Today I’ve been pondering my self-publishing plans

When you are as disorganized as I am, it’s hard to make firm decisions. About anything. But I’ve got to do it, because when you are self-published, there is no one to make the decisions for you.

The first issue has to do with poetry publications. I have two poetry books out. One is print-only and the other is a chapbook-length ebook. Since I haven’t been very effective in promotion either book, my sales are dismal and I lack reviews. I also have had my next poetry publication in mind for some time— I even gave it a name (‘Waiting for the Poison Shot’) and have a book cover made.

I have been torn between getting ‘Poison Shot’ published and doing more with the other two. First book needs an ebook version, second one needs a print version. After a lot of back-and-forthing I have come to a decision: the second book, ‘surly petunia’, is what I should work with.

Getting a print book (or booklet, it’s a chapbook) for ‘surly petunia’ I think is a priority. I think maybe I can get some reviews of it by giving away print booklets to select writer friends. Or blog readers. The ebook version of it has been free on SmashWords and 99 cents on I will be looking in to whether it is possible to do a revised version without cracking the universe.

If I can only get ‘surly petunia’ out in print and get a few reviews for it, then I will be ready to get ‘Poison Shot’ out. At this point I’m still undecided if it is going to be a larger book of 72 or so pages like the first poetry book of mine, or if it is going to be another chapbook. But that is something I’m going to put aside until I’m done with ‘surly petunia.’

My other self-publishing project will be my first prose project— a short story called ‘The Skin Shirt’, set in a city where people change their skin color by donning a new ‘skin shirt.’ How does a person decide which skin color to pick this time? The story will follow one man’s decision about a skin shirt— and about his life. This project will be a short e-book. If the print chapbook for ‘surly petunia’ works out well, I may do one for ‘The Skin Shirt’ as well. (If you want to read the current draft of ‘The Skin Shirt’ it is still up on my FB author page: I will be taking it down at some point as I work on a final draft of the story, so look it up while you can.)

When I think about my writing projects sometimes I feel very down. I feel like very few people will read my work no matter what I do, and no one will be moved by it. But I’m stubborn and plan to publish anyway. Whether people want to read it or not.  After all, when I first started writing poetry I never though any of it would even be able to get published in the kind of literary magazine that pays in copies, but I did manage to get some poems published. Someone must have liked the poems. Perhaps there are some ‘someones’ who might like the books too.

Readers, have you ever self-published? Did you ever feel some insecurities over your efforts?

Poem of the Day

“Shut up, you crickets!
How can I hear what my wife
Is saying to me?”

by Richard Wright (1908-1960)

Wright was an African-American, Communist author. His book ‘Native Son’, published in 1940, established his career as an author. During the last 18 months of Wright’s life, he devoted himself to writing haiku by the thousands. Over 800 of his best haiku were collected into the book ‘Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon.” This poem is #8 in the collection.

This is Ozymandias, the new cat. He has only 3 legs. The mail carrier delivered him to me.

This is Ozymandias, the new cat. He has only 3 legs. The mail carrier delivered him to me.

Do you have an author FB page? Visit MY author FB page ( and:

  1. ‘Like’ my page
  2. Leave a link to your own author FB page

and I will ‘like’ your page.


5 thoughts on “Today I’ve been pondering my self-publishing plans

  1. So many of us are in the same boat. I self-published a book of flash fiction 3 years ago, I had no platform, so it did exactly nothing and I took it down. But it was a good learning experience.
    I’ve been studying the whole phenomenon of publishing and self-publishing for the past few years and feel like now I can go out there again.
    From what I read, to sell you need to write in the popular genres, write quite a few good/readable/engaging books and keep promoting your books in creative ways.
    Hope this helps and hope the books do really well!

  2. Self-published books get lost on Amazon. If you can’t up your ratings and feature on the first few pages, there’s no way other than a miracle that you’re going to sell many books. Promotion has to be on-going–blog tours, shout outs, blog articles on your own blog, links to your e-books in your sidebar (you can embed your book onto your blog for readers to read a preview and buy)… I’m no expert…I have a self-published novella on Amazon only as I’m too busy to go the whole Smashwords, Kobo etc route. Maybe when I get the second book of the series out I will. And your platform needs to be active–reciprocate visits to your blog, get yourself out there so people get to know you. Take part in blogfests so people can read/like your poetry/prose. These are just some of the things I do, but I need to do a lot more to get healthy sales, but this is not my priority at this time. It’s said you need to get about 5 books on Amazon so people can easily buy your other books. So, back to work…I have two Valentine’s blogfests to prepare for (which need flash fiction) and two guest posts to manage…:-)

  3. I don’t have the right abilities either Nissa. I hate self promotion,but you have to do it. I have some great blogger friends who encourage me to do guest posts etc…blogger friends are always there to help.

  4. Don’t forget Oyster’s promos over on According to Hoyt. And make sure you’re enrolled in the Kindle Lending Library program.

    My own self-promotion … aagh. It’s a mix. I get confident in my work and do it, then I start going “Wait – I’m not supposed to be doing this! If it were any good people would be telling me… but I’m a failure because I’m actually promoting it.”

    Which is an amazingly… dim … way of looking at it. But it’s what I was taught – do the best you can and wait to be recognized.

    So I toss up a free book every so often, it gets a fair number (100-200 is fair, right?) and some of the other books get bought. Never going to get rich at it, that’s for sure – but I can buy a cheeseburger meal every month out of my sales, so that’s something. 😉

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