WG2E Guest Karla Darcy on “Rising Above Not Knowing What You’re Doing” in Your Indie Epublishing Journey

Please help me give a Wonderful WG2E Welcome and Shout-out to our guest, Karla Darcy, who’s sharing her tips on Rising Above Not Knowing What You’re Doing in Your Indie Epublishing Journey.

Indie Publishing is really scary! It’s like walking a tightrope without a net. I’m a writer and never thought I’d have to learn the BUSINESS of writing. Boy was I wrong. At first I was really feeling overwhelmed but realized that if I was going to enter this brave new world I needed to get a grip. I found a mentor in Diane Capri, a fantastic thriller writer I’ve known for years. She’s one of the smartest people in the business and someone I’m honored to call a friend. She set me on the path to self-publishing and has been my guiding light through out.

So first I needed a website. A friend of my daughter set up my first website. But as usually happens when you don’t know what you’re doing, your ideas change as you learn things. As I looked at other authors’ websites, I wanted new things added to mine. Since I’m on a limited budget I thought I’d better start to learn how to make the changes to my own website.

The great thing about the internet is that one can be connected to so many sources of help. When you’re drowning you just reach out to the generous authors who can help you learn. So that’s what I did. I asked questions on loops and joined authors’ groups and read everything I could. I discovered a world of help among my fellow authors.

I’m not very artistic so when it came to covers I had a lot to learn. I brought in some samples to my writing group, SpacecoasT Authors of Romance. The STARS suggested my tag line of a Sweet Deception Regency. They recommended some font changes and backgrounds for my covers. Tara O’Shea who created my covers did a spectacular job. I’m particularly partial to the one she did for The American Bride. She caught the look of a feisty American who comes to England as the bride of an English Lord. Disguised as a dowdy governess in order to get to know her husband without his knowledge, the only time she feels like herself is when she sneaks away from the estate to ride.

On Amazon

Then there were all the different formats. Once again I asked friends and fellow writers for suggestions and I chose Amy Eye, http://theeyesforediting.com. She was so thoroughly patient and professional that I felt I could relax. I was definitely in good hands.

I’ve never been very good at marketing. I didn’t think I’d have to know about it except as some kind friend mentioned to me “how is anyone going to know that your book exists.” Diane and other authors showed me the joys of Facebook and Twitter. More to learn but it’s been totally worth it.

This year my book The Scandalous Ward made it to #1 on the Amazon Books Romance Regency list and The American Bride made it to #5 on the Amazon Hot New Releases – Regency Romances. Not bad for a newbie who started out knowing nothing.

Yes I rose above not knowing what I was doing by reaching out a hand to a lot of people who helped me. I’ve learned that it can be a lonely journey unless you remember you’re not alone and that with the help of friends anything is possible. If you’re looking for a happily ever after story that’s the lesson to learn. Ask for help when you need it and support the other authors you meet along the way. Give a shout out to those who have helped you!

Okay, WG2E-Land: Who have you asked for help? And please share your Go-To Resources for Indie Epublishing…

About Karla:

Karla Darcy lives with her husband, several tame geckos and an occasional friendly snake on the Treasure Coast on the east side of Florida. She has always felt she lived in the Regency period in a past life. Her early writings were musical comedies and humor columns so it was an easy transition to the romantic and humorous style of Regencies. Lovely dresses, masked balls and witty conversations, which contained saucy double entendres, were the perfect cup of tea for this author.

Karla discovered years ago that you don’t have to be a bitch to write a Regency but it helps. Tone is everything in the era of witty repartee. Dialogue has to have that snap that makes Regency conversations sparkle.

Stay connected with her online: http://www.karladarcy.com

She’d love to connect with you on Twitter.  She likes to talk to people who enjoy interacting with authors.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarlaDarcy

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karla.darcy.3

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Comments

  1. Hi Karla,

    I LOVE the cover of The American Bride. Congratulations on making the top of those lists on Amazon. That is fantastic news, and so good to hear.

    I’m thrilled to know you live on the Treasure Coast because I do too. :)

    When I started on the writing journey in summer of 2011 I had so much to learn – the craft, my own style, and then the whole business side. Funny how we readers have no clue how hard our favorite authors work until we put their shoes on. I started a local writing group through Meetup.com, the Treasure Coast Writers Group. We meet the third Saturday of each month at Panera Bread in Jensen Beach. We would LOVE to have you join our group, or just come to one meeting and talk about your experience in publishing so far. We have 36 members, about half of them attend meetings regularly.

    Best of luck with great sales in 2013!

    • Karla Darcy says:

      Sheri,
      I’m glad you like the cover. I thought it was gorgeous. Another writer on the Treasure coast. What fun. I’m quite a bit north but I’ll look into your group. I belong to groups in Palm Bay and Melbourne. Hope you have a totally successful 2013.

