Sunday, 7 April 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.

Even non-fiction authors choose to go the self-publishing route, and today I'd like to share a well-written, easy to read, comprehensible book,  LOA for the Real World: 7 Big Fat Clues to Getting What You Want By Jeannette Maw. 

Cover for 'LOA for the Real World: 7 Big Fat Clues to Getting What You Want'

Did you seek agent representation before self publishing?  Or do you have an agent now?
Nope and nope.  Skipped that altogether.
I LOVE the confidence.  I wish I'd started out of the gate thinking to myself, who needs an agent anyways, it would have saved me from a lot of heartache.
What made you decide to self publish?
It was easier, technology made it possible, there were fewer obstacles to achieve it, and also that it was more profitable.  The only downside was the perceived lesser credibility with a self-published book, but the pros vastly outweighed the cons.  Plus, so many of my colleagues were doing it, it seemed sort of silly not to.
I think self-publishing is starting to lose its bad reputation.  As long as great writers continue to publish great books, self-publishing won't be something to be ashamed about.
I've noticed you have a collection of other books, were these self-published as well, even the hard copies?
Actually, I don't have any hard copies available - everything I've published is digital.  I had a virtual assistant format one of my first books for hard copy publishing, but I preferred to keep everything digital for the time being
Oppsie, shame on me for just browsing through instead of really reading, I thought she had a set of books in hard copy.

For me it seems like a bit of a daunting task, did you have any difficulties? Or was it easier than one would think?
Ridiculously easy!  In fact, that might be one of the downsides - it's so easy to do that one might not go through all the helpful steps of professional editing and formatting.  And I think that's pretty important to do even (or especially) with a self-published book.
This makes me feel like I'm one step closer to taking the plunge.  If it's really not that hard, why not?
Have you done anything to promote your book?
I used to use Google ads, and had good success with those.  But once I started growing blog traffic and building my subscription list, I let the ads lapse and rely on my own marketing efforts (blog publishing, newsletter distribution, occasional social media mentions and interviews) to create new sales.
Would you take on an agent if they offered representation now, or is it something that even interests you?
I'd consider it, but it certainly isn't something I'm interested in actively pursuing. 
At this point, I'm beginning to think maybe finding an agent shouldn't be so high on a writer's priority list...
What was your first manuscript?
The Magic of Pray Rain Journaling.
How long did it take you to write it?
From conception to finished manuscript - probably several weeks if I recall correctly.   I had the idea after leaving the Oprah show (she invited me to participate in her law of attraction special episode) when a couple of people asked me in the limousine on the way back to the airport to explain what pray rain journaling was.  I found myself wishing I could point them to a good book to read about it. On the plane I was still thinking about it, and had the thought, "there should be a book about this." And then it occurred to me - I should write it!  I jotted down an outline on a napkin on the spot and started writing once I got home.  :)
She was on Oprah!?!
Did you have it professionally edited? 
No, but I probably should have
Did you have any critique partners?  If so, how many?
None.  I was concerned that external input would alter the vision I had for it.  I really wanted this to be MY book, not a group or community effort.  I rely heavily on my personal inspiration for creating new projects, and wanted to stay true to that as much as possible. 
I guess this is much different when it comes to non-fiction.
This seems like a bit of a funny question to ask considering your book revolves around positive thinking and the law of attraction, but... if you could change the way things have gone with your writing career, is there anything you would change?
I'd change two things: 1) engage a professional editor (ha!) and 2) engage more self-confidence earlier on so I could find and trust my true voice.   It took me a while to grow into it - actually, I think I'm still in that process.  I wish I would have trusted myself sooner than I have.  :).
I think this is a problem all writers face.  We definitely need to trust ourselves more!  Our work may never be perfect, but you can't please everyone and at some point it's got to be at least good enough.

The law of attraction is a mind-blowing concept, teaching us that we are capable of controlling our own lives and creating anything and everything that we want.  The idea was really drawn into the spotlight by 'The Secret', but there are many, many other sources of information out there.  It certainly requires opening your mind to something new, but it's a wonderfully, uplifting, inspirational process I would recommend to anyone.  LOA for the Real World: 7 Big Fat Clues to Getting What You Want is a great beginning for easing into such a concept.  I truly enjoyed Jeannette Maw's book and I hope you'll take a look.  Wishing a wonderful soul a successful career.


  1. Great interview, Jessica! Thanks for sharing. :)


  2. helpful info for anyone thinking of self-publishing!

    1. I'm glad you think it's helpful. I started these interviews in hopes of helping self-published authors promote themselves and offer the rest of us some tips. :)

  3. I have self-published my first book! I found it to be a very exciting venture! It's first hand experience in learning how it all works! You get lots of practice! So I found it to be very beneficial!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Did you try to get an agent first or skip the whole heart-breaking process altogether? I think self-publishing is great, the more I learn about it, the more I support it. Authors finally have the ability to take charge of their own career. I'm almost ready to take the plunge. :)

  4. Thanks for interviewing me, Jessica! It was fun to think about these things. I'd like to add ...

    Any time I hear a writer holding off on sharing their gifts because they're waiting for an agent or publisher it makes me a little sad. The world is changing in such a way that the traditional gatekeepers are no longer in charge of what gets out into the world and what doesn't. It's just a matter of our willingness to engage the new systems and technology to share our love.

    Which is why I'm so happy to see Betty's comment - congratulations, Betty!! :)

    1. I agree, I think we've put the power in other's hands and it's time to try something new.

  5. Great interview. I'm still at the editing stage on 3 novels but getting there. Hope you're enjoying your AtoZ's. Thanks for popping by mine.

    1. Thanks. :) Wow, you're editing three novels at once. I have to stick to one at a time for focus, but perhaps having three on the go let's you clear your mind of one for a while, as you work on the others.

  6. I do such a lousy job of self-promotion I don't think self-publishing is a path for me...but one never knows!

    1. Even if you're not one to self-promote, when you've been turned down by agent after agents, it's one way to still get your work out there to be read. It's exciting to have the option of self-publishing.