I’m celebrating 1,000 LIKES on my author’s Facebook page! EAGLE’S DESTINY is FREE on Amazon through October 6. Hurry and grab your copy before time runs out! It is as easy as clicking the Amazon link! Also, check out my featured author’s interview on Johanna Rae’s Blog.
This time last year I was running around preparing to publish my first novel. It has been a crazy year. It all started when I visited another author’s book signing at the beginning of the summer. I had been sitting on Eagle’s Destiny for two years pretending to “edit the book”. All I was really doing was sitting. Seeing Ken Cable’s book on the table made me think … and the more I thought about it … All of a sudden it hit me, “I can do this!”
Indie author Deborah Hainley Bonnar, who is a Facebook friend recommended to make my book look as professional as possible. And, that is where it began. I had experience in my career with graphic presentation, but I knew I was not up to the task of designing a book cover. Having limited funds (also known as poor), I started researching book designers on the internet. I found Scarlett Rugers Design and we clicked immediately. The fact that she was located in Australia did not make me pause once, after all this is the global age. Most of our contact was through email, but we did have fun conversations over the phone and on Skype. She laughed when I told her I loved her accent. She said she didn’t have one! Scarlett did an important thing before she designed the book cover. She read the book. I did not want a traditional romance cover. I had a vision of what I wanted on the cover, and somehow she was able to pick through my brain and design the perfect cover. Scarlett also designed my beautiful website too!
It was at this point that I made my first (and only) mistake! Uh…oh… Yes. I made the mistake that many first time self-published authors make. I did not hire an editor. Knowing the error of my ways now unfortunately does not change the past. I can’t change the past, but I have learned from it. Yes, I had friends go through the book. They began to read the book and happily marked it. Around page 10, they forgot they were editing and only continued reading. Later, they would remember they were editing and would circle a few typos, and then continue reading again… You get the picture. Is it their fault? NO!!! NOT EVER! NEVER!!! The responsibility lies squarely on this writer’s shoulders. Will I ever make that mistake again? A resounding NO! I’ve learned this lesson very well, thank you very much. Listen up indie authors … splurge on an editor!
During all this editing (aka reading), I researched self-publishing avenues. CreateSpace, a subsidiary of Amazon made it very easy for me to make the decision. They were free. Their royalties are generous and they made it easy (and inexpensive) to purchase copies of my book for my own use. The technical side of it was also easy too. The book flowed smoothly into the template they provided and I had no problems uploading my book to their site.
While I waited for the proof copy from CreateSpace, there were fun things to do like designing bookmarks, business cards, flyers, and planning a book launch party. All of a sudden it all came together in November. The book was launched, the party was thrown, and paperbacks were autographed. Now what? Now the REAL work started. Friends started asking, “What are you going to write next?” Next? Can’t I simply bask in the glory that is Eagle’s Destiny for awhile? Can’t I just look at my sales reports and bask in the glory of being a published author with royalties? What? What do you mean there are no sales? There should be thousands of dollars rolling in. Ahhh… no Chris. That’s not how it works.
Indie publishing means YOU have to find the readers. YOU have to entice them to come to your website, Facebook page, Goodreads, Twitter, Linked In, etal., and get them to LOOK at your work of art, and perhaps plunk down $$ to buy it. ME. ME. ME. What? I’m suddenly the center of the universe? Where do I begin? How do I do it? What do I do? Where do I go? And I thought writing a book was difficult.
We’re in the age of social media. It makes it easier to get your brand out there. This is all so new. Step by step though, you start to make a connection. One connection here leads to another chat there which leads to a LIKE and a giveaway over there. Joining groups. Talking the talk. Pimping the book. Learning the fight. What to do and what not to do. There are thousands of roads, thousands of contacts, and THOUSANDS OF AUTHORS doing just what you are doing.
Doing all of this, AND (and that’s a BIG AND) finding time and the motivation to write the next book! The publishing industry is changing. No longer is self-publishing a dirty word. Hey, we even have a cute moniker like INDIE. We Indies must ensure our work is up-to-snuff by hiring editors and designers to make our work look professional and worthy of a reader’s time. All the responsibility is on our shoulders. Recently, a friend approached me about writing a book about his recent trip across the U.S. on a bicycle. I told him what he needed to do, and his response was, “Gee, that’s a lot of hard work!” Yeah, that’s right. Has this been an incredible experience? You betcha!