After much hemming and hawing, I will stop querying and take charge of publishing my ten-year-old novel, now titled US, NOW & THEN. The prospect of spending more time querying and waiting for an agent to love my novel enough to take it on is daunting enough. But the waiting for them to try to convince a traditional publisher to love it—a timeline that extends to infinity—is simply unacceptable. I’ll turn seventy next month. I don’t have that kind of time. (Maybe I do, but who knows?)
And honestly? I’m not trying to build a career as a novelist. (Not what an agent wants to hear) I wanted to tell this story. And I wanted to learn how fiction works. With ten years of critiques and edits from my (kind, generous, brutally honest) cohorts at Lone Mountain Writers, I believe my story is finally both poignant and readable. It’s good enough. However, after all that work, I refuse to just leave it on my hard drive. I will publish with Kindle Direct Publishing this year. (She says confidently)
But just putting it out there on the web isn’t enough. I want people to find it and read it. A few people anyway. And ones who aren’t all related to me. But with the SIX MILLION (!) books available on Kindle, I know I need to help mine stand out, at least a little. Hence, I need to develop a marketing plan. Whoopee! Another skill set I don’t possess. BTW, any agent or publisher would want this too.
So, I’ve searched the internet and followed indie-authors and others who seem to know what they are doing and won’t make me dip too far into my retirement nest-egg for cash to pay them. I follow other indie authors and the #WritingCommunity on Twitter. I subscribed to their newsletters. I listen to podcasts over at Mark Dawson’s place. I took a one-night class on self-publishing at my local community college and will take another on marketing in the spring. Until then I’m learning about keywords and newsletters, author websites and advertising. I’m big on taking baby steps.
I’ve typed up the beginnings of my plan and know that at the very least I need a professionally designed cover and professional formatting—unless I want to learn yet another set of skills, which I don’t. This week I contacted a cover artist and sent her some initial ideas. Fingers crossed.
I’ll post what I learn and accomplish here as I climb this very steep learning curve. That’s where things stand right now. Watch this space as I stumble my way to my book launch. You may see some changes here too as I upgrade my site. Kindly share any advice or resources you’ve discovered from your own indie author journey.