Are you frustrated and experiencing a high level of stress because you don't know where to go and start with self-publishing? Check this out and it could help you to not be overwhelmed by too many options in self-publishing.
Today's question has three answers and you're going to want to stick around for the third answer. Because I'm going to tell you exactly what it takes to get past overwhelm in the long run when it comes to self-publishing.
Let's get into it. Today's question or problem was, overwhelmed by too many options in self-publishing? This is a very common problem not just with self-publishing but with many other areas as well when you first get started in something.
You're so excited you don't know where to start but you're just excited to jump in and start with something. Then we start to understand that things can get complicated very fast. And self-publishing is no different than anything else in this same category.
So when you first get started and you're moving along, you realize there are tools. There are all sorts of choices that you're going to need to make. Are you going to go with publishing companies?
Are you going to do it yourself? What should you start with? What is most strategic, you have marketing, and optimizing your books?
Even just writing the book itself creates a bit of a challenge for many authors when you're getting going. This leads you to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and feeling a high level of stress. Does this resonate at all with you?
If it does, then you're going to want to stick around. Because I'm going to answer exactly what you need to be doing to fix this. But before we get into the answers, you can grab a copy of my absolutely free Self-Publishing Checklist.
Buried by ships, so several years back I was coordinating the movement of five ships in the north sea off the coast of Norway. These ships were pulling along in a gigantic lay barge that was laying piping. The thing was that it took 4 ships to pull this entire thing.
Then you had a final ship that would be bringing supplies to the lay barge. All of this would be going on all day long to lay 4 kilometers of pipeline. In fact, the largest pipeline supplying natural gas to the United Kingdom from Norway.
I was in charge of coordinating the motion of all of these ships. The storehouse for the supplies that they would be using. Also in terms of when they needed water and when they needed additional supplies, they would be coming through the exact area that I was working and coordinating.
Now, this may sound like a bit of you know, you're just moving some ships around but in fact, it was incredibly difficult. Because the task kept coming in, you had to keep track of this and that. You had all sorts of things you needed to remember besides a lot of decisions to be made regarding when we had issues that showed up.
You had to make decisions while still keeping going on the other stuff. I don't know if you've ever seen, like in China where they have the plates that they're balancing on the sticks right.
And they keep one plate, then another plate and another plate. Before you know you have so many of these spinning plates on top of these polls that they have.
Focus On A Single Step
It starts to get a bit confusing, I immediately started to feel a sense of overwhelming. Too many things to do, too much at the same time. That was when I was first introduced to David Allen's Get Things Done method.
This is a very powerful one that I'm going to explain to you right now. One of the first things that we do is a capture. So we take everything we need to remember to do.
We capture it into a single system so that we have a single place. You could write it down on pieces of paper. I would not suggest that or you could use Excel. I tried that, I got overwhelmed with that.
Or you could use a system like Todoist. That's the program I use and if you want to get more information on that, you can check that out. It tracks all of the projects that I'm doing within self-publishing.
In general, you can put them all in Todoist to make sure. So that's the first step, we're capturing them down. The next step is we schedule them out, figure out when exactly we're going to do these tasks reasonably.
We don't have too many tasks in a given day and then we execute. So when the day starts, we look at our list to make sure it's doable. Then we execute on those lists and I started doing this exact process with all of the tasks that were coming in for this process, with all of these ships.
Check out this related article: Can't Find A Topic For My Book!
And what I discovered was that there are two things that you need to focus on with the Get Things Done method. What is the next step on this huge project or task that I'm doing? And the other one is what's the ultimate goal?
We keep these two in mind. In other words how many things do I need to do? The answer is it's always just one thing. It's the next step then you have.
But if you think about it, it's too many things coming in at you. At the same time, that's creating all of your problems and frustrations. As opposed to if you can just hold the focus to a single step, then it becomes completely doable.
The thing is the result you get is smooth flowing and I found that with my projects. The amount of overwhelm that I was experiencing on these projects began to decrease. I use the same steps when it comes to self-publishing.
Overwhelmed by too many options in self-publishing? The first thing is to slow everything down and ask what is the next step? What do you have to do?
Too many of my students are trying to get ahead of themselves. They create the overwhelm by asking, "Well, what do I do with marketing and stuff when you haven't even got your book on the market yet?".
We should indeed consider marketing before we even produce any product or service. Making sure that the market even wants what we have to offer. But once we've got that in place, then we need to create the product or service.
We do not start by trying to figure out, should I do it on Facebook, Amazon, or something? We do not do that, we simply want to get our book onto the market first. The next thing is we use Just-In-Time Learning.
That is we simply are not learning just in case. Learning is where you learn something because maybe later down the line you're going to need to do that. We're going to use Just-In-Time Learning where we only learn a skill right before we need to use it.
That also prevents us from getting our head overwhelmed with too much information and too many ideas at once. Resulting in overwhelming stress that is causing us to do nothing and never get our book onto the market. We have our daily activities, we're continually making actions every day.
Taking the most strategic actions next and moving slowly forward with those actions. Our secret answer for the day and the third answer is we need to focus on the daily joy of the process. This is probably the most important tip of everything that I'm giving you today for your self-publishing.
It is a journey that you are on. You otherwise will experience the overwhelm that I refer to as the "Everest Problem" which is you see Mount Everest. It's so tall and no matter how much progress you make, you feel like you're not getting any closer up that mountain.
But if you focus on the journey and enjoying the process itself and this is very important. If you can't do that, then you should find something you can enjoy the process of. Otherwise, we're slowly making the progress every day.
We're taking our book and getting it formatted into Kindle. We're getting it onto the market. We're putting ads for those books onto the market. We're getting the Paperback version out, we're getting our audiobook version, then we're moving on to IngramSpark, Smashwords, and Lulu.
We're slowly getting our distribution channels spread out. We're increasing our marketing efforts, we're doing content marketing, and we're building up an advanced review team for our books. To ensure that we're getting reviews for the books that are going out.
We're hiring additional people to help us with this process as we start to see the money and the revenue coming in. In order to ensure that we can increase the speed and the quality of the books that we're getting onto the market. We do one thing at a time, we do not allow ourselves to get overwhelmed.
We hold our focus on that and we enjoy the journey. If you aren't enjoying the daily journey, we're doing something wrong. We do need to push through the resistance that will try to stop us.
We just need to learn a little bit more. But at the end of the day, you need to look and see, are you enjoying the journey? If you're not, then you need to pull it back and that's a key one, I can help you with that.
Just let me know below in the comments. Do you feel overwhelmed by too many options in self-publishing? If you do, write "Yes" and if you don't, write "No" below in the comments.
That will definitely help me know where you're coming from to make better articles for you. And check out my other blogs and videos for more answers to your self-publishing questions.