Self-publishing – Things I’ve learned since getting on the publishing merry go round!

I took a substantial break from blogging in October to work on finishing up the rewrite of Myth, the second book of my series, the Guardians of the Word. I rewrote the first book of the series, Chosen, and published it over the course of a year after having finished the entire 7 book series in 2010. Yes, there are 6 more books to come…or maybe 7 more, depending on how they get broken up to work in both ebook and print formats. I like the size of Chosen in print and most people who’ve read it, feel it’s the right length, both story-wise and the physical size of it. Myth was going to be over 120K. That’s a substantially larger book than the first. I didn’t like the feel of it, and when I took a hard look at what I had, decided to cut it about halfway, added some, subtracted some and after a solid month of steady working on it, I have another book to publish. It’s ready. It feels right, and I can’t wait to get it back from my beta readers who are kindly giving it a once over to see if they feel the same way I do.

Publishing Chosen took a full 3 months. Publishing Myth will take about one. Why? It gets easier to pull it off the second time through the process.

The first time publishing on my own, and I mean really on my own, without the advice of anyone other than KDP, Createspace, and Smashwords, the learning curve was much steeper. I made a lot of mistakes, struggling with the cover, getting the cover completely wrong, and then finally settling on the one I have now – except I’m about to change it too if I can ever get the damn program to work. (curse you GIMP, curse you!) I didn’t have any idea what I was doing, what the process was or how much effort it would take. The difference, of course, is now I do. I understand how to format the book for different outlets. I understand how long it takes for Smashwords to upload the document file, the cover, the bio and get my book out into the world! I’ve worked with KDP and Createspace now, so I’m more familiar with their requirements. It has been all around much easier this time to get to this place in time with Book 2. So if you’re on the fence about publishing, my advice? Go for it, but don’t go it alone.

Most importantly, I’ve found since publishing Chosen, the most amazing group of supportive authors in Indie Writers Unite on Facebook. Got a question? About anything? Just ask. Someone there will know and tell you. Generally, several members will have the answer you’re looking for, and several more will chime in with some from of encouragement or other. Just the other day, an Indie author came in feeling a bit down about crappy sales, not sure what to do, feeling blah about the whole experience. Some fifty or sixty posts later, she had a new blurb if she wanted, new mockup covers to choose from and the advice and encouragement of a huge number of people who’d all experienced the same thing at one point or the other.

It is critical to the Indie writer to find such a group. A place to go when feelings of defeat rear up. A place to commiserate how tough it is to do this Indie thing some days. A place where you won’t feel like you are the only person in the world experiencing this wild ride, the ups and downs, completely by yourself. No one knows everything there is to know about this business, from the technical aspects of it to marketing. Having a support group to ask questions of will make the publishing journey much easier, which is the main point. Being Indie doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.


Filed under Indie Publishing, Publishing

7 responses to “Self-publishing – Things I’ve learned since getting on the publishing merry go round!

  1. Congrats on going indie! I’ve been doing it for almost two years and love it! BTW, you did a great job with the covers. 🙂 Good luck on your series!

  2. Well it’s good news that they are all written, even to that stage but it’s bad news for me and your other fans in a way because it’s tantalising to know that Dynan and Dain have so many adventures to come and we can’t get to them, If you hadn’t written them yet then there wouldn’t be a problem so much because they wouldn’t exist but knowing they exist but I can’t read them is going to drive me nuts.

  3. Hang on are you saying the other books in the series are already written but just in need of editing?

    The rest of the post is pretty good too. Definetly alot of useful information that I’ll be holding onto as my own self publishing journey continues.

    And FYI as one of those fortunate beta readers I’ll be giving it more than a once over, Perhaps 2 or 3 or 4 times over because of how awesome it is. But I will get it back to you before the 2nd, 3rd or 4th time.

    • Yes! All the books are written a little more than first draft status. I just have to do some cleaning up around the edges. I changed a character and added a character, so they have to be figured into the mix. I’m going to start on Telepath next week, I think, while I’m waiting for readers. Thanks Matt!

  4. A really good blog, I’ve recently self-published with KDP and thanks for the above link to check out. It was hard work, for me anyway, getting the format right so its good to hear that I am not alone.

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