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Self-publishing/indie publishing, hybrid publishing, fanfiction, Wattpad, traditional publishing. There are so many avenues to get a story to a reader.

I have been lucky to find a lovely community of other indie authors through social media who have proved invaluable as I navigate these exciting and confusing waters (you know who you are). So I thought I'd share some things I've learned, hopefully helping another indie soul or simply entertaining you with my woes while shining some light on the inner workings of being a self-published author.

One of the big draws for me to switch from traditional publishing was creative control. If you go the trad route, you have very little to NO say in many of the creative decisions. You know, just little things like your cover, title, and back cover/inner jacket blurb. Also, the space in which trad publishing operates is significantly slower than indie publishing. I've spent the last four years working on The Abandoned Realm (during all the spare time I have had while bringing two littles into this world) and at this point, I'm ready to have the story in the hands of readers. I did a few rounds of querying (sending out a very short and curated letter) to literary agents after spending hours researching which agents matched my genre, story, and personality. After finding which of those were open to submissions and then throwing my hat in with the HUNDREDS of queries they get every day, I waited and hoped that mine would stand out. Are you inexplicably stressed out and short of breath? Understandable. That's very similar to the experience of being in the "query trenches".

So. I switched gears to self-publishing.

This is not an easier path, let me assure you. Now, instead of the above process, which basically handles everything, I'm researching editors, sending out quote requests from cover artists, and trying to decide which distribution company is the right choice. Taking quality, price, reach, and user-friendly platform into consideration. Oh yeah, and researching what trim size the book will be, finding sensitivity readers, getting verified as a Goodreads author, getting my book into Goodreads' system....what's that? You're still stressed and out of breath? Well, turns out it's very similar to the query trenches. Only this time I'm in the fray with cool cover art and a title, both of which I picked.

The website is a fantastic resource for authors, trad and indie alike. I've used it to find my cover artists, a developmental editor, and a copy editor. They offer a ton of additional resources for authors, like marketing services as well. This has been a key piece to the puzzle of self-publishing.

So where is The Abandoned Realm (#TAR for the gram) right now?

As of writing this post, the current copy of TAR is with a sensitivity reader. I'll get it back in about two weeks with feedback on any problematic aspects. After addressing those, I'll send it off to a copy editor/proofreader for the final pass-through to be ready to be published. TAR has already been through two additional rounds of professional editing and too many of my own revisions to count.

Then she'll get sent off to a typesetter to get formatted properly, (on the selected trim size that I'll have thoroughly researched to death at that point) then the advanced reader copies (ARC) will go out for the pre-launch reviews, marketing, and buzz.

June 1st is the official launch day, and it's all feeling incredibly real. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this crazy ride in any capacity. It really means the world to me. I can't wait for you to have a copy of The Abandoned Realm and read what has basically become my third child.

Cheers inkdrinkers,


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1 Comment

#TAR for the win! Such a creative perspective, and excited for your journey.

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