Bestselling Author Alicia Street looks at Her First Year as an Indie Epublished/Self-Published Author

Moving toward a new year always make me take stock of the twelve months behind me. In this case it also happens to be the first year of my self-publishing journey. So I find myself thinking about what I’ve done, haven’t done, might have done, what worked, what didn’t. And two things strike me the most.

One is the incredible learning curve I’ve been traveling on. (And still am!) I had been traditionally published, so some things like Facebook and cross-promotion were not new to me. But I had never used Twitter or Kindleboards, knew diddly about Amazon’s algorithms, or building my own website on WordPress. And the word “marketing” referred to going to the grocery store. Now it’s about books covers and pricing and promotional tools and events.

The second thing that struck me, especially in the wake of Friday’s tragedy, is the number of cyber-friends I have and how grateful I am to them. A year ago I did not even know most of their names, except for D.D., whom I met through the RWA Chick Lit Chapter back when. She not only convinced me to try the Indie route, but also has been a constant source of knowledge and inspiration to me. Thanks, Girlfriend!

Who knew forming the WG2E Street Team would give me a cherished cyber-family, complete with LOL discussions that can turn any problem into a yock? I’m also grateful to my circle of friends at IBC and IRInk. All of you turn the techno gray of the Net into a warm and wonderful place of support, motivation and sharing.

And to celebrate the completion of our first Indie Epublishing year, Roy and I just released our first boxed set. The Dance ‘n’ Luv Contemporary Romance Boxed Set of three novels and one short story.

On Amazon

So tell me, WG2E-Land Peeps, how was your 2012? Accomplishments? Things you’re grateful for? Things you learned? Things you swear you’ll never do again?

The best of WG2E year-long wishes —Alicia Street

Alicia Street is the author of Kiss Me, DancerTouch Me and TangoSnow Dance , Stars Love and Pirouettes , Dance ‘n’ Luv Boxed Set , and Aphrodisiac. Alicia is proud to be a part of the WG2E family. Connect with Alicia at her  website and on Facebook.

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Comments

  1. Like you Alicia, my year has been the most exciting and the learning curve enormous. I still learn something new everyday. I’d love to know how to form a street team and what exactly they do.

    Thanks for the great post.

    • Hi, Cynthia! I think it’s great the way you’ve consistently released novels throughout the year to create your Western romance series and the space opera romance series. As to street teams, many authors have their own made up of fans, but the WG2E team is a group of friendly writers who cross-promote, share knowledge and are willing to go the extra mile for each other. Join us!

  2. Julie Day says:

    And me, too. Been a learning curve for me. I have found I really enjoy the self-epublishing journey, so much that I plan to epublish all my books from now on. Two things I have learnt though: 1. Promotional materials such as posters have been costly for me, so I will be learning to create my own next year, 2. I like attending fayres at libraries so much, that I want to do it again and maybe at local schools, too.

  3. Lois Lavrisa says:

    Alicia- Congratulations on your first year as an indie and on your box set- I getting mine today:)

  4. When I do my end-of-the-year summary of what I did this year in my journal (yes, I’m that anal), I can finally check off publishing my first two novels. I’m grateful that those who have read them, love them, but I feel like I’m still not up-to-speed on the many and varied ways of marketing. With the crazy pace of how fast technology changes, I’m thinking I may never feel proficient with it. The best part is that I’m no longer stressing about doing book signings. I’m enjoying meeting my readers and not worrying so much about what to say in my presentation.

    • Sounds like you’ve had a great year, Janice! And, yeah, I’ve pretty much accepted that I will never be able to keep up with all the demands of marketing technology — and I’m learning not to beat myself up over it. :)

  5. Dale Amidei says:

    Knowing you has inspired me to dance, Alicia. Snoopy got nuthin’.

  6. Ruth Harris says:

    Alicia, your boxed set is yummy/gorgeous! What a superfab way to start the New Year!!!! Bravo to you & Roy! Mega congratulations!

    • Thanks so much, Ruth!

    • Roy Street says:

      Thanks, Ruth.
      And I hope we all get to see some snow at Rockefeller Center before the season is completely over. Get your skates ready.

      • Ruth Harris says:

        Roy, I used to be a figure skater when I was (much) younger! One of my favorite things to do EVER. Right now, though, NYC is warm…Michael & I took a long walk yesterday in the bright sun. Felt more like Spring than Winter. No wonder someone just released a documentary about the search for ice as glaciers collapse into the sea.

