I haven’t been the first author to say it, and I certainly wont be the last, but it’s time for me to make the announcement;
I’ve decided to move into the wonderful literary phenomena known as self-publishing.
When I finished the first draft of Salvation at seventeen, I thought the hard part was over. I was convinced that, with the book written, all I had to do was find an agent, and they would get me a publisher, and then my book would bloom like a flower on the shelf of every bookstore I had ever heard of.
Needless to say, that is not the way it works.
I worked hard to find a publisher, without the help of an agent, and in 2012 Salvation was released as an ebook and a print on demand paperback. Fast forward a year and half, and I have three books published by two small small publishing houses. I’ve had a lot of time to think while preparing my fourth manuscript, a collection of short speculative fiction tentatively titled Whispers, for submission. I did a lot of research, and all of it has led to the same conclusion; my books would be better served in my own hands. Every day, independently published authors are reaching readers – not just a niche market of loyal fans, but more readers even than the big name publishing houses can reach.
It’s time to take a leap of faith.
And so, without further adieu, allow me to present to you the tried and true method of keeping my ass on track:
The To-Do List
1) Finish the book.
Luckily for me, this doesn’t involve writing anything new. The eleven stories that I’ve chosen for this collection are all written (some even published in anthologies) but there is still work to be done before the manuscript can be passed along to an editor.
2) Find a cover artist.
I’d love to hear from everyone on this. If you’re an independent author, which designers have you worked with that you’d recommend? If you’re a reader, what covers have you seen this year that have absolutely blown you away?
3) Find an editor.
No one can edit their own book – it just doesn’t work that way. Once I’ve taken this collection as far as I can on my own, I’m going to need a fresh set of eyes.
This is something I’d especially love to get outside input on. Authors, independent and traditional a like – which editors have you worked with, and who would you recommend?
4) Find a book designer.
If it was just the print version, I’d be happy to do this on my own – but ebooks are their own beautiful breed, one that I don’t have a lot of experience with, and the fact that this is a multi-part, illustrated collection only makes it more complicated.
Authors – which ebook designers have you used in the past? I’d especially love to hear from you if you’ve had experience with illustrated ebooks!
5) Revamp my website.
Just an update and reorganization, for the most part, and maybe the addition of a small shop section.
Readers – What features do you most love to see on a your favourite author’s website? What were your favourite author websites this year, independent and traditional alike?
6) Find accountability.
Having to create my own deadlines is probably going to be the most difficult part of this project – I’m a classic procrastinator. I’ll let things drag on forever. And so, just to keep myself moving forward, I’m going to post about my progress on this blog at least once a week. This space will be the home of my newest journey.
Of course, I’m a little scared. Maybe it would be easier to keep doing what I know, but I’ve always been a fan of taking risks. It’s time to jump without a safety net and hope something wonderful comes of it.
Wish me luck!
“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”