Yes, I am ending the month of Indie Author April by actually interviewing myself. Strange, I know. But I’ve been asked before to write about my publishing experience, so I figured this might be a good opportunity to go about it. And, yes, this does end with a chance to win one of my books. :)
First tell us a little about your books.
My first mystery novel, Only Angels Are Bulletproof, was published in 2008. Since then I’ve published two novels in The Father Christmas Series, and have one novella, The Moment Max Forgot Me, available as a free download.
I used a self-publishing house for Only Angels Are Bulletproof. Both Christmas novels were published through Kindle’s ePublishing program. I used Smashwords for The Moment Max Forgot Me. They will host free books.
Do you have one you prefer above another?
While I enjoy the fact that a self-publishing house allowed me to have physical copies of my book, did editing and cover design for me and set up a few interviews, over all I’ve had a much better end result from Kindle’s program. Straight to the point, I lost money on a self-publishing house, but I’ve actually been able to make a little on Kindle. Their system is pretty comprehensive, including providing yearend tax statements.
Is there a reason you chose the independent route?
I think my initial decision to independently publish had a lot to do with both fear and impatience. Just the slightest bit of research on the publishing industry will scare you into certainty that your book will never see the light of an editor’s office. I was in my early twenties at the time, just coming off the recovery of a serious illness and not the least bit ready to face rejection like what I was reading about. I mean, really, are we ever ready?
However, in the end I’m glad I chose this route to start with. It allowed me to build some confidence, know trials and frustrations and failures in its own way, connect with readers and have amazing experiences like book signings and school events. Did I tell you I got fan art? (look here)
Nowadays I do it all. I actually love cover design. I did both Father Christmas Novels and The Moment Max Forgot Me. Photoshop and I have fond feelings for each other. Editing and I are trying to get along. I’m kind of an intense, get it all on the paper at once, writer. So, without the help of some very patient family member-proofreaders, I would be incoherent. I am looking into a professional proofreader, but I’ll just have to see what is in the budget for this year.
Any technical issues?
Kindle does not format itself!!! If you have never published through Kindle I will stress above all else that you have to learn how to format. If you just write a manuscript in MS Word and hit upload you are going to end up with tons of weird gaps and breaks in the middle of your sentences. Do your research on this one. Kindle doesn’t get along with most word-processing programs and its “Preview” feature lies!
What did you not expect when you came into the Indie world?
I didn’t expect to have to become so technical. When I started writing I was typing up simple manuscripts on a shared family computer. These days I work off of dual screens, know how to write some basic code, design and support my own website, Photoshop covers together and feature my work on multiple social media platforms. I’m no IT wiz, but I have to know my way around.
Are you considering traditional publishing any time in the future?
Yes. I would still like to traditionally publish a book and am currently working my way towards that goal. My life never works out the way I think it should and sometimes it just plain works out irrationally, so we’ll just have to see how things go.
Tons! Pay attention to your proofreading and formatting. A good cover is unfathomably valuable. Always be good to your readers and cordial to your critics. Try not to get bogged down by the people who are still trashing independent publishing like carriage company owners at the advent of the automobile, but also don’t be afraid to take a step into the traditional publishing world. And don’t Indie Publish if you aren’t going to enjoy at least a little bit of the ride. ;)
Finally, since this business is all about word of mouth, do you have any Indie Writers you enjoy?
And now for the giveaway!
And thank you again to all of the authors and readers who have joined me over the last month. I learned something from each author’s experience. Hopefully this month has helped writers considering this route of publishing, or opened someone up to the idea of reading independent authors.