Many first time authors have a hopeful optimism about several aspects of the writing process as well as the next step, the world of publishing. The first is how easy it will be to write the book itself. Once that bubble has popped there comes the illusion that it will be a relatively simple task to find someone that loves your book and wants to publish it (after all your mom probably said it was great). Sadly our mom's, or whoever your personal cheerleader is, are not the ones handing out publishing contracts. If you have stuck with the program long enough to reach the next stop in the journey, selling.
If you managed to get an agent and / or publisher, congratulations. For those that either got discouraged from rejection letters piling up or you chose to go the self publishing route from the beginning you have now decided that you will just create your book on your own. Then there comes the time for working with an editor, a cover artist and, if you are computer illiterate for the most part like me, someone to help format the book so all you have to do is upload a file. Whether you did it yourself or with a team your created book will soon be on its way to you so it can be sold to all your waiting readers. That is the real easy part, right?
If you are a celebrity of some kind or have some expertise in a particular subject that also includes your book then sales may initially be easy to achieve however it can come as a horrible surprise just how difficult it is for a no name, self published author to reach any level of success. Attending events and selling online are great but at the beginning it may seem impossible to build up a fan base or find readers to come see you at your table. You may not want to but chances are that mentally you are tracking every sale. It is exhilarating to sign your work but when someone picks up the book, scans the cover and then walks off to look at something else instead it can immediately break your heart.
When a signing ends and you count up the money you have made, assuming it is more than what you invented to be a part of that particular event, it can be tempting to turn around and go blow it on a celebration dinner, a new program for your computer or something else fun it is a better idea to set that money aside to reinvest in that editor, cover artist or some other cost involved with publishing that next project. We are always looking for that book that may put us on the map. Until such time it is important to know that we are a small business and money made by that business should be used to help further any endeavors that you may desire as that business entity.