Thanks for the visit & see you next week : )
The third step in the self-publishing process is to edit your manuscript.

It is very important to devote a significant amount of time to the editing process.

It is often suggested that a writer wait at least a couple of weeks before picking up their completed manuscript and reading through it with the goal correcting grammatical errors and making changes to the storyline as needed.

So, set aside a specific amount of time during which you can quietly sit with your manuscript, comb through it, and make the necessary changes. After using about three to seven days for editing, I would then have a trustworthy friend (one with excellent grammar and who enjoys reading) take a look at it and give me some honest feedback.

Of course, it is important to remember that when you later on choose a print-on-demand company to assist you with self-publishing, the company may offer editing services for a fee. But, if you'd rather save some money you can always depend on your own editing skills coupled with those of a close friend who has an affinity for language.

So, happy editing!

Next week, we'll move on to the next step in our Self Publishing Process.