        • Roy Street says:

          Not surprised to hear about your being a skater. As to the freaky weather, it’s scary and maddening. Yep, another sickeningly warm non-winter courtesy of Global Warming. The mosquito larvae love it — say hi to more West Nile virus.

  7. Tamara Ward says:

    Thanks for the post, Alicia! I wonder if the learning curve ever stops, sometimes. It’s been a great, fun, roller-coaster year for me. Through the WG2E, participating in the anthologies, getting to know other writers, and feeling their support and guidance — that’s made a huge difference in my life and career.

  8. Julie Day says:

    I will be reviewing my journey end of this year. First I will ask myself all the questions that DD put in her own strategy, esp the one about being happy with it. Then I will work out a business plan for next year with my answers. Can’t wait.

  9. Angela Brown says:

    My 2012 has been anything but planned lol!

    I self-pubbed because it “felt right” not to go traditional, hopping into the process with one main knowledge: It’s gonna be tough so hold on for the ride.

    And it has, but not in a “OMG! I’ll never do this again” sort of way. Not having a real plan was not the best way to go about things but it made the ride better for me. It put me in the positions of no expectations so that the disappoint in some areas wasn’t distressful to the point of quitting. I started the year with a dream just to write and ended it with a published novel that has garnered some nice reviews. That’s an HUGE accomplishment in and of itself.

  10. PJ Sharon says:

    It has definitely been a whirlwind year! With four books indie published, I feel like I’ve been strapped to a comet and jettisoned into the stratosphere. My head is still spinning with the magnitude of the accomplishment, but I’m starting to slow down a bit and trying to enjoy the ride. As many times as I heard the advice “it’s a marathon, not a sprint,” i think it’s finally sinking in. The biggest thing I’ve learned this year is that my success or failure does not hinge on the short term outcome of any one thing. Persistence and perseverance are the name of the game. Keep on keepin’ on sister!

  11. Many congrats on your amazing year! The box set looks gorgeous. I’m honored to consider you one of the “cyberfriends” have made in my recent publishing journey. Here’s to more successes for us all in 2013!

  12. Congratulations, Alicia and Roy, on your first year of indie pubbing. It’s been awesome watching the industry change and grow, and the learning curve may be challenging at time, but I’m loving all the new things I’m learning. Here’s to many great things in the future. :)

  13. Congratulations, Roy and Alicia, on your first year of publishing and your wonderful new boxed set! Looks great.

  14. Hi Alicia (and Roy)!

    Congrats to you both! It’s great to know that we do have a wonderful, supportive cyber family. I am glad that you are part of mine. :) I know that you guys worked very hard during your first year of self-pubbing. But look at you, posting inspiring articles on WG2E and now to release a box set of your Dance series. I wish you both a very successful 2013!

    • Hi, Karen! So great to see you out and about again! Hope your hubby is feeling better. Thanks so much for your kind words. Roy and I both wish you and your sweetie a super-dooper 2013!

  15. Debra Eve says:

    Congrats, Alicia. The box set is indeed beautifully designed. As one of the early Amazon reviewers for “Kiss Me, Dancer” last January, it’s so exciting to see your success over the year!

  16. D.D. Scott says:

    Well done on your Boxed Set, Alicia! :-) And congrats on a very successful year!!!

    Let’s see…as to what I learned in 2012…

    1. It really is all about truly connecting with readers and turning ‘em into “Sneezers” for you and your books and brand.

    Here’s more on that:

    http://thewritersguidetoepublishing.com/indie-epub-authors-need-sneezers-all-year-long-not-just-during-cold-flu-and-allergy-seasons

    2. Exclusivity periods hurt your readership growth globally long-term. It’s all about being available on all platforms, all the time, internationally. Short term they’re very tempting, but if you’re in it for the long-term, losing several months on other platforms is a bunch to make up for. And it takes months to make it up. So, you lose the duration of your exclusivity plus the rebuilding time on each platform you pulled from to go exclusive.

  17. Congrats on your first indie year! It’s definitely a huge learning curve. AND I’m very thankful to have met you and all my WG2E Street Team friends. It wouldn’t be the same without all of you to share things with. :-)

  18. Congratulations, Alicia! One the of the best things about going Indie for me has been meeting you and all of our wonderful WG2E and IRInk friends!