As a first time published author who chose the self publishing route, I did a TON of research before hand. I have a notebook filled with ideas, tips, advice, links, strategies, etc. all related to writing and publishing.
I would recommend anyone who is considering self publishing their own work do the same. You want to make sure you have all of your proverbial ducks in a row. Make sure your work has been edited, the interior layout and cover are appealing and marketable, you find channels to help get the word out about your book and be sure to ask for feedback namely by way of Amazon reviews.
I will have a webinar available online at the end of the summer discussing my self publishing journey and sharing all the resources I utilized but for now I decided to share a few of my favorites:
1. Createspace- This is the tool/distributor I used to self publish my book. It's free to sign up! You can get your ISBN through Createspace as well as have the option to sell your books on Amazon. Createspace also has templates to help you format the interior of your book as well as design your cover.
2. Grammarly- This a great tool for checking tense and placement of commas. It's free and you can copy and paste passages of text directly on to the website for instant help! Grammarly should not be a replacement for a good editor. You still need to have a professional review your final draft for errors that go beyond grammar like pacing, plot holes, etc.
3. Evernote- This is not your average note taker. . .with this app, you can set up different notebooks for each story to make notes and outlines. You can also add images for inspiration and one of my fave things you can do is dictation. If you have an idea or want to record dialogue without having to type all of it, just press the microphone icon and tell Evernote what you want to write. You can email the notes to yourself and just cut and paste them directly into your novel.
Nope, I'm not having legal problems, Sorry if the post title was misleading. I'm just sharing a snippet from what might be my next book (due out in summer 2016):
Most of my morning was spent preparing for my meeting with Arthur Jacobs but three hours later, I found myself pacing my office while squeezing a foam stress ball. He was late. I had been waiting on him for almost forty minutes.
One of my biggest pet peeves was tardiness. Just as I was about to ask our office administrator, Lauryn, to call him, Mr. Jacobs appeared in my doorway. My eyes widened at the sight before me. It had only been two months but he looked drastically different. The once stout, balding man with pasty skin was totally transformed. He was much thinner, tanned and obviously wearing a hair piece. I tried to mask my surprise at his appearance but refused to tone down my anger.
"You're late," I remarked. I motioned to the chairs in front of my desk as an invitation for him to sit down.
He cleared his throat. "My apologies, Miss Regina. I had an appointment that could not be missed," he said as he sat.
I glared at him. "Well, there will be many missed appointments in your future if you go to jail. Keeping your freedom should be a priority," I knew I was being harsh but I couldn't understand what was more important than meeting with the one person who might be able to keep you out of jail.
He smiled faintly and avoided my gaze. "You are right, it will not happen again,"
I sighed. "Look, I'm sorry, I just- I've been reading over the new information from the D.A.'s office and I'm a little upset that you didn't tell me everything. It makes it hard to represent you properly if I don't have all the facts,"
"Ah, so what did Stephanie say?" he asked referring to his ex-wife.
"She said the person she caught you with was another man," I said plainly.
He arched an eyebrow. "I see,"
I see? Seriously? "Is it true?" I asked loudly.
He cleared his throat again. "Yes and no," he replied cryptically.
I did not have time for his evasive bullshit. I stood and walked around my desk to close the door. I pulled out the chair next to him and sat down before taking a deep breath.
"Look, I don't think you get the severity of what's going here. You were released last time not because you were found innocent but because there wasn't enough evidence to find you guilty. Now that your wife-,"
"Ex-wife," he corrected.
I ignored him. "If I do not have all the facts, I can not win this case. Period. I think you need to start talking. From the beginning,"
People always seem really impressed when they find out I wrote a book. Then they almost immediately say, "I've always wanted to write a book," I don't know if they truly are passionate about writing or if they are thinking- if she did it I can do it. . .Lol! But whatever the case, writing is not as easy as it looks!
To write a book, you must have passion and discipline. It is a time consuming and often solitary task. And even after you think you're done, you're not. You will have to edit your "final" draft at least five or six times or more and then comes the task of getting people to buy and read your work. So yes, it looks easy and fun and even maybe a touch glamorous but nothing could be farther from the truth. Writing is work and even for those of us who love it, it can be a chore.
If I had to give tips to newbie writers before they started on their writing journey, it would be the following:
I'm so excited!!! I've got a working title, pitch and idea for the cover of my next book. Now I just need to finish the ending and work on the editing. . .here is a sneak peek:
So today is National Writing Date Day. . .I can dig it. Why not make EVERY day of the year a holiday.? Nothing wrong with celebrating something magical everyday.
And writing, is pretty magical. Words have the power to excite, entice and entertain. They can make you feel happy, sad or mad. Sometimes you will even LOL or ROTFL! You can also be inspired or informed. I aim to do at least one or all of the above when I weave words together in a story.
I'm currently writing my new novel due out in December. When I'm in my zone, I'm totally transported into the story and the words just flow naturally. When I'm not in my zone, it feels forced so I step away and come back when I'm feeling more inspired. Writing is like a old friend who's always there when you need them and no matter how much time you spend a part, writing welcomes you back with open arms.
I don't know what I would do if I didn't have writing as an outlet. It makes my heart sing. It's my superpower.
Writer. Reader. Designer. Creative Spirit.
“I would advise anyone who aspires to a writing career that before developing his talent he would be wise to develop a thick hide.”