One year ago, I decided to make the leap into independent publishing. Here are some of the things I have learned, in no particular order, along with a few tips:
- I am capable of launching my own publishing company, including the various forms and fees required. (Print copies of documents so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time, so says experience.)
- I am capable of editing, formatting and creating covers for my books. I have carried out each step. However, if I wish to maintain my sanity and the quality I desire, I know I cannot do all these things myself all the time (kudos to those of you who can, and I know a few of you).
An Aside: I thought of an analogy this morning as my husband and I sat at breakfast contemplating a few upcoming renovations to our home. Three years ago, we transformed our attached garage into an office/guest room (it was too small for our vehicle). We, mostly my husband, did all the work. I helped where I could, including taping and mudding seams and corners after the drywall was up. I can do mudding, but I’m quite bad at it. I don’t ever want to do mudding again. The end result looks better if someone more skilled and patient does it. Just like I can do book covers and formatting, but it’s better for all concerned if I let someone more skilled do those jobs.
- Excellent and reasonably priced services are available to help indie authors in areas where we don’t feel competent, or where we can’t manage it all time-wise. Some of these skilled people may already be in our circle of friends/acquaintances. Trading skills is a mutually beneficial arrangement.
- Marketing remains my pianissimo (as opposed to my forte). I must continue to ask, read, search, learn. Again, there are people who are good at this, trained, willing to help. I need to reach out.
- I love the flexibility and the control that indie publishing offers. I decide the order of projects on my to-do list. I decide on the cover, the size, the interior design, et cetera, together with those I’ve asked to assist me.
- I am ultimately responsible for the outcomes, for my promises to my readers, for deadlines.
- A Reminder: As a Christian author, I am not my own boss. God is. That adds a much higher lever of accountability to my writing life.
- A human accountability partner who knows my writing, at least some of my personal situation, and my overall goals, is an immeasurable asset. We can pray for and support each another.
- I must continue to learn, to review, to experiment, to observe, to ask.
- I must continue to write so I have something to publish. I must learn balance.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13.
Tips in a Nutshell:
— Pray for wisdom, guidance and strength daily (or moment by moment)
— Do what you can
— Ask for help when you can’t
— Trade skills
— Count the costs, make a budget, treat this writing like a calling/career/vocation
If you are a self / indie published author, what are some of the things you have learned about the process? I’d love to hear from you.