MY WRITING JOURNEY
I wrote my first book twenty years ago when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. I was raising four kids and it was difficult to squeeze in the writing time. But I was passionate about writing novels and I knew from the beginning I wasn’t going to give up until I had real readers who were not family or friends. I did everything I could to learn my craft. I joined writer’s groups and I drove hours to critique with other writers each week. Many times I shared a room and a bed with other writers so that I could afford to attend writer’s conferences. I ran from workshop to workshop, soaking it all in. I read countless romance novels and I wrote late at night and early in the morning to get the writing done. Nothing was going to stop me. I signed with two agents and I finaled in RWA’s Golden Heart six times, but I still couldn’t get an editor to take a chance on me. In 2009, my husband suggested I self-publish, but I wasn’t ready to give up the dream of being traditionally published. Out of frustration, I pushed my romance novels to the side and wrote my first thriller, ABDUCTED, and killed off characters. It was fun and therapeutic! In 2011, my youngest daughter was going off to college. The economy was the pits and I knew that it was time for me to look for a real job that pays. While reading the Want Ads for a job outside of the home, I read a blog about other authors who were self-publishing and actually making money doing it. I told my agent I was going to self-publish my romantic time travels, and within months I had sold thousands of books. I couldn’t believe it!
Tired of waiting for agents and editors to read my other books, I decided to take my career into my own hands. I published 6 books in the first 9 months. In less than two years as an indie author, I have sold over 500,000 ebooks and made more money than I ever dreamed. If you put in the time…if you believe in yourself and your books…if you work hard every day to learn your craft, I believe it can happen to you, too!
How long have you been writing? When did you realize that writing was your passion? Are you self-published? Why or why not? Tell us about your writing journey. Curious minds want to know!
Below are the steps I took to Self-Publish
For the first three months of my indie author journey, I was learning everything I could…reading blogs and soaking in all the information I could. I suggest you do the same.
There is a Beginner’s List for new Indie Authors that D.D. Scott provides HERE.
Self-publishing is constantly changing. For instance, more and more authors are finding translators to get their books into foreign markets. Authors are using ACX and other audio companies to get their books on audio. I am sure you can find articles on these subjects in WG2E’s archives. If you don’t want to become overwhelmed, I suggest you take one step at a time and don’t pressure yourself to do everything at once.
Use your instincts when making EVERY decision. If ten people tell you not to go FREE, you should try it for yourself before you decide if it works for you.
There is NO one-step process to self-publishing. Every writer will have their own journey. I know plenty of successful Indie authors who don’t spend a dime on advertising.
When it comes to self-publishing, what do you have to lose? Maybe you won’t sell hundreds of books right away…you need to be patient. If you’re passionate about writing, write another book while you let readers discover your first book. Finding readers and making a few dollars is better than letting your novel waste away on your hard drive.
Becoming an independent author has been life-changing for me. I now get to write every day. For the first time in 20 years, I am making money doing what I love best. If you want to succeed, you must work hard. Never stop learning and growing. Good luck!
1. Write a great book.
2. Hire a proofreader. I use Faith Williams at Theatwatergroup. Send her an email and get a quote. More editors, proofreaders, cover artists, etc., are listed on Christiana Miller’s website HERE or click on the resource tab right here on WG2E.
3. Find a cover artist. LFD Designs for Authors has done all of my covers. She offers premade covers from $20 to $60 and custom covers now start at $100.
4. Hire a formatter. For $40 you can hire Lucinda Campbell at LK-E-Book Formatting Services to format your manuscript for Amazon (KDP), Barnes & Noble (Pubit), Smashwords, and Kobo (Writing Life). Go to Lucinda’s website and email her to get a quote and get started. In a matter of weeks, depending on her schedule, she can have your manuscript ready for download.
5. Register at AMAZON (KDP) by going to KDP.AMAZON.COM and download the prc file that your formatter sends you.
6. Register at BARNES & NOBLE (PUBIT) by going to PUBIT.BARNESANDNOBLE.COM and download the epub file that your formatter sends you.
7. Register at SMASHWORDS.COM and download the word doc file that your formatter sends you.
8. Once you have published your book, you can copyright your book for a fee of $35. Go HERE.
10. If you want a print book, it’s free if you do it yourself. Register at CreateSpace.com. Use CreateSpace to help you with book covers, formatting, and editing for a fee, or you can go to the site, register for free, download a FREE template and then copy and paste your manuscript into the template one chapter at a time. CreateSpace will provide you with a FREE ISBN number. To learn more about print publishing go HERE.
11. Start a Twitter Account and tweet about other author’s books that you love.
12. Start a Facebook Account and let readers know when you have a new release.
13. Make a FREE website using Blogger or WordPress and talk about whatever makes you happy.
14. Once I began to make money, I used Pixel of Ink (no longer available for authors to buy sponsorships but you can report FREE books), The Romance Reviews, Cents-ible eReads, The Frugal eReaders, Digital Book Today, and EYE ON ROMANCE and JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE to advertise. To see more about how I spent my advertising dollars go HERE to see a past article I wrote for WG2E.
15. Don’t worry. Be happy! For more information go to AUTHOR E.M.S. to see a list of indie author support groups you can join to learn more about indie publishing.
The third book in Theresa’s bestselling Lizzy Gardner Series (A Dark Mind) is available for pre-order now! If you finish writing for the day, you can visit Theresa at: