By CHER FINVER
In 2017, I jumped off the proverbial cliff with the release of my memoir entitled, “But You Look So Good and Other Lies.” One thing about growing up in a severely dysfunctional home; I never felt good enough. Not good enough to seek an agent or a traditional publisher. It didn’t matter which teacher or book aficionado said my book was any good. Or the fact that I’ve been paid for a magazine article or two before. I chose to only focus on self-publishing. This way, I wouldn’t feel rejected every time I checked my e-mail or mailbox.
I’d like to share with you some information I wish I would have known before I started this journey.
Do your homework. I used a publishing house that helps writers self-publish. This company did come recommended by someone but one look at their BBB rating would have saved me a lot of frustration. My book was put together beautifully, and they did get it on Amazon and in some book stores as promised and paid for. With that said, they were slow as a sloth in distributing my memoir when demand was at its peak.
Not all of your Facebook friends will buy your book. Do you buy everything your Facebook friends are selling? No. But if you put yourself out there anyway, you’ll reach an audience just as important. Strangers. And let’s be real, a stranger will give you more honest feedback than that guy on Facebook that sat beside you in Spanish class in HS.
Be a hustler, baby. I paid my publishing house for their basic publishing package. I have a background in sales and customer service, so I figured I was the best person to market my own book. I just needed my book put together and out there, which they did accomplish. I must have read half a dozen books on marketing your own work and those books were helpful in giving me some additional marketing ideas than the ones I had already come up with. On my own, I got my memoir positively reviewed in three magazines (and I didn’t have to pay for those reviews), I campaigned to get my book in all my local libraries too. I also got myself featured on a nationally known podcast and a little bit to my surprise, my book’s Facebook page has over 2,200 followers. That’s a big number to me.
I did fantasize that my book would be released and some way, somehow a movie studio would hear about it and before I knew it, Julia Roberts would be playing me in the movie. I am very content with how much my little self-published book has accomplished, and without the backing of a Random House, having the last name of King or Rowling, or even the box office power of Mrs. Roberts.
Writing my memoir was a significant part of my healing process. It was uncomfortable to write and at times, embarrassing to let the rest of the world in on my most private thoughts, triumphs, and heartaches. I never expected the outpouring of love and understanding I received from family, friends, and especially strangers. I’m very thankful I jumped off that cliff and got out of my comfort zone. My hope is that you read this and know that if I can do this, you can too. No matter if you self-publish or land an agent. It will be a decision you’ll never regret. You’ll only regret not telling the story blistering inside you. You are good enough and so am I.
Cher Finver has lived in Las Vegas, Nevada since 1985. She is a mother, wife, motivation speaker, and author of But You Look So Good and Other Lies.