STAGE #1 - A WHOLE NEW WORLD
You've finished all your drafts. You've got you manuscript back from the editor and are quickly revising in order to send it for formatting. You're thinking of a release date, your blog tour, your cute instagram posts where you'll hold your very own paperback in your very own hands. Not to mention, the thrill of releasing this masterpiece into the world for everyone to fawn over! The prospect of being a really and truly published author fills your little writer heart with unspeakable joy and happiness.
STAGE #2 - THE SUDDEN WEIGHT OF WHAT YOU'VE TAKEN ON
Comes out and hits you square in the face. And you're down for the count emotionally (maybe also physically if you're weak and pathetic like me). What have you done? You've created a monster that you don't know the first thing about controlling??? There's no one to help you, you're totally alone on an ocean of self-doubt and terror and social media marketing. *cue internal screaming*
STAGE #3 - INTERNAL SCREAMING INTENSIFIES
Because wait a minute...how does Amazon work? How does Goodreads work? How will you get enough people to sign up for this blog tour? HOW much money did I pay for formatting??? All of this may or may not drive you over the edge of despair, depending on the solidity of your heart and soul. At this point you will be tempted to give up, throw in the towel, telling yourself "I'm just not ready for this, I'll try again when I figure it out more."
*chuckles* Oh, but you've forgotten something very important, my dear.
Care to guess?
ACCOUNTABILITY. *shudders* You put out a release date for this thing and everyone's expecting something grand.
STAGE #4 - HORROR
This stage may last for a long time or a little while, depending on how easily you are paralyzed by fear and how much you hate public attention
STAGE #5 - I THINK I'M GONNA BE OKAY
And then, you finally figure something out. You've got your Amazon page set-up. You get your cover back from the illustrator. People start sharing your book's release around and talking about it. Things start MOVING and the excitement builds and you go...wow.
And EVEN BETTER than all of that, the day comes when you're holding your very own book in your very own hands and it's the most magical thing you've ever felt or experienced. It's totally surreal, you can't believe it's actually happening to you. From then on out you know, it's all gonna be okay.
(here is my experience with that feeling from this past Monday)
There you have it, my 5 *personal* Stages of Self-Publishing. Can my fellow indie authors relate to any of this? Or am I the only one who had multiple breakdowns about the process? :P Commiserate with me!