Start Your Self-Publishing Journey

 

You’ve decided you want to be an author. You’ve decided self-publishing is the way you want to release your masterpiece to the world.

What’s your first step?

I’ve been asked this a lot.

And my answer is this: Start planning your story.

Now I’m going to immediately contradict myself by saying this: I hate planning. Anything. Plans, ugggh.

I prefer to just start writing once I have an idea in mind and see where it takes me. From there, my planning mostly involves lying awake at night while running through various plot devices and character backstory in my mind.

The time I should be spending sleeping has manifested some of my greatest story developments. No, these dark circles under my eyes don’t just happen, folks.

I make sure to text these ideas to myself before eventually falling asleep. Most of the time. At times though, I’ve woken up in the morning with the knowledge that I’d come up with a brilliant idea (obviously) the night before but with absolutely no recollection of what that idea was because I didn’t text it to myself. Frustrating.

(I’ve also woken up to completely nonsensical text messages from myself. I have no clue what I was trying to relay to myself with these, but I’m positive the ideas were brilliant.) 

Is this the most time-effective strategy? Absolutely not. But it works for me. If I had to force myself to sit down and create an outline before I started writing, I’d never get past the outline. Ever.

So, start planning your story, but do it in whatever way works best for you. If you’re a person who enjoys outlining, start outlining. If you prefer a more Helter-Skelter approach to planning, like me, join me on the under eye dark side and start non-planning through insomnia.

If you’d like a consultation with me about your self-publishing project you can contact me here: Request Consultation

 

Self-publishing: Don’t rush

 

I self-published my first novel seven years ago, and I made every mistake a writer can possibly make doing it.

The biggest one was rushing it.

I think the time between me learning that I could self-publish a book on Amazon and me publishing a book there was no more than a month. I wanted to be a published author and so I became a published author.

[snaps fingers] Just like that.

I didn’t bother with an editor, and I created the cover myself using a low-res photo I’d happened to take on my phone one day. My author photo on the back was just a poorly lit selfie.

And, and this is the part that may hurt the most, I published it at size 8.5 x 11“. A novel. I changed the page sizes to 5.5 x 8” after I received my final copy in the mail (Yes, I went straight to final copy. I didn’t bother to take advantage of Amazon’s proofing process.) but all that did was create two different versions of this god-forsaken book.

It hurts to even show you these covers, but it must be done. I present to you covers one (8.5 x 11”) and two (5.5 x 8”) of my super great novel, Welcome to Kinsdale Falls.

Welcome to Kinsdale Falls - cover 1.jpg
Welcome to Kinsdale Falls - cover 2.jpg

(I hate the story itself too but that’s a post for another time…)

This book haunts me. It will never go away. It exists now forever on Amazon and is a constant reminder that my first foray into self-publishing was an unmitigated disaster.

Thankfully, I learned from my mistakes and when it came time to self-publish my second novel, it was not a disaster. I took my time. I hired an editor. I had a talented graphic designer friend design the cover for me using a professional photo.

I’m proud of this book, and, what do you know, I’ve even sold some copies!

I wish I’d had someone like me to reach out to for guidance when I first decided to self-publish. Someone who’d already made all the mistakes. Someone to tell me to slow it down and who was willing to work through each step of the self-publishing process with me.

If I had, that first atrocity would not haunt me like it does.

If you’d like help self-publishing your novel, please contact me.

Kristen