FINALLY! Someone who doesn't shy away from giving me the straight lowdown about Indie Publishing and the dreaded nightmare that ensues! THANK YOU, MIMI BARBOUR, for sharing with us what I am sure would be my exact experience, should I ever decide to self-publish. For the rest of you, read on...and then don't forget to head on over to Mimi's blog and check out her 12 STEPS TO SELF PUBLISHING!
This month I have decided to join the NaNoWriMo group for the first time since becoming an author. Never before have I ever felt the need to force myself to do the one thing I love to do most of all—and that is writing.
But over the last while, my focus has been on my new release "My Cheeky Angel". A book I self-pubbed in September. I know a lot of us in the profession have chosen this route and don't get me wrong, I'm glad I did. I just wish someone would have told me about all the extra work it takes to be your own publisher.
Previously, being with Wild Rose Press, I would send in the second or third draft of my WIP to the editor and expect her to find all the errors that I'd missed. After we'd work together on the material, I knew it had gone through quite a few readings and would still be sent to a copy editor for the final check. By then my part was pretty well over. The cover would have been chosen and the book would just magically appear for me to blurb, blab and blog about.
Totally different for the Indie author.
Not only do you have to choose and pay the cover artist, but it's up to you to okay the final choice and select your own title. Also, when you're the boss, having the work edited is a completely different experience. There is a cost involved, which can be rather hefty depending on who you choose, and after the first go-around, it's up to you, the author, to deal with the final product. To make it perfect before the next step.
Right - the next step! (long heavy sigh…) This, for me, was the worst part. Trying to upload the readied piece to Smashwords. After multiple tries (…AND initially I was fortunate enough to have help) I still had to re-read the Smashwords Guide numerous times and re-do my formatting over and over before they accepted my work into their premium catalogue…which, trust me, you want to get into.
Then comes the Amazon experience (even bigger sigh!!). Many tantrums later, including some pretty bad language (halo definitely slipping here), too many glasses of wine over the dinner table while bitc…complaining to my husband and an inherent stubbornness that makes me dig in when many would give up, I finally conquered that monstrous mountain. To help others in this predicament, I wrote the 12 steps I followed that led me to success (which you can find on my blogsite http://mimibarbour.blogspot.com - just go to the left hand side and click on the October archives).
During all that work, I promoted through every means available. I had decided that one of the best ways to advertise would be to open my own blog. Big headache for a computer illiterate non-techie like me! But, a lot of fun once I knew what the heck I was doing. I won't go into all the other promoting steps I followed because I've written them all down in a blog that I will be posting at a later date. Needless to say, the days flew past and I worked more hours during this time than ever before.
I guess the worst part of this whole procedure is that I never found a spare minute to write. Plots were flowing as usual, and I'd jot down notes, stick them into a growing pile then get back to letting people know that my new book was the one they really wanted to read.
Which brings us back to the reason I wrote this blog. I finally realized that even though I was pretty good at the promotion stuff, mostly because I love meeting new people and making new friends, I missed doing what I loved best. Working with new characters to give them a story. So…I signed up for a month of writing and I'm as happy as a kid taking the first lick of a triple-decker ice cream cone.
Have any of you tried the Indie route? Did you find that your career flipped to publishing first, promotions second and writing a thing of the past?
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Because My Cheeky Angel is the first book to my new series "Angels with Attitude" I've made it available at all major outlets for $.99.
My Cheeky Angel Blurb:
Annie Hynes is a tomboy. Naïve and love-starved, she’ll soon to be celebrating her big 3-0. Something needs to be done! Celi, her ‘down-to-earth’ guardian angel appears to help kick-start Annie’s big change—her looks, her job, her whole life. By taking a managerial position with a sophisticated shoe manufacturer, Annie becomes embroiled with her new associates and hooked on the power of big business. Unfortunately, her exhaustion from overwork forces her to ignore old friends, and her lapse places someone she cares about in terrible danger.
Social Worker, Tyler Jones, previously hurt in two relationships, signals disinterest in women, and only wants Annie in his life as a good buddy. Oh yeah! And to help with his mixed-up street kids. Perversely, once her life alters, he misses her like hell. In one sweet night of loving everything changes. But, due to an overabundance of nightcaps, she doesn’t remember the night he can’t forget.
And here's a peek between the pages:
Monday morning, getting ready for the daycare became a major battle with a mocking, unseen presence. Every one of the outfits she normally wore got vetoed. Her overly casual clothes, strewn in every direction, indicated how few items in her closet would be appropriate for when she eventually became employed in a sophisticated office. The baggy style she’d stuck to for years concealed her body, and when a person strives to go unnoticed in the world, the tomboy look does the job. It isn’t chic, but it is safe.
“Didn’t anyone ever explain to you that a body such as yours warrants feminine attire?”
“A compliment? You must be in a good mood.” Annie had given up talking to Celi out loud when it was simpler and a lot less weird communicating with her mind.
“Don’t push it. I’m just sayin.”
“You must be the strangest angel in heaven. Just my luck to get a maverick.”
“Hey! I’m an Angel first class. Count yourself lucky.”
“Now I know you’re kidding. I watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ every Christmas, as I’m sure you’re aware of.”
Finally, settling on a pair of snug jeans she seldom wore, Annie wrestled over the choice of her top. A new white blouse hung from one hand, and the safer, often worn t-shirt fluttered from the other. She faced the mirror and waffled.
“Why did I ever buy this silly ruffled thing?” she grumbled.
“Because it’s pretty and modern, so wear the darn thing already.” Celi popped to life in her favorite yoga stance at the end of the unmade bed.
“Why don’t you have any wings? I’ve often wondered about that.”
“They’re at the drycleaners. Look, quit stalling and get dressed.”
“Why don’t you talk like other people? I can hear your words in my mind, but your lips don’t move.”
“Why, why, why. You’re worse than a child.”
Annie stopped what she was doing, stuck her hand on her hip, and glared at the diaphanous form.
“Fine. It takes enough energy to appear, why waste more speaking when I don’t have to?”
“It’s very disconcerting.”
“Quit stalling and put the blouse on.”
“You’re a bully!”
“And you’re beautiful. Look!” Magically, the garment draped her form. The white emphasized her tanned skin, and she had to admit that the new fashion suited her. She buttoned it and stepped back.
“It’s supposed to be worn with the top few buttons undone.”
She undid the first one.
“One button, okay! Two? That’s indecent.”
“Indecent? Give me a break. You look very much the way any twenty-nine-year old city girl in this century looks.”
It would be easier just to follow directions, she supposed. If she didn’t the button would unexplainably fall open all day long anyway.
Before she could change her mind, she put on the earrings she’d bought to go with the blouse and slipped her feet into the fancy sandals that lay hidden in her closet after a shopping trip months earlier. She checked out her shiny cap of black hair, which had stiffened from the setting lotion applied earlier, and now stood up in a perky ‘do’. The darkness highlighted her unblemished skin, and brought her face to life.
Annie turned to Celi for final approval, but the angel had disappeared. “Thanks, Celi.” Only a faint fragrance of perfume answered. A scent Annie instantly fell in love with permeated the air around her hair. She’d have to ask Celi for the name of the product and wear it everywhere. It could be her personal smell for success.
A tinkling sound drew her attention to her dresser and there sat a tiny, rhinestone studded blue bottle.