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Posts Tagged ‘Self publishing’

The things I have learned after self-publishing my first novel has become unnumberable. I will try to give you a rundown of a few of the things that have gone through my mind.

1: So many typos to fix in the review process. I think I have reviewed and fixed my book hundreds (might be an exaggeration) of times. There is blood, sweat and tears put into this book.

2: I am never satisfied with the end result. I will constantly look through the book and say it needs a space here, a new indent here, a comma here, and maybe take out this or that. Plus the layout was very hard to figure out. In Createspace, you have to make sure your book layout fits their criteria of a print book for the size you went with. Lots of trial and error.

 

 

  1. The cover is frustrating. I mean frustrating in the fact that I went through a whole process of trying to find an illustrator. This took over a month or more before I realized that I am a nobody and they will not ever do work for someone who is new to the business. Besides they have their reputation to uphold. Finally, after trying to do the artwork myself (yuck!) and then scrapping months of hard work, I went to a website where I could buy illustrations or get free ones where I just credit them.  The last way was the best for me. Someone else might be better at drawing and writing. I’m just not that talented.
  2. Sells are not instant. A book needs time to gain a following of readers. Your book needs a reputation. I opted to not tell family and friends. I wanted to see how my book would do on it’s own with no help from it’s momma. So I am watching it flounder at the bottom of the sales list.  I want sells to be organic. I want young readers to search and find my book on their own. This is so painful and I keep wanting to throw a life preserver out to my drowning book. We will just wait and see how it does by the end of the year.

 

So it all comes down to the fact that everyone has self- doubt. I have many of mine own and only shared a few with you today. Heck, there might be more tomorrow! I see why most new authors want to have an agent and become published the traditional way. There are no worries except for your book being moved off a shelf at the bookstore. If any experienced, self-published author has any ideas on how to make this process less painful please comment below. Thanks and happy reading!

 

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If you have read my previous posts about self-publishing than you can see that I have always been torn about it. No longer now. I am in the last stages of finishing up an MG manuscript that I have worked on for more than eight years! Imagine eight years of seeing rejections from publishers and literary agents. Eight years of rigorous editing by paid editors. Eight years of agonizing that I did not write a good story. Eight years of work behind me now.

My last step is to self-publish on Amazon Kindle. I have a friend designing the artwork for the cover then it will all be left in the readers’ hands.

Friends and relatives have been waiting for this day forever.  It feels like sending your first child off to kindergarten. You want them to be the best kid ever and to make lots of friends. Same thing with my book. I want good reviews and make lots of friendly fans.

Feelings of excitement and trepidation are waging war inside of me. In the end, I think I will be satisfied to see my book out there on a digital shelf.  Sometimes you just have to take the plunge and just do it.

To all my loyal readers, I will keep you updated when my book hits the shelf and I will post a copy of the link soon.

Thanks, everyone!

 

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If you ever felt that the world is full of people giving advice, then you might be right.  A lot of people do know a lot of different things.  One of my favorite places to get advice is from Nathan Bransford‘s blog.  He gives great advice on how to write a novel, to how to write a query letter.  Here is one of my favorite posts by Nathan which is the best query letter examples written:  Good Query Letter

There are many different formulas out there.  But just follow the one that is repeated and accepted by the publishing companies.  Bransford gives a good formula for creating a query letter.  But maybe you don’t want to take this guy’s word for it.  Here is some other sources from some credible authors and agents: How not to get an agent  and Before you query

I love to use Writers Digest books.  Their newest addition is 2013 Children’s Writer‘s & Illustrators Market.  You can buy it on Amazon: Writers Digest 2013 .  This book gives writers advice on how to write a query letter to what publishing company is actively accepting query letters.  There is a helpful section from authors.  Their advice for new authors and how they received their big break is worth the read.  I know I just want to skip to the back and start making my list of potential companies and individuals I want to query.  But the sections on writing are very helpful.  From the editor he says, “If you flip through this book’s pages, the first thing you may notice is a whole ton of upfront instructional articles.” – Chuck Samuchino, editor of Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market/ Guide to Literary Agents

