Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Ten Things Self-Publishing Taught Me (Guest Post)

I am pleased to have guest blogger, Bonnie Rae, posting today. She's a self-published author, whose second novel was released today! Be sure to check it out at the bottom of this post.

And be sure to comment as well. The first person to both comment and leave their e-mail address gets a free copy of her book!

Here's a list of tips she's decided to share about what self-publishing has taught her:

Ten Things Self-Publishing Taught Me

1. Create a deadline for yourself. Even if it is a relaxed deadline, you still need an end date to strive for.

2. Plan ahead. Make sure to give yourself a few extra weeks for bumps along the way. When I set my deadlines, I plan them so I have an extra month in there just for a buffer. Because let's face it, life happens and sometimes you can't get to your manuscript every day.

3. Know what you are talking about. This goes with any book really, but as a self-published author you are under the microscope far more than a traditional published author. If you need to research things for your novel, especially time periods, make sure you really do it right.

4. Have a support system of other readers/writers. Yes, critique partners and beta readers are a huge process in my novel creation. They let me know if the manuscript is flowing properly, if things don't make sense, and point out grammar issues. I would be so lost if I didn't have my network of CP's and betas. I know sometimes it can be hard to find the right ones, but never give up. Keep searching because they are essential. If you think you can do it without them, you are wrong. Close friends and family members do not count either. That is, unless they can be brutally honest without worrying if they hurt your feelings or not.

5. Hire a professional editor or editing service. You are not an editor and if you are, then you are lucky. Even still, you should have a different "professional" editor look at your manuscript. CP's and beta's don't count. I can't stress this enough, find an editor you work well with and do it. Sure, it might be a little pricey, but it's worth it in the end. I took the cheap route once with a person who claimed to be an editor. Let me just say I got my money's worth. Don't sell yourself or all the hard work you did writing the novel short. Also, do a little background research on your editor or editing service. Make sure they know what they are doing and you are getting the entire bang for your buck.

6. You need a good cover. People like pretty things. I'll admit that I will take a chance on a book just because it has an awesome cover. I am not saying you have to spend thousands of dollars, but there are plenty of affordable sites out there that can create really wonderful book covers. Again, like with the editor, you owe it to your manuscript to do this right. I know it sounds cliché, but it's true. The more professionally done your novel looks the more likely people will purchase it.

7. Network! Social network, local network, anything where you can get your name out there and start making it known you're a writer. Yes, I mean twitter, facebook, blogs, and other social networking sites. Also, sign up to some forums or web groups for your genre of writing. Trust me, it helps. I know social networking can be daunting for some, but we can't stop the world from moving forward into the digital and internet prone age. Also, find a local writing group and join it. Being around other writers is a wonderful thing. They understand what you mean by "all the voices in my head" and won't look at you like you're crazy. Plus, go to some writing conferences. I love conferences. You can learn so much from all the different workshops and meet some pretty amazing people. Most writers, me included, are introverts. You have to break out of that shell. It's scary, but it's worth it!

8. Develop a tough skin. As I mentioned in number four, people will be brutally honest about your manuscript and hopefully in a manner of constructive criticism. However, once published some reviewers can be just downright harsh and make you question your ability about writing. Eat a tub of chocolate ice cream for the first bad review then get over it and move on. Your writing doesn't suck. Just because it doesn't sit well with everyone doesn't mean you should give up. There will be people who love your stories and there will be people who don't. Don't dwell on the negative especially if people are being cruel. Look for the positive criticism and move on from there.

9. Enjoy it. Why do we write? Because we love to. Self-publishing can be a crazy process sometimes, but don't let it scare you away from your ultimate goal. If ever you feel so stressed during the process that it is affecting your writing to the point where you dread sitting down and working on your novel. Stop. Take a breather and remember why you started writing in the first place. You were born for this. Even if you have to take a couple of days to just walk away from it all and relax. That's okay. You gave yourself some buffer time in your deadline, remember? So take some time to read or do other inspiring things. You'll come back refreshed and ready to take on the world.

10. Never give up. It's easy to throw in the towel when things get hard. All my life people told me becoming a published author was nothing more than a pipe dream. When I self-published my first book last year I laughed at all of those who told me it could never be done. Now, I might not be the next JK Rowling, but hey, I had a dream and I made it happen. I continue to make it happen. And you can too.  Love who you are and what you do and never give up.

Nether World was the last place Ava Walker pictured spending the rest of her life, but after her mother’s murder, she had no choice. In order to save her little sister, Ava made a deal with the Devil, an unbreakable vow to live amongst the darkness and demons in a city of steel and fire. She's lost everything. Her mother is gone, her sister and best friend are on the run, and Kaine, the fallen angel who stole her heart, was incinerated right before her eyes.

Life couldn’t get any worse.

But she underestimates Lucifer. He goes back on his word and asks Ava to do the unthinkable: commit herself to his service and be reborn as one of the very creatures she was destined to fight. If she refuses, those dearest to her heart will be sealed with a deadly fate. If she accepts, mankind doesn’t stand a chance.

War is coming, and Ava must make a choice: die or become Death


Jess said...

Wow, what a cool summary! Along with the cover, it looks like a great book to be reading right around Halloween (any time really, but that cover screams intensity). Thanks for the great tips about self-publishing. I would love a copy (my email is aycockj[at]gmail{dot}com), but I don't have an e-reader and don't tend read books on my laptop (too bulky). Congrats to the next lucky person who leaves a comment!

T.J. said...

This is why I love most authors. Seriously. it is about lifting each other, support and saying, "I did this." And I have read some wonderful self pubbed authors that I am anxiously awaiting their next work! Traditional isn't always better :)

I loved the blurb. I wanna read! even if I don't get it t.j.loveless(at)gmail(dot)com, I will put on my list of MRs!

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