I is for Indie Publishing


-Use original I.jpgcover art. Try deviant art to find an artist or piece you like. Be sure to pay them forĀ it, don’t steal(plagiarize). It’s rude and really bad karma.

-Use a professional editor, but have them do a test chapter before you sign on with one.

-Do conventions.

-Establish and maintain your brand.

-Identify your alpha fans and let them help you. Heck, beg them to help you.

-Your next book is your best marketing tool. You cannot over saturate your market.


-Level Up Your Self Publishing Skills Panel

Wednesday Writer’s Cafe – Denied

I didn’t get to go play tonight. I had to attend a mandatory parent orientation meeting at his home school coop. 122 kids go there. Not bad for a little grass roots coop.

Anyway, where I am at….

My physical proof is on it’s way from Create Space. I am super excited for it to get here next Tuesday.

In the back of my head I know I need to be pulling all the elements together for my post cards but I just haven’t found the time. Everything the kiddo does for school outside the home, started this week and it has left me wore.

I have prepped my lecture for Saturday’s seminar, North Bend Library at 1030 AM. Topic: Nanowrimo success and how to pull that off.

Can I just circle back to my proof is on it’s way? My completed physical novel, that I wrote, is on it’s way. AGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Ok sorry about that. Back to normal here. No, no, I’m not. My novel is coming, my novel is coming, my novel is coming. Three weeks and 2 days til launch.

Friday Fun

woohoo, I actually made it to writer’s cafe this morning. Did I get any work done? laughing…not really. I wrote three blog posts. I had vague hopes of getting all my weekend workshops for the next two months written and scheduled. I wasn’t crazy enough to think I would get the exercises done as well but at least the summary posts right? shrug, oh well.

So where am I with my novels.

  • My spy novel is on hiatus, again.
  • My romance is in the midst of being read out loud to my hubby. As soon as we are done hashing all that out, I have a fresh reader lined up to take a gander. I still need to research one more thing. I need a 1949 convertible sports car. That has not proved to be an easy google. But I tarry on.
  • Nano 2015 novel. Still researching a bit but feel like I have a grasp on what I really need to know. Not eager to get started though, I have too much fun life stuff between now and then.

Fun life stuff:

In a week my cuz and his wife are coming to visit for a few days. I haven’t seen them in years. So super excited about that.

Then I have an anniversary party, 10 years, which I am catering as well as enjoying.

Then my friend Patty comes for a few days.

Then I am running away for the weekend.

Then I am launching my romance on the world.

Then a cruise with the hubby and kiddo.

Then NANO.

So not rushing this fall. I plan to enjoy every moment of it. I can’t ever get some of these experiences back again. Time to savor them. What are you looking forward to this fall? What are you writing at Nano?

Stupid Grin on my face

I drove home from the cafe last night with one of those perma grins that don’t feel fake on my face. In fact, I’m still grinning now as I type this.

See after the title research and debate, I settled on a title, no I’m not sharing now, you can wait. Then I started negotiations with the woman I wanted to handle my cover design and art. Not only was she super excited about the project but we were totally on the same thought plane about it. We spent about 2 hours hammering out all the initial issues and the design is on it’s way to form and function.

It was on the long drive home that it hit me. I am going to publish. Why designing the cover art should make me feel that way when writing the novel, editing the novel, sending it out for beta, etc didn’t make me feel it, I couldn’t say.

I am going to publish. Let that sit for a moment.

I am going to jump the chasm between hobbyist writer and published author. How flipping cool is that?

Going it alone

You gleefully inform your friends, family, significant other “I am going to publish my own damn book.” They are super excited for you, but eventually someone will ask “just what does that mean anyway?” You smile and tell them you have it all under control.

So lets check list it, courtesy of the “level up your indie skill set” panel at norwescon, so you can have it all under control.

Editing: (got to have a stellar finished product)

if you go it alone, all editing will fall on your own shoulders. This can be problematic because you wrote this perfect opus, it doesn’t need editing, right? shaking head with a smile. Get beta readers. Trust your beta readers. There is a famous quote about readers, they’re almost always right when they don’t like something, and almost always wrong about how to fix it. Think about why your betas don’t like something, then think about the right way for you to fix it and remain authentic in your voice and story.

Find a friend who loves to point out grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. Buy them lots of drinks, dinner, or clean their house, whatever it takes to keep them reading your books for mistakes. Read your whole book out loud at some point, to another person if they will let you, or just to yourself to catch those little mistakes, that sometimes change the manning of your sentence. Oops, I meant meaning. Good think I read this out loud, huh?

You can of course hire an editor if you have money to spare.

It will never be perfect. But with e-book and print on demand you can fix mistakes as they get pointed out to you along the way. Which brings us to…

Book Formatting:

Code your own e-book, it’s easy to follow the instructions. If you need it, David Gaughran has a book Let’s Get Digital. You can check his word press site here https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/.

Create Space has the best prices for publish on demand, they also e-book. This gets you on Amazon.

The panelists all thought e-book was the way to go but that having some copies for trade shows and events was also critical. Which brings us to sales:


So you have a book, which you are selling. How much do you sell that for? Almost unanimously the panelists recommended cheaper is better, especially for an e-book. One mentioned how dropping her price just a dollar upped her sales tremendously. You can also look at what others in your genre and length are pricing their books at for physical sales.

Did you know you have to pay taxes on that? Yeah. Consider getting a business license. It will save you on those physical books you buy to sell. Without a business license you have to pay tax when you order them and then charge people tax when you sell them. A nice tax double dip, if only you got the money on that.

You might also consider making a publishing company, an imprint, if you will. Some readers still judge a personally published book. The imprint avoids that and ties in nicely with your business license.


Your book is naked without a cover. Now naked might be a good thing depending on what genre you are publishing in but never for your bottom line. Use a professional artist for your cover design. Or if you are visually savvy you can do your own cover design and simply buy the art to plug in. Did I already lose you? The cover design refers to the way the cover is laid out. The title, author name, art, spine, blurb placement, etc.

When hiring an artist, do not negotiate on price. Expect to pay 180-3000 dollars for the art depending on the level of work and how well known the artist is. The price can also depending on whether you are buying the work outright, known as work for hire, or licensing the image. It’s important to clarify usage rights. Can you use the image in promotional materials? Can the artist sell the same piece to another author? Ouch. When in doubt get an IP lawyer to look over the contract.

So you’ve edited, you’ve published, and your book is no longer naked….how well is it going sell?

1500 total sales is considered excellent numbers for a non-established author.

the average book sells 200 copies.

What makes the difference? Well at the end of this panel someone asked “What about marketing?” To which the moderator laughed and said “I think that needs a panel all of it’s own.”

Actually, it had a panel all of it’s own. Luckily, I went to that one too. I’ll cover that one tomorrow.