Posts Tagged ‘self-publishing’

You might say, “I could never self-publish / independently publish my work.” I’ve said that myself, but it’s not true.



I think the courage to move ahead into indie publishing came to me gradually. I had created my own website (with the help of a good writer friend) with an About page, a Resume page, a Contact page, and pages about my books. I had also decided to post weekly blogs on my site. Every time I hit the “publish” or “schedule” button, I self-published.

According to Wikipedia, “self-publishing is the publication of any book or other media by its author without the involvement of an established publisher.” So if you’ve written blogs or online articles, you are independently published. If you are traditionally published by an established, no-upfront-fee house, as well as indie publishing your own work, you become a hybrid author.

We have been warned not to confuse self-publishing with independent publishing, but I think the terms are what we make them. As long as we avoid paying for someone to publish our material (vanity presses do that, and we don’t want to go there), it’s valid.

Often, independent publishers are considered those who run small presses, whereas self-publishers are those who realize the entire publication process themselves. However, since launching my own imprint, Tansy & Thistle Press, I feel I have the right to be called an independent publisher. It took quite an effort, as well as time to fill out government forms and pay fees for my press name, so I could publish for other writers if I chose to do so (that’s not happening right now, and the probability of it happening in the future is highly unlikely), but the press is authentic.



So let’s not allow naysayers to tell us what we are. We need to own our writing career. Self-publish. Indie publish. Do the hybrid thing. Just keep writing and getting your work out to the public in the most effective and efficient way.

Note: This little rant reflects my current personal feelings, so if you agree or disagree, you can comment below. I’m always willing to listen, and I might even be persuaded to shift my opinions…slightly!



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“The time has come,” the Writer said,

“To learn of many things:

Of logos—and covers—and marketing plans—

For Indie Publishing.”

(with apologies to Lewis Carroll fans everywhere)

I’ve been thinking about independent publishing for months, perhaps years, but have so far been unable to move beyond the thought stage. How can I stop “getting ready to get ready” and forge ahead? What’s stopping me?phone call


Fear of missing something.

Where do I begin this journey? What must be in place before I start? What if I miss an important step? I’m an organized thinker, so I need all my ducks in a row before I begin. What if I cut the ties to traditional publishing and am left hanging?

Reminder: So what if I am left hanging? I can pick myself up and start again. I have many writer friends who have been generously helpful in the past and would no doubt provide encouragement.

Fear of not understanding the process.

There is a lot to learn when it comes to indie: thorough editing, cover design, ISBN procurement, formatting for every device in existence, uploading, permissions. The list is endless.

Reminder: I was blessed to attend the Fall Conference of InScribe Christian Writers Fellowship in Edmonton last September, and took a workshop by Bryan Norford on Independent Publishing. Bryan and his wife are both almost twenty years older than I am, and they are putting out books on CreateSpace all the time. I came away with the encouragement that if they can learn it, so can I, even if I’m not quite as sharp as they are.

Fear of disappointing my readers.

What if I don’t get my books out as soon as people expect them? What if they don’t sell as well as I hoped? What if my digital copy has blips?

Reminder: I’m in this writing business because I believe God has led me here. There will be times I learn from my mistakes—just like many others do—but nothing can keep me from doing a better job next time.

Fear of disappointing God.

This is the only issue that should really concern me. I can learn the ropes. I can ask for help. I can research. I can start again. The only way I will disappoint God is by not trying at all, letting fear paralyze me.

So on with the show. I’ve downloaded plenty of how-to books, I have my notes from Bryan’s workshop, I have indie friends, and the world is open before me. Let the games begin!

As I heard on a radio talk show recently, some of us suffer from “the paralysis of analysis,” and I plan to break the pattern. So I’ll see you back here next second-Tuesday—February 9—to let you know what’s happening.



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old twitterAt my stage of life (swiftly approaching the sixth decade, she mutters through gritted teeth), I have seen a lot of changes in the writing life. Are those changes threatening or freeing?

When I began writing seriously in 1989, just mastering the use of a computer as a writing tool was looked upon with admiration. I started with a small Mac, then a “pizza box” variety, then the huge blue iMac and finally a laptop.old computer

Along with the progression of computers, I’ve learned much in the field of writing itself through on-line courses and websites at little or no cost and with easy accessibility.

Besides the actual writing, which used to be the main concern, there is the changeable nature of the publishing industry. Many longstanding publishing houses have been bought out or incorporated by others, or have folded. The self-publishing industry has evolved into an acceptable if unwieldy entity. What used to be the realm of specialists has become available to the individual writer.

There’s much to learn, and the information is at our fingertips. If we wish to self-publish an e-book, we need only search the internet for information and/or take a course on the subject, and our book is out there. One of the results of this freedom, which is being explored by royalty authors as well as unpubbed writers, is that of quality and standards. Are these standards changing too? How will these changes affect the written word?

One of the most challenging changes for me is social media. Although many people are currently and justifiably pleading with the general social-media-obsessed public to put away their devices in favor of eye-to-eye contact, there are good sides to social media. Like many other things in life (food, drink, entertainment, etc.), we must master them instead of allowing them to master us. Use the good; stamp out the bad.

I have “met” many interesting people through social media who I would not have met in any other way. For an introvert, the idea of connecting with a couple thousand people via my blog is much more acceptable and practical than trying to reach people in person.

A writing colleague is currently creating an e-book about Twitter. I’m excited to learn so I can make better use of that media connection. Let’s not be afraid of the possibilities.newer twitter

Will we ever learn all there is to learn? Of course not. Is it worth the effort? I believe it is, whether to improve our skills, promote our work and that of others, or to keep our brains busy. My hero is my mother, who at 91 years of age uses her iPad for internet searches, you tube, reading, listening to music, checking the weather and keeping up with family. More power to you, Mom, and thanks for the example. Life is a-Twitter with possibilities.



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