The To Do List For A Self-Publishing Author

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The To Do List Of A Self-Publishing Author

My to-do list as a self-publishing author.

It’s easy to believe that being a self-publishing author is all about writing books.

But there is editing, proofreading and getting book covers designed.

Then there is uploading everything to Amazon, Smashwords or wherever, and waiting (or praying) for sales to roll in.

But to give a lie to this misconception, here is an abbreviated record of my day today, as a self-published author.


7:45 am

Email from my web host advising me that my websites had been upgraded to a new PHP version and that I should check my websites to ensure the migration had been successful. It was, to a degree.

After checking, I found one glaring error on three of my websites. Not to go into too much depth, but it was a ‘sprite’ error and meant that none of my social media buttons were working.


7:30 am

More coffee while contemplating what may have caused the error.


7:45 am

Sent two emails. One to my theme provider, and one to my web hosting service asking if they could help with the error.


8:30 am

I got an email from Amazon ads, advising me that the ad I had requested four days ago, to help launch my new book, had been approved. Thanks a lot! So what happened to 24-hour approval? I wrote an email, asking why it had taken so long and had resulted in my promotion missing the first three days of my book launch.


9:15 am

Answer overnight emails. I always answer!


9:45 am

Check Twitter and Facebook and reply to messages or interesting comments. At the same time, reply to a few blog comments. Goodbye one hour.



My theme supplier replied, saying my problem with my websites was not a theme issue. Good to know, but didn’t help. A few minutes later, my web host replied to my earlier email, saying it was probably a plugin issue. Both of these replies gave me reason to believe that my website problem … was my problem.


11:15 am

Started investigation my website problem. Oddly, of my four sites, and one sandbox site, two were working perfectly. It took me more than an hour of comparing the settings on the working and non-working sites to discover it was a caching issue.


12:30 pm

Lunch, while reading about javascript and CSS minify caching settings. See, writers DO read!


1:30 pm

Email from my web host telling me that now my PHP migration had been completed successfully, they would proceed with the subsequent MySQL migration upgrade, and that they would advise me when it was complete.

In the same email, they told me that now my websites were running the latest server software, that it would be a good time to move my hosting to their new administration platform. A link was attached, and on opening, I had, even more, reading to do.


2:30 pm

Finally narrowed down the start of the day sprite error to the caching plugin on my WordPress websites. It took a lot of trial and error, but finally, I found the problem.

I needed to change the loading order of the javascript and CSS minify settings so that my WordPress theme’s items loaded first. If you don’t know anything about this sort of stuff, well, this is what being a self-publisher is about. Learn, learn, learn and learn some more and then DO it yourself!


4:30 pm

Coffee break after succeeding in having all my sites running perfectly again. But with the thought in mind that the MySQL migration is still yet to happen, so more potential problems could yet develop. But that’s for tomorrow.


5:00 pm

Start thinking about an idea for a blog post.

5:30 pm. Enough! It’s beer time.


10:15 pm

Dinner is done, the kitchen is clean but damn! The blog post!


10:30 pm

I’m writing this blog post.

So, what about writing my new book? Tomorrow, demain, mañana, domani …. as usual. I was far too busy today being a self-publishing author to write a book!


Related reading: E-Publishing Is Your Business If You Are A Writer Or Author


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Derek Haines

Derek Haines is an Australian author, living in Switzerland.

4 thoughts on “The To Do List For A Self-Publishing Author

  • May 22, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    And I thought I was the only one spending time to necessary website support things for my book & business! Lol! Thanks for sharing…. I’m not alone.

  • July 4, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    I am most impressed with your early morning time-travel! ;)

  • September 21, 2015 at 11:44 am

    HAH! I can so relate to this. For me the last lost day was when updating back-matter across all the different books and all the different stores.


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