(or How I Did It, a “.doc”-umentary)
Latest update: I got word from Duncan, my cover designer, that his wife was home and on the mend. Thank goodness for that! I know he is relieved, as is she.
In addition to my joy at that good news, I was able to send my files to Duncan so that he can get started on Phagey’s design. Now, once again, I wait. (I think the waiting is the hardest part!)
But I’ve not been idle.
Since early June, I’ve:
• Scrolled through my Twitter followers (for the first time, I was GLAD I don’t yet have more than 4K followers) to find people with whom I’ve interacted, who I would trust to respect my manuscript and my copyright, and who I could ask if they wanted to do a review exchange. At least fifteen agreed, and I’ve already received two reviews that can be posted on Goodreads and elsewhere, once I get the book pages set up, and on Amazon the day the book goes live.
• Started a website for Niveym Arts, LLC; this is a task which laughs in my face and takes way longer than it should, since I am *NOT* technically inclined. No problem. I’ve got this, and I’m learning.
• Posted a couple of snippet quotes from early reviews onto my FB author page (though not like below; I’ll do that later today).
• Posted a couple of links to articles related to Phagey’s theme on my FB author page.
• Sent out a newsletter update on my revised release date.
• Attended another indie writer’s release party.
• Decided to give my newsletter subscribers a first look at upcoming blog posts on Niveym Arts’s site, and sent out the first one.
• Sent out queries on Twitter and my FB author page for subjects related to the climate-issue theme of Phagey – fishing for subjects readers want to see.
• Searched for online reviewers; three are listed below.
• Reviewed books for fellow writers; there is so much good work out there! Keep an eye on my reviews page to see my recommendations.
The three book reviewers I mentioned above are:
1. Midwest Book Review—they want two print copies of the book for free reviews, or $50 for e-book reviews, but they give priority to indie publishers;
2. Indie Reader—charges $275 for a basic review with 7-9 week turnaround, but if you purchase at least 5 weeks prior to publication, you save $50—IR reviews are distributed and/or available for distribution to Amazon, B&N, IR, and Ingram, and if it gets 4+ stars, it’ll be included in the monthly “Best of”, and invited to participate in IR’s “All About the Book” interview feature; and
3. Self-Publishing Review—prices range from $89 to $329, with associated increases in bennies; 7-30 day turnaround, depending on pkg.
There are plenty more – many free through book review bloggers. Do your due diligence and pick the ones most likely to benefit your book.
Still want/need to do:
• Scroll through Phagey to find dynamic quotes I can post as blurbs on social media.
• Add a link to every page on both my websites that take the visitor to the newsletter sign-up.
• Begin listing the metadata terms I want to use when I publish Phagey – terms like climate fiction; medical sci-fi; South Pacific; coral reefs; Austin, Texas; pandemic. I’m still working this out.
• Read all the resources I downloaded back in January before we knew we had to move.
• Take the other classes I’ve signed up for, mostly in marketing. (This is the task I find most daunting.)
• Once I get my files back from Duncan, skim/read both formats for any glitches that might have snuck in (I don’t doubt Duncan’s skill, but it’s on *me* to ensure there are no accidental returns, etc.)
• Once I know the documents are good to go, upload to Ingram Spark.
• Order an author/proof copy of the printed book to review, once again, for quality assurance.
• Once I’m happy with the formatting and print job, order at least 50 copies to begin my promotions.
And…it’s there where my brain fizzles. I know uploading to Amazon comes either next or soon thereafter, but I can’t manage to get further than this in my plans just yet. I’ll figure it out as it comes; I always do. But that enormous, amorphous grey glow of What Comes Next, stamped in my mind with text from the classic Sidney Harris’s cartoon “then a miracle happens,” is intimidating. I need to take this one (or two) steps at a time. If I let my thoughts wander too far ahead of myself, I stall.
As a first-time indie author, this process is overwhelming. There are always more things that need doing in the promotion and marketing arena, and the same process won’t always work for every writer. With day jobs, families, and other obligations, it often feels like you might never figure it out. Think of it like the myth of Perseus and Medusa: if you gaze directly at the Gorgon you can be turned to stone, frozen into inaction. My advice to you is to keep end goal in sight to be sure you stay on track, but don’t try to confront it all at once; tackle and complete one task at a time before moving on to the next.
Whether you use my method or come up with your own, if you can manage to avoid the glut of All That Needs Doing, you’ll be fine.
Stay tuned and know I’m wishing all the best to you in your self-publishing journey!
**Please note that I am not a professional. Outside the writing part—for which I have taken numerous classes and workshops, and for which I’ve seen enormous improvement over the years, but which I am still learning—I mostly have no idea what I’m doing. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on, looking at how others who have been successful have done it, and learning this process as I go. I don’t want any reader of these posts to think I’m teaching THE way to self-publish; there are as many ways to do this as there are writers on the path. I am only sharing how I have done it. Your mileage may vary.
Brain Upload – by Matryx
Reef Dive – by 7inches
Overwhelmed – by RobinHiggins