(or How I Did It, a “.doc”-umentary)
Latest update: I’ve always heard from experienced authors that the best way to stop obsessing over a single work is to move on to the next project. So I’ve been learning to juggle. Again. Projects, that is. As an indie author, I’d focused solely on Entheóphage for so long that I’d forgotten all the tips and tricks for juggling multiple projects. Now that I’ve leaped back into my Founder’s Seed trilogy, I’m having to relearn them all. And if I ever figure out what, exactly, those are well enough to describe them in words, I’ll share them here.
Meanwhile, I’m throwing myself at four (five, if you count marketing for Phagey) of my projects and hoping something sticks.
Since last month, I’ve:
• Set up an interview with a radio talk show host for March.
• Reached out to several local bookstores and coffee shops re: setting up signing/reading.
• Got (and accepted) an offer to share a table with a fellow writer at MarsCon (January 14, 2023 at Holiday Inn, Virginia Beach/Norfolk).
• Reached out to several Pagan magazines re: reviews.
• Reached out to our local newspaper re: reviews.
• Been invited to speak about Phagey at my interfaith group; since there is a spiritual undercurrent in the book that relates heavily to my own beliefs, the leaders of the group have asked me to talk about it with other ministers and people of various faiths in the group.
• Revised and submitted my novelette “Deer in Headlights” for potential publication; it’s still under consideration, so keep your fingers crossed for me!
• Revised all three novels in my Founder’s Seed (TFS) trilogy, composed a glossary and characters list, and submitted book 1 to my beloved Beta Readers.
• Sent book 1 of TFS to Duncan so he can start sketches for a cover.
• Changed my mind about formatting the changes on Phagey myself in Vellum. This book has a very distinctive look, thanks to Duncan Eagleson’s formatting, and I didn’t want to lose that. I will, however, be formatting TFS in Vellum from the start. I feel it’s important to know this crucial step; Vellum, while producing a far more simplified output than could be done by a designer like Duncan, makes it easy to do. Once I learn the ins and outs, I may go back to using a designer. Time will tell.
Still want/need to do:
• Take a Udemy (or other) class on compiling in Scrivener. Despite all my years of working with this program, I always flub this important step, and end up spending more time than should be necessary in formatting the resultant .docx file.
• Start tracking (and back-tracking) all the steps I took along this journey so far so I can repeat the ones that worked well when I publish
my second book (and the third, and the fourth). Thank goodness for this blog! I can come back and read all my own words!
• Using the list of steps I’m creating (above) and the start/complete dates from Phagey, set up a timeline with more relaxed deadlines for my next book. I’d prefer to have more time to complete each stage of the process, so that I’m not panicked and anxious as every deadline nears.
• Go through the three books in my TFS series (so far) and compile from my bazillions of notes a consistent series “bible” with character profiles, scene/setting descriptions, etc. so that there is less a chance of conflicting details as I continue with future trilogies in this fantasy world.
I want to take just a quick minute to mention marketing. It’s a challenge, as an indie author who is working a regular day-job, to continue producing written works, handle day-to-day living issues, and still manage to have time for myself. I have (am still) considering paying
someone to help me with marketing, and have said so online. Those mentions brought responses that weren’t all desirable, or even legit.
Caveat emptor! Not all those out there who claim to be legitimate are truly so. Do your homework, and be sure:
a) the company is legitimate;
b) the company is honest and not just out to take your money;
c) that you really need what they are selling;
d) that you are comfortable with ALL the terms of their agreement; and
e) that signing up with them won’t invalidate your other indie agreements (i.e. uploading your ebook to review sites, even ones that don’t make it publicly available, can and may well invalidate your agreement with KDP for Kindle Unlimited exclusivity).
Marketing is tough; I hear this from authors all the time. And not all marketing strategies are write for all authors. But signing up for a “deal” that harms you or your work/reputation in the long run is just not worth it. Be sure you know what you’re getting into before you sign anything.
It’s been a year since I began posting about my self-publishing journey. Each month, I’ve outlined here in my blog all the steps I took along the way. While I’m sure to post about future advances, lessons, and steps taken in this process within future blog posts here, I will bring this particular series to a close with this installment. I hope my experiences have been helpful to you, even if nothing more than as a “don’t do what I did” lesson. It has always been my belief that writers should lift each other up, rather than compete. There are plenty of readers and plenty of room among them for all our works. If I can answer any questions for you, I will be happy to do so. Please feel free to reach out.
And as always, remember that 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.
Microphone Photo by Dmitry Demidov
Online Learning Photo by Vlada Karpovich
Caution Tape Photo by Jessica Tan on Unsplash