What is it? Well, duh, ‘Publishing’ and all that goes with that. (Meaning the advertising, the books signings, the write ups, the donations, reviews, all that stuff). This stage is actually starting from the moment you begin writing.
Personally on my business plan (and yes, I have one), this last stage will be coming in parts and pieces. I chose to do this my way, which screams rebellion and ego. What plan I have involves the recognition that books, reading material, is much like food. Consumable. We don’t regurgitate and re-eat our food, over and over, nor do we pay once and never expect to eat again.
We buy, we eat (ok, so some grow and eat, but they still buy seeds and supplies – over and over). That is the way of books, reading. Those particular dishes and bites we like the best we go back and buy again. I love my chocolate, so, of course that is consumed and replenished in my candy dish.
Well, I want my product, my writing is the manufactured good/product, to be sought and bought. You aren’t going to buy the same loaf of bread, nor would I expect a reader to buy the same book over and over. You want a new fresh loaf of bread, I do. So would someone who reads and enjoys my stories. Therefore, to me it is a waste of money to spend so much on one singular story. Once I have accumulated several published stories in the same genre, then I will begin deciding where and how to allocate my pennies to advertise and seek the readership to purchase those stories.
Yes, I chose to publish my ‘stuff’ now. First and worst, and yes, I made mistakes in writing, editing, formatting, and design. That doesn’t out weigh the fact that I did complete and publish the first. The start, five of the children at least, and no telling how many will make it to the last stage of my more favored mixed genre tales. But once I have those several completed and published, then it is time to actively seek out my audience.
If they like what they read, and want to read more, there will be no waiting as there will be several options to purchase and read more. It sounds like maybe I should just write and prep2pub for a while and then massively release a bunch at once. Something on the order of the recent releases of entire seasons of shows on the streaming outlets right? Well, yes I considered that.
How is that going to build a fan base? How is that going to build a readership? So, slowly all these are trickling out. I will find my way into the minds and hearts of those who enjoy my style and build my base, one that will require not flash in the pan publicity, but struggling along with me as I go from just an idea, to a dream, to a business. Then we will do the publicity and the advertising. Think the best of both worlds.
This also allows me some failure and learning time to get better at not just my craft of storytelling, but all the other stages and business aspects of publishing. Being a kinetic learner this suits not only my personality but my style. Something every writer should consider during those first weeks of pursuing their dream.
Come to think of it what you want to achieve and how to do so best is something regardless of your dream you need to consider. We talk so much about making ourselves happy, sometimes we neglect to realize that it isn’t always perfect.
I have had no false illusions. I don’t expect to be come a J.K. Rowling. First of all I am a J.K. but not a Rowling. I am Julie Kolb and I can’t be anyone else, nor would I want to. I am stubborn and making mistakes, failing here and there won’t daunt me for long.
I am not a success, yet by many standards. But I am by others. I am doing what I set out to do. Check. I wrote and completed all my eight steps to publishing a story. Check. I am writing more stories and working on other books. Check. Oh, wait, yes, I am a success.
So, before you hit the upload button on your first tale, get clear with your expectations. Have a plan on how you are going to sell this tale. What are you willing to risk? This is a crap shoot people, there is no guarantee you will sell one, much less one hundred. So you will be better off, at least by my opinion, to know what you expect of yourself, and how you are going to accomplish that. Read, again, and always read. Research, educate yourself on what you want to do, how others have done it, how can you do what you want?
Best of luck to you!