Monday, 18 February 2013

The exciting, fantastic, terrifying road of self-publishing

Having found myself more seriously considering self-publishing as of late, I've taken a great interest in other self-published authors.  Some seem to have had great success and great experiences and I'm so excited for them.  After having read Different Roads by Lori L. Clarke, I knew I had to share her positive outlook on self-publishing with all who are willing to read on.

Did you seek agent representation before self-publishing?
I have three previously published ebooks, I painstakingly wrote and rewrote query letters for every one of them, only to be rejected so many times I began to believe I truly was awful! With Different Roads, I didn't even bother seeking agent representation. As soon as the editing was finished and I was satisfied with the end result, I designed my own cover and uploaded it to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. That was on January 22, but for some reason, Amazon took a couple of extra days getting it up live.
What a smart move to skip the heartbreak of querying altogether!

What made you decide to self-publish?
I decided to epublish because, recently, I've read some very beautifully written self-published ebooks and some of these authors works are getting noticed by agents and publishers, sort of doing things backwards. I figured I would rather have the book online and selling a few copies than sitting on my hard drive waiting for agents and/or publishers to tell me no thanks. Rejection is a hard slap in the face and I didn't want to face it again. I wasn't quite sure which niche Different Roads belonged, and that also made the idea of querying it seem daunting to me.
How many authors have faced the conundrum of what exact genre our novel fits into!  At least with self-publishing you don't have to worry about querying the wrong agent.

For me it seems like a bit of a daunting task, did you have any difficulties? Or was it easier than one would think?
I think it's so easy to self-publish, I'm surprised more people aren't doing it. Having a cover artist or being creative and doing it yourself, having a good editor, and getting it formatted to upload to sell on Kindle. Those are the most important things, aside from great writing, of course. :) I don't know if it's easier, but it is a whole lot faster.

Did you do anything to promote your book?
I have a book review blog, and I've got a small following, I also follow several other book blogs with large followings. I started doing a lot of leg work and contacting bloggers I thought might be interested in receiving a free copy of my book in exchange for an honest review. I tweeted and posted on Facebook, and had friends do the same. It was a lot of work! But worth it, I think. I've also hired book tour promoters, but they are booked pretty far in advance, so the actual tours have not happened yet. I hope it brings another surge in sales when it happens!
I guess it really comes down to whether or not we're willing to put the work in.

Would you take on an agent if they offered representation now?
If a publisher or agent offered representation, I would certainly be open to it. I am not anti-agent or anti-publisher, I am just happy to have my things being read. Right now, when I finish writing one book, I don't have to agonize over a query letter or a synopsis. One day, I'd love to have my books become so popular and loved, agents/publishers offer a 7-figure book deal. :)
I hope she does get a 7 figure book deal some day!

Was this your first manuscript?
No, this was not my first. I've completed five books now. Four of them are available online. The fourth book I wrote is in the hands of a publisher right now, being read. If they don't take it, I will probably change some things and upload it as well
Oooh how exciting, I hope the publisher decides to pick it up!

How long did it take you to write it?
Different Roads began in November 2012 and 2 months later it was ready to go live for sale. It was an extremely fast book to write. I started it with the idea of epublishing it as a novella. Then it grew!
Wow, it seems like it gets easier and easier for authors with each book.

Did you have it professionally edited?
I did have it professionally edited. My editor is the reason for the ending that has been so controversial, to say the least. :) I'm glad she talked me into ending it like I did.
Funny because for me the ending has always made the book and I loved the ending!!  It actually stuck with me all night and I went over the events in my mind wondering what might have happened if this character had done that or that character had done this.  Very well done!

How many different critique partners did you have?
I don't really have any critique partners. I do have about 3 non-relatives who read all of my work chapter by chapter as I write it, offering a little advice here and there.
I find this extremely encouraging since I've had a hard time finding critique partners.

It seems like you’re pretty happy with self-publishing, if you could change the way things went, is there anything you would change?
Honestly, I wouldn't change anything this time. It all had a "meant to be" feel to it. From the concept to the editor I happened up to the cover design I threw together.

Lori L. Clarke has had quite a bit of success with Different Roads already and I highly recommend that you check out her book!  It was a quick, captivating read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Wishing a terrific writer all the success for her future!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Fortuitous: happening by chance, especially by a lucky chance; unplanned; accidental

There are so many accidents in life that lead us down one road as opposed to another, leaving us to wonder just how different things might have been if such a fortuitous event had never been bestowed upon us.  But my question is… Is it fortuitous?  Or is it fate?

The idea of fate having every last episode planned out for us, predetermined, predestined, is a disturbing thought.  Are we really that helpless when it comes to making our own choices in life?

Just as easy as it is to believe in fate, divine providence running our lives, it is easy to believe in fortune playing its part.  I suppose this option leaves us with a little more power, but it’s still just as disappointing to think we’re supposed to wait around for the right moment, the right move, the right people just to fall into our laps.

However, the possibility that we create what we receive, leaving fate and fortune out of the mix entirely, is another widely held idea, and the most empowering vision of all.