Mistakes I made self-publishing my first book—#1 Genre

Five years ago, after years of longing to write a novel, I dove in and produced a first draft. I then hired a highly recommended editor and rewrote the book several times, implementing her valuable suggestions. I published a well-written and entertaining book, which garnered four five-star reviews, but I gave little thought to marketing.

Genre? Heavens no! I’ve spent a lifetime avoiding the boxes society has tried to squeeze me into in order to sell me something or tell me where I belong.

Author Platform? If I can find a carpenter.

I considered Dream Chaser:Awakening a suspense-driven love story, and so I published it as Fiction/General. Sara Jensen aims to be a woman of capital before she turns forty. Then life does it thing and she falls in love and is called upon to become a heroine of magnificent proportion. Seems normal to me, but there is a ghost in the story and an out-of body adventure into the Dark Planes, a murky place just beyond Earth. Oh! Not normal, you say.

Image At the time, blogging had not yet swept the Internet in high manic mood dishing out reams of marketing information. I published Dream Chaser under Fiction/General. Some found the book and loved it. Now, after reading numerous author advice blogs, I’m convinced my first book belongs in a genre. Dream Chaser: Awakening will be republished this month as Paranormal Romance.

Most importantly, I wouldn’t change this experience, should that be an option. I’ve learned to embrace my mistakes, to lean into them and learn. I’m publishing my second novel this month, while working on my third. We independent authors may be like needles in the giant Amazon haystack, but needles glint and glimmer. You never know when the light of your story might dazzle the eye of a reader.

Write, publish, and jump into the haystack. And, oh, yes, give careful thought to genre, preferably, of course, before you write the book.

A most helpful blog:


Next: Mistake #2 – Book title.