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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

#IWSG - Independence



It’s the first Wednesday of the month and time for the Insecure Writers Support Group. The purpose is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! A big THANKS to Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this group and keeping it going. And thanks to this month's awesome hosts Krista McLaughlin, Kim Van Sickler, Heather Gardner, and Hart Johnson!

Independence seems to be an appropriate topic this month, considering we Americans are celebrating our independence on Friday. In a way, I started celebrating my independence in November, 2011 when I self-published my first ebook. I still haven’t made a ton of money from that book nor from the five since. However, I have made more from that first book than my two books published by small publishers combined.

I was led down the self-publishing path by a comment from a fellow writer who observed that since Switched was out of print, it wasn’t doing anything. Then a few months later, I was part of a dinner discussion with several writers about self-publishing. I am so glad I paid attention. It took me another seven months to actually do it.

Why did it take me so long? Nerves. Scared about setting off on a new path. What if I did something wrong?

During those seven months, I wasn’t just sitting around twiddling my thumbs. I was reading/studying how to self-publish using Mark Coker’s Smashwords Style Guide. Boy, did I have things to correct in my manuscript! Oh sure, I could have hired someone to format it for me, but I’m a DIY girl from a DIY family married to a DIY guy. Besides, I had more time than money. (I did hire an editor and a cover artist. I know when I need help.)

I learned a lot from that first experience, but the key thing was reading the directions. Okay, two key things: read and follow directions.

But isn’t that true of most things? Projects are so much easier when we read and follow directions.

So Happy Independence Day not just to our country, but to writers who have so many options.

Click here to find others on the Insecure Writers Support Group Blog Hop. Or go to IWSG on Facebook to see who’s blogging today.


30 comments:

  1. I love watching your career path - you're so great at social media and the fact that you're an awesome writer helps, too, I'm sure! Best wishes for huge success, and happy independence. ;)

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  2. It can be hard for us creative types to follow the directions, but sometimes you really really need to.

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  3. Christina & Elizabeth, thanks.
    Kristen, you are so sweet.
    Samantha, I used to only read directions when I got stuck. LOL

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  4. I've started by self-publishing. Indie seems natural to me!

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  5. Well done. It looks like you made great choices in self-publishing. It's important to know when you need help and when it's something you need to figure out for yourself. Best wishes on all your book bravery!
    Play off the Page

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  6. Kudos to you for going the self publishing route. There are so many paths to take nowadays. We really are lucky. And if one route doesn't work, you can follow another one for your next book. The important thing is to keep writing!

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  7. LOL< you're absolutely right and yet I still don't follow directions... I guess I like to learn from my own mistakes ;-) Congrats on self-pubbing, for me it's been the best thing I've ever done!

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  8. Aurora, good for you.
    Mary, "book bravery"--love it!
    Kim, options are great. So glad we writers have them.
    E.E., thanks. I agree. :)

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  9. Ha! I'm bad at reading and following directions. I'm convinced I can figure it out on my own, a shame! lol And yes, Happy Independence Day to us writers ;)

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  10. Congrats! It's always great to hear success stories like this. Glad yours turned out so well.

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  11. Thanks, S.K., Holli, & Anna. You guys are always so supportive.

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  12. I always read directions.
    There are so many successful self-published authors online, and most are willing to help a fellow writer. Also a plus!

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    1. The willingness of writers to help each other is phenomenal. Thanks, Alex, for starting this group.

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  13. I've had similar problems. I self-published in April and spent money on an editor, cover designer, and formatter, but I'm still trying to make up that money. I'm getting great reviews, but money is short. I'm okay with it though. People are enjoying what I'm writing and that makes it worth it. :)

    Have a great Independence weekend! :)

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    1. Krista, one thing I've learned from other authors is nothing sells your 1st novel like your 2nd, 3rd, etc. It is so true.

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  14. Independence...YES! I love how you tied that in with indie publishing. I'm so grateful to be a writer in this day and age.

    And I'm with you...I format things myself. What a learning experience, right?

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    1. Yes, Julie. Truly grateful to have choices. Formatting, esp. for print books, is such a challenge.

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  15. Congrats on your Independence and sharing that spirit with others!

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  16. I'm glad for all the options for publishing and all the people willing to share their journeys.

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  17. When I'm ready, self-pub will be my choice too.
    I like the idea of being in control of my 'writerly' destiny, and knowing that, win lose or draw, the outcome rests squarely on my shoulders...
    Congrats on your independence!

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  18. I first learned about formatting by reading a book by my mentor. It's called, "How To Become A Successful Author" by Deatri-King Bey. She goes step by step on how to format. It saved my life! Congrats on taking the plunge!

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    1. Thanks, Krystol. And thanks for suggesting the book.

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  19. I published my first novel in 2011 too! Happy Independence Day!

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    1. Hey, book birthdays! Well, at least the year. :)

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