Going it Alone was a panel on self publishing hosted by my good friend, Linda Drummond, and featuring self published authors, Greg Field, Nim Gholkar, and Francesca Suters.
I went along to support my friend, who I might add was a quite wonderful host and interviewer, and came away with some interesting little gems and stories.
Here is some of what I learned:
Timeframes and deadlines are still important, and design is in your hands when you self publish.
It is really hard but don't be discouraged.
It is important to create a buzz well in advance - online presence and social media can assist with that. Some have shared small chapters on line as tidbits, and use comments to help edit them. They are not left up forever though. Also great to show covers when you have them designed.
There are so many ways and places to market online, you need to look at all the options and work out what fits best with you.
Some use blogging to practice writing, this can develop an audience. Also to review other books on the blog, can lead to return reviews. The beauty of self publishing is you can pick and choose what works for you.
Nim calls herself an authorpreneur, and Francesca says that self publishing gives you complete control over your story.
Greg spoke about editing, he has a group of 'beta testers' he trusts and a cousin who is an editor. You do need an editor who understands what you are doing, and a good editor can allow you to assess your work critically and objectively.
The group were asked if they could make a living Self Publishing. Francesca says she does if for love, not money, and still keeps a job. Greg says it is a platform to express his artistry. Nim says don't give up your day job.
Greg also said to be careful of sharks, but there are good people out there that won't take all your money.
Francesca says she started by searching Self Publishing online and narrowed it down by eliminating those with grammatical errors.
Nim says to understand your target audience.
I found this whole panel fascinating, and tenacious in terms of getting their work out there. So don't be discouraged, there is hope if you want to be a published author.