Writing stories to pass values from one generation to the next

3 Lessons Learned from Writing Coach Dave

Self-Publishing Lessons Learned

3 Lessons Learned from Writing Coach Dave

I talk to people every single week who are at various stages of writing a book. Some are plodding along toward completion. All too often, though, the writing stage of the person I’m talking to is the pre-writing stage. You know, the “I’d love to write a book someday….” stage. Would-be writers continue to present two main obstacles: (1) I don’t know where to start and (2) I don’t have the time to write.

Since I began my first book a couple of years ago, I have purposed to remember what it was like to be clueless about the writing and self-publishing process. I’m not very far up that road even now after the publication last week of book number three, Coach Dave: Season One. However, I want to share three lessons learned from writing Coach Dave that may help someone else.

Self-Publishing Lessons LearnedLesson #1: Pay for the cover.

I’m not an graphic artist, not even close. So for me, paying for the cover art, Kindle cover, and paperback cover was well worth it. For the next installment in the Coach Dave series, I’ll make a few adjustments–like hiring a freelance artist with more of a sports background. Overall, I am happy with the cover and I didn’t invest near as much of my own time planning it.

Lesson #2: Add a step before engaging beta readers.

I had read through the manuscript a couple of times already, making plenty of changes. I ordered several proof copies, knowing that some errors just won’t be caught in a Word document. Wow, was I surprised at the preventable errors that still remained! Next time, I’ll proof the first proof and send beta readers the next one. Or hire an editor.

Lesson #3: Build in more turnaround time.

For each proof that I ordered, I had to allow 3-5 days for production and shipping. Online updates required an overnight wait before re-reading. Finally, production and shipping times squeezed a would-be launch date and first book signing back a few days. Next time around, I’ll build a few more days into my launch schedule.

These are just a few of my lessons learned over the last few months. If you have thought about (or even begun) writing and self-publishing your own book, what questions do you have about self-publishing?

Coach Dave: Season One has its own website. Click here to check it out.


About Al Ainsworth

Al Ainsworth is a values storyteller. He works with individuals, businesses, churches, and other organizations to pass along their values through the stories they tell…and re-tell.

Al is the author of Lines in the Gravel, Stories from the Roller Coaster (of a Faith Life), and the Coach Dave series. Subscribe to his email list for more values storying.

What do you think?