There are a lot of writers in my own critique group who says this is “the time to become published”.  I know I have also heard this at writers conferences sponsored by SCBWI.  Agents, editors and authors all agree this is the time to become self-published with either an e-book format or paper.  The e-books are hot right now.  And if you Google which publishing company has the most e-books out then you would find Random House at the top of the list.  They have a lot of e-books that are selling like hot-cakes.  Take a look at their new reformated website and see: Random House .  There is advice given from different publishers who want to see books only through agents.  But there are a lot of authors/agents that are saying that you can do it yourself.  You don’t need an agent.  Take it from Maria Lamba who said:

“For a LONG time we have plodded along with certainties. And the main truth was that a big publisher = big success.  Signing with big publishers meant contracts with great advances, reviews in prominent publications, your book would appear in all bookstores, you’d have tons of publicity and promotion, and you were well on your way to a long CAREER as an author.

Then this “given” started to erode as all the publishing models began to shift.  A large number of editors were laid off in 2008. Authors were suddenly expected to do more of their own promotions. Book reviews in many print publications began to disappear. There was no guarantee that your book would appear in the major chains or indies (even before the demise of Borders). And now we hear a lot from authors about low advances, or no contracts being offered on a next book.

Yes, the economy has a ton to do with all of this. And Ebooks have come in at an especially crazy time.  We fear they may pose a threat to print books. The pricing of Ebooks is a huge issue.  Brick and mortar stores feel threatened by Ebook sales.

And let’s pile onto this, indie publishing, which is on the rise.

All these factors together add to an overall sense of instability in what was once a fairly predictable business model for publishers, booksellers and authors.”

The only thing a writer needs to take away from the overwhelming advice from so many different venues is: “Does it matter to me?”  We are all in charge of our fate and we decide if we want our careers to soar like an eagle or fall like a lead balloon.  There is always going to be someone out there who will have some great advice.  But do you really care?  And if so, are you willing to follow that advice?

As for me, I just want to keep on writing. Teddy%20Bear%20Reading01

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I have just returned from a great empowering writer’s conference.  Every author new to the craft or veterans wanting new information should attend conferences.  The publishing industry is changing and the news sounds grim for traditional publishing.  There are a lot of great new doors open for writers in this technological age.  We can self-publish with  Createspace ( https://www.createspace.com/ ), which is a part of Amazon.  Selling ebooks online with the biggest book seller would be a smart thing to do.  But there are other companies to consider.  There’s Lulu (http://www.lulu.com/) and Apple’s iBookstore (http://www.apple.com/ibooks-author/ ) that offer a great way to self publish.  But wait there’s more!  You have Barnes & Noble, Pubit! (http://pubit.barnesandnoble.com/pubit_app/bn?t=pi_reg_home ).  And then there’s Google where you can submit your book with the biggest search engine and have millions of views from consumers.

Are you overwhelmed yet?  I know I was today.  Everyone is self-publishing.  And what does that mean for readers?  There are a lot more good and bad choices now.  Not all indie books are edited.  Which could mean for some tough reading.

So I listened to David Harrison (who has sold millions of books) talk about writing what you know or have experienced.  I kind of already knew that.  I heard Terry Miller (who is a fantastic illustrator) talk about the new age of eReaders and where our publishing world is heading.  I had a clue a couple of years ago when the first iPad hit the country with all it’s cool apps that people everywhere would want one.  And then I was privileged to hear Ellen Hopkins talk about her books like her best-seller CRANK.  Everyone on the panel had lots of information and good advice.  There was a panel of authors of YA.  And editor, who I am sure everyone knows, Emma Dryden (www.drydenbks.com) .  Hearing from professionals is always uplifting.  I can’t praise SCBWI enough for all the work they do for their members.

So what am I telling you?

What I am saying is that even though you feel like you know everything.  It is always good to attend a conference and get information and also to network.  Someone there might just have the right information to help you out.  If you need it.  I know I came away from this conference with some critiques that are pushing me to revise my own stories.  I knew my manuscripts needed work.  I just didn’t know where.  It was great to hear from professional editors what they thought of my work.  I am glad I have some fresh new opinions from the conference.  Adding a few new friends was just the icing on the cake.

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