[N]obody alive has twenty years of experience doing what you want to learn how to do. It’s like somebody telling people shopping for trucks in 1911 that they should listen to them because they’ve been a teamster for 30 years....
The very kinds of things that author/publishers are concerned with and trying to learn more about and evaluate every day–is Kindle Nation a better ROI than BookBud? How best to layer promos and ads around Select free days?–are completely beyond the understanding of people who spent decades in the old models–and see no need to unlearn and relearn because they are experts and already know it....
[P]ublishing is changing daily. Writers are re-examining what they learned earlier this year.
I love this because it doesn't apply only to the writers who made their bones decades ago, but to self-published writers today, including myself. One reason why successful self-published writers give such contradictory advice is that they broke out at different times, and methods that might have worked very well then may work less well now.
I worry about my DIY Publishing thingy, because I last updated it--OMG, twelve months ago! Some of the stuff won't go bad, but some of it I'm sure has already. Between the length of time it's going to take me to finish Trials and the fact that I've switched operating systems and will be using completely different software, I'll effectively be a newbie myself the next time I go through the production process!
It's difficult because with the Meetup group I organize, I have normal roundtable Meetups for the more-experienced people, but the newbies attend a seminar-like Meetup where I just tell them about self-publishing. I tell them, Wow, stuff is changing fast, and I try not to be too specific, but sure enough, every time someone comes up with something that I didn't know about, because I put Trust out a whopping six months ago. (Here's a useful thing: Amazon actually put out something helpful about book formatting.) Plus, since I'm going to put Trang on KDP Select, I've been ignoring the newer retail outlets like Kobo (I'll go on them once I'm done with KDP Select, never fear), so I don't know much about them.
Of course, it's silly of me to pressure myself to be an up-to-date expert on every facet of self-publishing--I'm a writer, that needs to be my focus. But the rate of change is phenomenal, that's for sure.