One of those lists of "things a writer can blog about" included the idea to blog about what you like best and worst about self publishing.
Well, I'll tell you, I think the hardest thing about self-publishing for me so far is pretty straightforward. It's the PUBLISHING part!
When I wrote Invisible Ink, I knew nothing about what it took to put out a book on my own. But I did know enough to know I needed to hire an editor, learn to write a blurb and query letter to publishers and have a cover designed for my book.
What I didn't anticipate is the difficultly of actually PUTTING OUT THE BOOK on the internet through vendors such as Smashwords and Amazon.
You read all the time about people who write a book in a day and slap it up on Amazon and you think, okay, that seems like the easy part. (I'm thinking about the dude who recently made a shit ton of money on a Donald Trump erotica farce he wrote in one night.)
But it's really not that easy.
Despite it's Pluses, Amazon Kind of Sucks
Amazon has by far the easiest user interface for uploading your book and putting it up for sale. However, you still have to make sure you choose the right keywords and genre to best describe your book to readers. You also have to make sure your book cover is PORN FREE. If you don't do either of these things, you could end up like me and be unwittingly trapped in the Amazon ADULT dungeon, where you book is invisible to those searching for it on the site.
Getting out of the dungeon isn't super easy, and there's no human being at Amazon you as an author can actually speak to about this -- or any other problem you might have with the self-publishing system at Amazon for that matter. You can only communicate issues by email or on forums full of people asking a lot of other useless and pointless questions.
Smashwords is Complicated
The other place you HAVE to get your book released is on Smashwords. Smashwords will distribute your book to iTunes, Barnes and Noble, etc. with JUST ONE STEP, so instead of going through all those retailers separately, Smashwords is intended to streamline the process.
Oh, how I wish it actually did that.
In order to get distributed on Smashwords, you have to pass your manuscript through Smashwords' computer system review. If approved, your book will be distributed, piece of cake. If not, you will get back and mismash of instructions about why your book MIGHT have been rejected and common ways to fix it. Some of these instructions might well have been written in a different language.
I think I put my manuscript through Smashwords for review about 15 times. FIFTEEN! before it was approved. It turned out I needed to add a searchable table of contents. I'm not even really sure how I figured out that was the issue. But even after I fixed it, I still had to run it through a few more times before it was perfect enough for Smashwords' distribution policy.
My book came out Dec. 31, 2015, and wasn't uploaded to the Smashwords full catalogue until last week. That is too fucking long, Smashwords! LOL.
So, tell me, what has been the most annoying thing about selfpublishing for you?