The Ascent of Hassle Mountain

When you’ve finally finished drafting your book and your editor has returned it to you all shiny and untangled, when you’ve paid them and set up your accounts on the various self-publishing platforms you are going to use, it feels like you have fought long and hard but finally, finally, almost reached the top of the great peak of Hassle Mountain and are almost standing at the top of the world – the wind is fresh and cool and you feel as if you could just reach up and touch the stars of Success in the sky above.

You take those last few steps up Hassle Mountain, by contacting a cover person and a formatter, and look up to take in the majestic sight of your finally being at the top of that mountain of complicated and confusing stuff you have to do to get published and


…oh, look, another mountain. That one’s called The Greater Hassle and if you look carefully you can see the triplet peaks of Bureaucracy, Confusion, and Financial Difficulties. What you can’t see is the summit. And if you call out to the camp you can see across from you to send you a line so you can zip over? Well, you’re going to be told that you’ll need to head on down to their lower camp on ISBN Point first, and for that you’re going to have to go around the Unhelpful-FAQ cliffs of Bureaucracy’s sheer face to be able to get anyone at ISBN Point to help you.

Good luck not plummeting to your own certain doom while you try to navigate that fucker. The easy part is over, the hard part just beginning. Suddenly those stars you could touch seem so very far away. Don’t forget to breath, though – remember your oxygen tank, because you will need it.


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