I like to desribe someone who is ready to publish a book like an up-side-down traffic light but let me explain what I mean by that.
The green is up the top because they are ready to go now, the yellow light in the middle represents the passion they radiate when they talk about their book and the red is on the bottom (or up-side-down) is to represent the fact that they never want to stop talking about it. You know the kind of person I am talking about.
My question for you though is - Are you an up-side-down traffic light?
THE LIFE OF A BOOK
The reason it is so important to work out whether you are an up-side-down traffic light before you begin publishing a book is because a book is kind of like having a baby. There is the gestation period or publishing process (that everyone is farmiliar with), the birth which is commonly represented by the book launch (which most people also tend to celebrate) and then there is rasinng that child for the next 20 odd years into adult hood (also known as distribution) which most people seem to overlook.
The Gestation Period
Raising your Child
(or a whole family of books)
Writing, Designing, or Publishing a book isn't nessecarilly easy, quick or cheap but I can show you ways to do all that however don't think once the gestation period or the birth period are over that the hard work is all done. It is this very attitude that has lead to previous self publishers having garages full of boxes of books they have never opened. They come to me and they ask 'Why hasn't my book sold?" and I ask them what they did to promote it ... "How many people did you speak to about your book this month?", "How much traffic did you draw your webstore?", "How many bookstores did you offer to do an authors event in?" etc. When I hear an answer of "none, none and none" I know exactly why their garages are full as they have commited no time to raising their child.
Now don't get me wrong it's not a full time job like raising a human child is but if you are not willing to spend 5-15 minutes a day (per distribution method) promoting your book you should seriously question why you are bringing it out in the first place.
Note: A word of warning for those of you gang-ho to start building your family right now - please wait until book 1 has been weaned and toliet trained before you begin work on book 2.
THE 3 REASONS WHY PEOPLE PUBLISH A BOOK
People publish a book for one, a combination or all of the following reasons: to fulfil a dream, to earn a passive income or to gain credibility/be known as the expert in their field.
What you need to work out is which of these is the reason (or combination of reasons) you are publishing a book so you make sure your distribution choices (how you choose to raise your child) correspond directly with the outcomes you wish to achieve.
CREATE A PROFITABLE BOOK
Once you have confirmed you are ready to start now, ready to commit to your book for the long term and know what you want to achieve by publishing a book you are ready to begin creating a profitable book. Even if earning a passive income is not one of your goals, even if you don't care whether you book makes a cent or not it is essential to always create a profitable book to ensure your publishing process runs cash flow positive. Your initial financial investment in the publishing process (however small or large) should ideally be your first and last as a well raised book will allow the sales of your first print run (not only to reimburse any upfront cost to you) but the profits to fund the rest of the publishing process so you don't ever need to invest any of your own money again.