Epiphany. Simply putting up a novel on Kindle—one that I slaved over—will not cut it. It will not magically get attention or sell.

It’s time to get serious.

By this, I mean really and truly investing. This means doing more research than I thought necessary to launch a book on the site.

Which I had not done.

I spent eight months writing the first draft of my young adult supernatural novel, which included lots of research for the historical subplot. After some feedback, I went through several rounds of revisions, sent the manuscript out for editing and proofing, then did some more rewriting. Then I agonized over the title and changed it. Then I bought a pre-made cover by a professional designer in the UK, wrote dozens of draft blurbs (hated them), then found someone to write one for me, which I tweaked.

While I loved doing all of that, I did not seriously commit to finding out how selling books on Amazon really works. I mean, the in-the-weeds details of it. Which I am doing now.

This is like setting out for a road trip in a stick shift car to a hilly city still fuzzy on the concept of driving uphill without rolling backward.

That sound you hear is me screaming as I realize my mistake.

So why did I make it?

This took me awhile to figure out, but here is the truth: I invested too heavily in finding an agent and a traditional publisher. I did not give the act of self-publishing the time and respect that it deserves. I’d also given a bit too much attention to the writers who’ve said they did little to nothing to market their books on Amazon and, one day, sales exploded!

As I read a how-to guide on selling books on Amazon (which I will review when I’m done), I’m blown away about how much I did not know before launching my debut novel on the site.

Is it too late to overcome those self-inflicted wounds?

This is my first post on my journey in self-publishing, and my ever-evolving thoughts on getting an agent or traditional publisher.

If you are a writer dealing with any of this, I’d love to hear from you, even if it’s just to introduce yourself and say hello.