Don’t Let All The “You Must Do This First!” Advice Stop You From Publishing

The great thing about self-publishing these days is that there is a huge amount of advice available for authors on how to do things. But for some people, that huge pool of advice can be a detriment.

Start reading up on self-publishing, and it won’t take long for you to find all sorts of articles listing the things you should do if you want to sell more books Heck, you’ll probably find such articles on this site!

You’ll find advice like: start a website, start blogging, start a mailing list, start a Facebook page, start a Facebook group, make accounts on Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest/Google+/Snapchat, build an author platform, write freebies for your list, network with other authors, build a beta-reader list, do a blog tour, sign up with BookFunnel and/or InstaFreebie… the list is huge!

You may feel the whole thing is overwhelming. You just want to write books! Why is it all so complicated?

And if you haven’t published your first book yet, you might think you have to wait until you’ve done all the things mentioned above. How on earth are you going to find the time? Why bother in the first place? It’s all too hard!

If I may, allow me to offer one piece of advice.

You don’t need to do all those things!

Will doing any (or all) of those things help you sell more books? Absolutely!

But you know one thing that will kill your book sales, above all else? Not releasing your book in the first place!

Yes, in an ideal world, before you release your first book you will have everything set up and ready to go. You’ll have set up a perfect marketing plan with everything in place, and that setup will give a huge boost to the sales of your first book.

Writing pad with scrunched up paper

And if you are the sort of person who enjoys doing the extra steps, and you’re making progress in getting things ready while writing your first book, that’s great! You’re probably going to have a successful launch.

But if you think about those things and just feel like giving it all up as too hard, my advice is to stop. Forget about all the “you must do this” lists you’ve read, and get back to the absolute basics.

So What Should You Do?

Before you publish, at a minimum you just need a way for your readers to find out more about you. Having an author Facebook page, and/or a website, are the two easiest ways to offer that, with Facebook being the quickest and easiest of the two if you have never made a website before.

(There’s a quick video over here – – that will take you through the basic steps of setting up an author Facebook page. You can have one up and running in under ten minutes if you already have a personal Facebook account).

Once you have that, make sure you include a link to your website or Facebook page in your book, and then just focus on finishing the book done and published. Dealing with cover art, editing, formatting, and then uploading can be enough to worry about 🙂

Once you’ve passed that milestone, take a step back. Look at the list of things that people talk about, pick one thing to do, and then do it to the exclusion of all the other things.

(If I can offer one piece of advice, my recommendation is to set up a Facebook page, website, and mailing list, in that order. So if you start with only a Facebook page, next focus on setting up your website. Once you have your website, then focus on setting up your list.)

Once you have finished taking care of the item you picked, choose another item from the list, and then do that. Just take it one step at a time – pick a piece of the puzzle, and then place that piece in its correct spot.

(And it goes without saying, keep writing your next book while doing this! 🙂 )

Is this the way to get the most sales for your first book in the quickest time? No – and I’ll be the first person to admit that. But if you don’t get started, and publish your first book, you will never have any sales anyway!