  2. Julie Day says:

    When I started my indie journey in 2011 I had no idea about formatting it into an ebook or anything. But I learnt how to format it myself, but decided to get it professionally edited as I knew there would be things in it I couldn’t see myself, and chose to get professional cover designers to do the covers. I tried to do it myself, but had no clue how to do the layout, fonts are anything. My next learning curves will be mastering TOCs and Createspace.

    • Karla Darcy says:

      It’s amazing how much there is to learn. I agree that it’s best to get professional help on some things. As a writer you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. Besides I’d rather be writing. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Even though I’m a graphic artist and web developer, I still had plenty to learn about formatting and cover design. I looked at tons of great (and not so great) covers to develop an eye for that. For formatting and everything else, I soaked up info from blogs like this one and the Indie Romance Ink Yahoo group. When it comes to getting my name out there, I still have a long way to go, but places like this and my RWA chapter are a great help – but probably the best is the WANA Tribe. Good luck on your continued journey, Karla!

    • Karla Darcy says:

      I love my WANA tribe. The people are super supportive. And I agree that reading the comments on the Indie Romance Ink Yahoo group has been a godsend. I still feel pretty much like a newbie but I’m impressed when I look back at where I was a year ago. Wishing you a very successful and healthy 2013.

  4. Glynis Smy says:

    Our paths sound alike, Karla! I have wonderful support, and stumble along the learning curve. Good luck for 2013.

    • Karla Darcy says:

      I love the “stumbling along”! That’s how I feel. There’s always something new to learn and thankfully friends to lend a hand. Have a wonderful 2013! Love your twitter page!

  5. Karla, your American Bride cover is just gorgeous!

    An excerpt trade with author friend Angie Daniels made many people aware of the sexy romance I indie published, The Heat of Heat. I chose this book because it matched Angie’s (who is known for writing romances that singe the fingers) style. All of my books don’t fit this category. Similar styles is a must when trading excerpts…you don’t want to mix a sexy romance with a sweet one. I continue to trade excerpts with other indie authors to (hopefully) widen my appeal. I found Mark Coker’s article on formatting at Smashwords very helpful, and it helped me create a template to use for all my eBooks. Blogs such as this one contain oodles of information. Sean D. Young of Young Creations (www.youngcreations.net) designs my covers. My longtime editor stays under the radar and doesn’t have a website, but my alternate editor, Karen Rodgers (www.critiqueyourbook.com) did a fabulous job!

    May we all have much success in 2013!

    • Karla Darcy says:

      It’s fun to give a shoutout to those who’ve helped us. None of us can do this alone. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a safe, healthy and prosperous new year.

  6. Angela Brown says:

    Karla, I send you tons of hugs. I COMPLETELY understand what you mean in today’s post. Publishing a book this year has been a dream come true. Self-publishing it has been both a fantasy and a series of learning lessons – no nightmares – thanks to the writing community and all the wonderful help each has provided…from being blog stops for the Partners in ParanormYA blogtown tour, to offering advice for marketing tips. I’ve gotten great help and felt quite nice giving business support to authors with other talents such as cover designing and formatting.

    It’s been a wonderful process. I look forward to publishing more, only this time, with a little more learned and hope to gain a bit more knowledge as I go.

    Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!

    • Karla Darcy says:

      Angela,
      Thanks so much for the hugs. I agree that it’s a dream come true and a fantasy. Who would have thought we’d have come so far and had some real control of our careers. Much as I mutter about all the things I don’t know, I’m stunned when I realize how much I’ve learned. Have a wonderful safe and healthy and extremely prosperous New Year.

  7. Great post, Karla! I’m just starting out publishing as well. But I would never do it on my own if I didn’t know I had friends that could teach me what I need to know and help me along the way. I think that’s what we have to do – reach out to those ahead of us as well as those who aren’t quite where we are. We learn as we go and share the knowledge with others. I really love the writing community. It’s the most generous “business” I’ve ever been part of.

    Love, health and much success to all of you for 2013!
    Rhonda

    • Karla Darcy says:

      My husband mentioned once that he couldn’t believe how much information the writers were willing to pass along. He said you’re training your replacements. However I don’t think the writing community has ever seen it that way. I think we all see it as a way to get ahead. If you don’t help others, you won’t find help when you need it. And what fun to make new friends.

  8. Hi Karla!

    As always, I enjoyed your post. So glad I got to know you through Diane Capri and Wana. The support is great, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing your experience. We all seem to learn by trial and error I think. But don’t we appreciate it when our fellow authors lend their support and help by pointing us in the right direction. Congratulations on your success Karla! :)

    • Karla Darcy says:

      Karen, thanks for stopping by and thanks for the kind words. I feel so privileged to be a part of the WANA group. In the beginning I felt so overwhelmed but once I found that group I knew I’d found a home. The support has been mind boggling. And I know we’re all going to take 2013 by storm!!

  9. Karla Darcy says:

    Thanks, D.D., for inviting me to be a guest blogger. I have enjoyed reading all the posts so I’m honored to be here. Wishing everyone the happiest and safest of New Years.