Two of the hardest obstacles in publishing your own book – And how to overcome them

There are a lot of things that get into your way when you are getting your first book done and want to publish it yourself.


foto by /

If you are new to this blog, feel free to check out the On Self Publishing section to read how I am doing publishing my first children’s book (and hopefully spare you some of the mistakes I did). I won`t lie to you. Going this route costs a lot of energy, quite some money and a lot of determination – well, just as with everything you really care about. 🙂

The obstacles you might encounter, once you are reaching the finishing line, might be:

  • exhaustion
  • rejection


After you have been working for more than one year on one project exclusively, have seeked out the perfect freelancers and collaborators, printing and distribution partners;  one day you might get to the point where you think you are done with it. Every additional illustration needed (in case you illustrate your own story) is a pain the a**; going back and fixing the colours for printing for the third time (for fifty illustrations) is just… well, you get it. 🙂


Chuck Norris

Oh, just because it is currently blasting from my speakers: Have you ever wondered what music was playing in the radio when Chuck Norris made his first baby steps?

It was End of Line by Daft Punk:

Ok, back to the article.

So you have been working on your project for such a long time that you are getting tired of it? This tiredness manifests itself in distraction. Suddenly, hundreds of other projects, websites, trailers, favours for friends become super urgent and important.

Here is what I believe to be the cure to that phenomenon; I do not remember where I got the definition below from, though:

Self-discipline is the ability to do the things that need to be done at the moment when they need to be done.

Just accept that your project is a lot of work and get it done as well and as fast as you can. I am really eager to move on to my next project, which will be an action packed fantasy children’s book with untamed warrior bears, crazy kobold pirates and…

…but I just jot something down in my notebooks every now and then and try to get the first children’s book into print. The longer a project takes to get finished the more likely it will never be finished.

The other possibility is finding something new about your project or doing a work package a different way. Like drawing your illustrations a different way, or using a different style which still fits the project at hand. I have read in several blogs and interviews that self publishers encounter a situation like this sooner or later. Thats just because of the workload you have to handle and the tons of tiny decisions you have to make. Things which usually a publisher would care about. But I think that you get better at it and become more efficient the more often you do it.

So let’s move on to the second obstacle you might face while finishing your first book:


Maybe you have read the post about the feedback I got from business consulting people, who mainly told me to do something else. There also were other rejections which I will spare you. 🙂

Of course, rejection is hard to swallow, especially if you have put so much energy into one of your projects. I would not advice anybody to take that easy, because it can be a warning signal.  If everybody is telling you that something is wrong, you should listen to them and try to identify what it is the patient is suffering from. Can it be fixed? And yes, sometimes it is wiser to let a project go. Running blindly into one direction is never a good thing. On the other hand, if you really believe that something could work out and you are taking calculated risks… go for it.

At the end, this is a permission only you can give yourself.

What do you think? What are the biggest obstacles for your projects? Leave a comment below. 🙂

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