Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Indy Planning

Now that I've taken the first giant step toward indy publishing by ending things with the agent I am working out a plan for the first byline title I intend to publish. I've decided that will be the third novel in my steampunk Disenchanted & Co. series, for which the working title is Her Majesty's Deathmage.

The first task is, of course, to write the novel. Since I'm working full-time as a ghost writer I will have to fit that in with my professional obligations, which at present are rather hefty. I am sending out inquiries to the people I want to work on the book production, so that I have a team in place once I'm ready to publish. For promotional purposes I'll probably resurrect the Toriana blog (although I'm not entirely decided on that yet.) Scheduling everything is also important for me, as I like to set deadlines for myself to keep the process rolling along smoothly.

While all this is going on I'll also have to take a harder look at all the indy publishing options available and decide which direction I want to take with HMD. I am grateful to all of you who have offered to help, and I will probably be asking plenty of questions in the future. That said, it's important to me to learn and be able to the majority of the grunt work myself. As always I'll pass along whatever I learn in the process that I think may be helpful to other writers taking or considering the same path.

Readers, I will keep you updated here at the blog. I know I can't write the book fast enough for some of you, but I hope you will keep in mind that I now have a day job. I must give my clients top priority (and since they pay me for the privilege, I'm sure you understand that.) I'm also likely to be a bit slower than most writers at leaping into the indy publishing waters, but this is so I can swim instead of sink the first time out. My ultimate goal is to provide you with the best possible reading experience that I can once the book does hit the shelves, so your patience will be greatly appreciated.

Indy authors, if there was one bit of advice you now would give to yourself back when you started, what would it be? Let us know in comments.


  1. This is more from when I first started writing with an eye toward publication: "Don't spend ten freakin' years waiting on traditional publishing." If I'd known then what I know now, I would've self-published years ago. =o)

  2. Thing that was the biggest hurdle, after marketing, was the formatting to fit createspace ( printer's) layouts. If I could, I would have simply paid someone, because the amount of cursing from my tech-able spouse was stressful. I would tell myself "give more time to formatting in the schedule and get a test copy! ( if print)

  3. I'm so glad you're moving ahead with this. I know it's a huge leap of faith and will be a lot of work, but you'll be great! :)

  4. Get off my ***, move your distracting entertaining files off your computer to the external hard drive (that has to be plugged in before it can be accessed), use Freedom more often, and add Next Actions to my general to-do list. That's certainly what I needed.

    For best advice I've heard and agree with, it's set up a newsletter and start collecting emails from people who want to know when you're publishing next.

  5. I'm so happy you're going indie! With your reader base, I'm sure your sales will pick up briskly.

    My 2-cent advice: Don't be afraid of Amazon, Kindle, or Createspace. They're easier to use than they look at first glance, have free help pages, and always pay on time. :-)

  6. Since I'm just starting to tread the same waters, no advice from me.
    But what I've noted from other authors is that it's important to keep your fans/readers with you, with updates, liberal excerpts, and encouraging them to tell their friends, to post reviews, etc.
    And to keep them updated as far as wips, releases, even problems.
    Now, I can eagerly await HMD. :)

  7. Patience isn't my strong suit, but I'll be happy to wait for whatever Disenchanted story you can squeak into your writing schedule...

  8. For me, the best thing I did was learn how to format for the various distributors. Even if I farm that job out later, it pays to understand what's involved. At the very least, you'll know if the person doing the job did it correctly and you'll understand what problems (if any) he'll encounter.

    I tend to be very hands on but I don't mind delegating as long as I understand the process first.

  9. Don't be scared to sell yourself. People can't find out about your book if you don't get the information out there.

    If you want to do formatting yourself the book designer templates are wonderful. They just use word and my books looks awesome. And Word is something I can use.

  10. Anonymous4:51 PM

    Not advice from a fellow-author, but one from a reader (me): "Take the time you need to get it right. A book will be out there in the world a long time." Just don't use this advice as an excuse to procrastinate!

  11. I'd give myself the advice that a good friend gave me: Your stories are great, and that's what you're good at. It's OK to rely on others for some of the technical stuff. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, know your own. That said, understanding the steps later on, with my freinds' help, was good for me, like spinach. lol.

    To you, specifically, I would add this: The quality of the work is really important, I know. Lots of people will tell you to do things a certain way. I think you should do the first story the way *you* need it to be done. If that means you'd feel more confident if you hired a pass-through editor, hire one. If it means you finally want to just leave your damn commas in, hey, leave the commas in!

    The great joy--and terror--of being Indy means you're the boss!

    I'll be standing on the sidelines, jumping up and down, waving pom poms as soon as your first release hits the virtual shelves!!!

  12. I'm not good at a lot of software stuff out there but downloading the free mobicreator which takes my word doc and converts it to mobi which makes a seamless upload to amazon was invaluable. Also learning to format. Createspace is still tricky so I paid someone the first time or two then mirrored it for my own. I created a cheat sheet so these things now only take 15 minutes to breeze through. I think the one thing I would have started earlier was a newsletter so I wouldn't have to depend on heavy marketing. I'm not comfortable pushing my books but a newsletter is a simple alert with a cover, blurb and exclusive excerpt that readers seem to appreciate. I definitely note a surge of sales when my newsletter goes out.

    Good luck and cant wait for your indie debut. Its not as hard as some would make it seem. Or at least not if you have the key component which is experience with the cycle of writing a novel. Its old hat for you but just a different way of getting to your end product.