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Ten Things

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10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author I Didn’t Know Before

I admit I was naïve. I’d run a successful consulting firm for many years, and am still an owner, but I hadn’t been in the world of “creative work” before. When I decided the time was right to carve out a portion of each day to what I had wanted to do for many years, write romantic fiction, I knew the first step was research. Not on writing, but on becoming an Indie Author.

Thing #1
I spent a lot of time researching how to become traditionally published—the proper format for a query letter, the best forms of book synopsis, how to find an agent, etc. But what came out of this process was my firm belief that I wanted to start as an Indie Author. Why? (see Things 2, 3, and 4).

Thing #2
Once a book is accepted but a traditional publisher it can months, a year, to get it out. That time-frame wasn’t in my comfort zone—it simply seemed to long.

Thing #3
I would have little or no input on the book covers, or the descriptions, or the excerpts, or perhaps even the story line. This was all news to me. Having always worked in a collaborative environment, I was unsure as to whether I could make this type of transition.

Thing #4
You mean I still have to do 80% of the marketing and promotions myself? Keep in mind that at this point I did get the difference between a top-tier authors and those who fill the ranks below. Top-tiers have worked hard to reach that point and deserve every bit of additional marketing and promo help provided by the traditionals. If we’re grading on a curve, the best I thought I’d get is a D as far as promo help, even if I ever was accepted by a traditional publisher.

Taking the points above, I decided to go Indie.

Thing #5
Not only did I need a good story, but I needed to find a very good editor. I had done no prep at all on this and needed to start from scratch, on my own, with no guidance.

Thing #6
Not only did I need a good story, but I needed to find a very good cover designer. I had done no prep at all on this and needed to start from scratch, on my own, with no guidance.

Thing #7
Not only did I need a good story, but I needed to setup social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and LinkedIn—at a minimum. I had done no prep at all on this and needed to start from scratch, on my own, with no guidance.

Thing #8
Not only did I need a good story, but I needed to learn how to convert my work into mobi and ePub files so that the books would be accepted by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. I had done no prep at all on this and needed to start from scratch, on my own, with no guidance.

Thing #9
Not only did I need a good story, but I needed to learn how to convert my stories to a paperback format for submittal to Createspace or one of the other on-demand publishers. I had done no prep at all on this and needed to start from scratch, on my own, with no guidance.

Thing #10
I hadn’t realized how hard it would be to push “Publish” on the Amazon publishing site for Kindle until the time came. My finger hovered for a few seconds before I took a deep breath and hit the button.

Within minutes I realized that the work for book one was far from over and the continued work on book two was calling to me.

Now, eight months into the series with three books on Amazon, and two on Barnes & Noble and Kobo, I’ve found awesome resources for editing, cover design, book conversions, social media, book trailer preparation, web site development, and SEO. All-and-all it has been an overwhelming experience but one of the most rewarding in my life.

Comments are welcome!


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Sherri Riley
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Yeah, man, it’s pain.

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