Thursday, April 26, 2012

What's Your Take (2)

Today's What's Your Take is something I hold very dear to my heart, self-publishing. Recently I self-published and there were a lot of "ins and outs" that I had no idea about.  My blogging friend Bonnie is going to talk about (some of) her journey on this road. One I might add that is very up and coming.


I am self-published and proud.

I started the road to self-publishing in January of 2011. I won’t lie; I actually went back and forth with traditional publishing and self-publishing. A tug of war with my heart and in the end I went with doing it myself.

I honestly think it is the harder road to take and here are some reasons why:

I didn’t have a major publishing house backing me for anything. I had to write numerous drafts, edit numerous drafts, rinse and repeat six times. Sure, traditional published writers do the same thing, but I didn’t have a big time editor helping me out. Nor did I have an agent trying to sell my story in order to get that editor. Although, I did have great beta readers and two wonderful critique partners who helped with the multiple drafts and rewrite process.

I paid a professional artist to design my book cover.

I paid a professional editor to edit the manuscript, as well as copy edits, and proof reads.
I had to spend endless hours researching the differences between Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, Lulu, and various other indie author sites.  In the end I went with Kindle Direct, despite being locked into a ninety day exclusivity contract with them. They simply have the best exposure.
And this first book has been all about exposure. I never expected (and still don’t) to make a whole ton of money off my first book. I simply had a story tell, took all the avenues as professional as possible to get to the end product, and hoped people fell in love with it as much as I did. 

Now that the book is out I have to do all my own marketing. I honestly think this is by far the hardest part of the self-publish industry. It is literally hit and miss. 

One day the book sells and others I see no downloads at all. That’s just how the self-publish business works. And trust me I have poured over sites and interviews of successful self-published authors. None of them have divulged secrets I didn’t already know. I’ve learned it’s a waiting game.

But, my story is published. My story. Not half of a vision that was changed by a major publishing company. My whole vision! When I was little my dream was to become a writer. As I grew into an adult that dreamed changed. I wanted to become a published author.

Two weeks ago I did.

I may never be the next J.K. Rowlings or Amanda Hocking success story, but I lived my dream. I am still living it every day.

I wish self-published authors got a little more credit. However, I think there is a new dawn on the horizon. I think our time is just beginning and I am embracing every moment I can.
If you’ve been on the fence about self-publishing, give it a try. You can always query. Heck, I might still query one day. But for now I am perfectly happy telling my stories and sharing them with the world, my way.

And if you are thinking of taking the self-publishing route here are a few suggestions:
  • 1.     Get a good book cover! There are plenty of sites that do great graphic design work for a reasonable fee. Trust me; a nice cover can make a huge difference.
  • 2.     Get your manuscript professionally edited. I know this can be expensive, but it is well worth it. How many times have you downloaded a book chalk full of mistakes? You don’t want to be that author. Sure a few typos might slip through the cracks, that happens with big time published print books. But do your homework, find a good editor in your price range and really discuss what your manuscript needs.
  • 3.     Get the format right!! Amazon’s formatting for kindles can be wonky. I’ve submitted my novel in every way possible and it still finds a way to have a formatting error sneak in here and there. I just recently learned of a few formatting sites that for a small fee will do it for you, and make sure it is perfect. I am looking into that, and if you think you might have formatting issues, you should too.
  • 4.     Get social!! Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads. Google+, Instagram, Tumblr…ect.  Also – BLOG!! I can’t stress enough how awesome the online writing community can be!! I mainly blog, tweet, and facebook. But find what works best with you and run with it! This will also help later when you release your book, because blog tours are where it’s at people!
  • 5.     Have patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Remember why you write, and why you love it. Never lose sight of that, ever.

Now that folks is a crash course in self-publishing. I hope you take Bonnie's advice but more importantly, I hope you go pick up her book. You will love it! Stop by Bonnie's website and find all the links you need.  Bonnie thank you for being part of my "What's Your Take." I am later going to be working with her on some promotion and hopefully she joins my New Author Blog tour this fall!

I wanted to include Bonnie's summary of her book: Nether Bound

Seventeen year old Ava Walker has everything a girl could ask for. She's captain of the cheer squad, has tons of friends, and could easily have any guy she wants. Being popular is easy.
Lying about her entire life, on the other hand, isn't.
Since she was little, Ava has had a connection with the dearly departed. She knows seeing dead people is abnormal, but they never try to communicate, so she does her best to turn a blind eye. The older she gets, the worse her visions become. With more and more ghosts showing up, her secret is on the verge of driving her mad.
The only person Ava ever trusted is her best friend, Devon. Only, she hasn't really talked to him in years and lately he hasn't been acting like himself.
To make things worse, her evil stepfather, Mark, is hitting the bottle harder and harder. Ava hates the alcoholic psycho her mother married a few years ago. To him, beating women is a sport. Lately, the beatings are getting worse. Ava fears it won't be long before her mother is among the ghosts invading her life.
She wishes Mark would just die. When he suddenly does, her life changes forever.
Just when she thinks her family is safe, Mark shows back up.
Not all ghosts are silent, and dear old Daddy wants some serious revenge.
Be careful what you wish for …

I wanted to say "Thanks" to Bonnie for stopping by today!!!


  1. great post on self publishing. I'm glad I decided to self publish, even when I'm ranting about how annoying marketing is. Nether Bound sounds interesting too, will have to add it to my wishlist.

  2. I have HUGE respect for self publishers. It's soooo much work. And there's so much talent out there. ;)

  3. Thanks for having me today, and I would love to take place on your fall blog tour! =)

    1. I am so glad you agreed to do it! You did a great job of talking about all the ins and outs! It's such an intense process!

  4. Congrats to you both for getting out there, and self-pubing. That is one tough job. I haven't done it, but man, I see what some of the big publishers do, and to think of doing it all on your own. Wow. Congrats, and best of luck to you!

  5. This is a great list. These are exactly the things I look for in a self-published book and they make a big difference. As a reader.

  6. This is an incredible testament to self-publishing author everywhere!

    New follower to your blog, too because of this post! :)

  7. Wow. Thanks for sharing so much about the self-publishing route to being, well, published. Certainly gives me a lot to think about as I work on my novel.

  8. I think my fav part of this post is when Bonnie says she is living her dream and I think that is the part that speaks to me the most because that's how I feel too. Self-publishing, when done right, makes a dream possible.

  9. have an interesting space, a great pleasure to read you.
    if you like the poetry I invite you to my space.
    happy day.
    a greeting.