The Indie Journey: Elsewhere and Otherwhen

There's an extraordinary number of excellent resources out there to help you on your personal publishing path, but after my own recent experience, I thought I'd share my own tips.

First, I wish I'd made more time for the publication process on a consistent basis. Not just because I could have accomplished things earlier in the calendar, but because often when I came back I had to learn concepts all over again. Worse, I wasted some people's time. (It's amazing Quincy J. Allen still puts up with me - what a great indie guide and book formatter!) 

I also foolishly allowed myself to get disorganized, which is quite unlike me. Challenging as it is, in the future, I'm going to make sure I have time set aside on a very regular basis for the month of publication to ensure I don't get bogged down for months repeating processes. I'm also organizing my notes to provide myself a more coherent set of guidelines. So don't fall into the rinse-later-repeat cycle like me - keep moving forward!

While "know more" may not sound particularly helpful, along the lines of the earlier notes, I didn't stay on top of information the way I should have. When people share information, put it where it's safe (and keep reviewing it). Again, organization: it's critical.

Finally, set a calendar. It's easy to suddenly lose a month - family emergencies, other writing deadlines, you name it. Remind yourself of what you're planning to accomplish each month. Overly ambitious deadlines are just as detrimental as none at all, so plan it out, but also make your deadlines reasonable. 

On a more technical publication basis, I also offer this bullet point list for folks new to this path:

  • Don't underestimate the importance of beta readers.
  • Your first chapter is almost as important as the whole rest of the book. The first page most important of all. Get it right.
  • Always, ALWAYS hire a great, professional editor. Do not stint.
  • Get to know Amazon's options: Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and the advantages thereof
  • Research artists for your cover design early. Really, really early. Finding the right fit for you might take longer than it did to write the book! And fitting in their schedule? Well, that could be even tougher. And when you do book your artist, make sure you have ALL the information regarding cover size.
  • Research Draft2Digital and Kobo for other excellent publishing platform options (and use them!)
  • Learn about ACX for your audible book options
  • Don't underestimate the importance of proof copies! Make sure it looks in paper the way you planned it digitally. And remember, making even one minor corrections in CreateSpace means waiting for the file to be approved again before you can order the proof, which will take time to arrive. Build in time for at least two proofing cycles; better to have and not need them than need and not have it.
  • Make sure your have a dedicated bank account for your book sales correctly linked to your digital platforms. You may wish to also set up a linked savings account so you can automatically transfer out your self-employment tax from all deposits for ease of end-of-year payments.
  • Follow great indie authors like Katie Cross, Alex P. Berg, and Terry Odell, who post fantastic self-examinations of their indie pursuits, tactics, and successes to help you plan out your promotional tactics, from BookBub to Goodreads giveaways and more.

Got your own tips? Please feel free to comment and share!