Self-Publishing Journey: Week 1

Week 1: Introduction

Starting off 2015, I’m taking some time to review the self-publishing journey that we have been taking here at Serenity Mountain Publishing over the last three years or so. When thousands of hours and dollars are being invested in any venture, sometimes you have to stop and take stock of the situation. What worked? What didn’t? What REALLY didn’t? As my business partner (my husband, Scott) and I makes notes and regroup, I thought I’d share what we have learned and hopefully help others who are in the middle of the same journey or wondering if they should make the leap. This is not going to end up as a book. There are enough of those. You can just be a part of our mental download and evaluation sessions after the whirlwind that started in 2012 when we decided to self-publish my first middle grade book, “Why Kimba Saved The World.” It is now Book 1 in a best-selling, award-winning series, so I think we made the right call!

Rezised Facebook Banner Photo

The Cats in the Mirror trilogy.

 

In case you have just stumbled on my blog, I’ll give a brief resume of what I brought into this journey. I’m not just someone who decided to write a book and throw it out into the world. I have been writing, well, for as long as I knew how to put sentences on paper. In 5th grade, a picture book I wrote won a contest at the University of Illinois. I can still remember sitting at my school desk and writing more adventures for those characters while friends waited to read them. I journaled and wrote poems (one was even published when I was in high school) and majored in Public Relations because it was in the Journalism Department and had the most writing-related classes. I really wanted to be a teacher, so I returned to school at the graduate level and earned my certification and Master’s Degree in Education, but I continued to write freelance and published dozens of articles in newspapers, magazines, and on web sites while I was teaching. For a year I wrote a column for www.religionandspirituality.com called “Spiritually Significant Cinema” and had the opportunity to interview some major celebrities. I love doing interview pieces! I’ve won first place in regional writing contests, and my self-published books have won international honors.

What I’m saying is that I came into this self-publishing world as a professional writer with some street cred, but that doesn’t necessarily prepare you for the business side of being your own publisher. We have stumbled along, very blindly at times, and taken advice that was both excellent and terrible. Based on the statistics and averages, we have actually been successful. Our hope is that by really taking a look at what has worked for us specifically we can have an outstandingly productive 2015.

I hope that you’ll sign up for my blog (on the right side bar) and follow along. I would also love to hear from you. What questions and concerns do you have? I’m not going to be researching and sharing what other folks are saying. This is all going to be my experience in the trenches and what I have found to be true. I must say, it rarely matches up with the “expert” advice we have gotten.

In 2015, I will be self-publishing a companion book for my Cats in the Mirror series as well as having an adult book traditionally published. I’m sure dealing with those two different ways of creating a book will spark many more blog posts for next year.

So stay tuned! I’ll be posting every Monday for the next several weeks. Blogs already on the agenda are:

Write the Best Book Possible

Set Your Goals & Expectations

Produce Your Book Like A Professional

Where To Publish/CreateSpace

Online Presence & Networking

Reviews

Contests & Awards

Book Release & Scheduling

Live Events & Blog Tours

Freebies, KDP, & Discount Promotions

Book Stores/Consignments

Keep Writing/Book Series Benefits

Best Resources & Support I’ve Found

What would you like to hear about? I’d love to have you share your experiences too, but let’s wait and add specific anecdotal comments to the post on that subject so it can stay focused and others can benefit more.

However, feel free to introduce yourselves and where you are on your own self-publishing journey in the comments section this week!

 

 

4 thoughts on “Self-Publishing Journey: Week 1

  1. info@catsstories.com'Cat McMahon

    Dearest Meg,

    How timely your article on self-publishing is. There’s something about the New Year that makes us step-back and assess our progress in accomplishing our goals as writers.

    Last night, I finished reading yet another ebook on self-publishing to answer the question, “What am I missing that might trigger more sales? What more can I do?”

    For me it’s been a little over two years since I began the steep learning curve into the world of self-publishing. Boy, have I come a long way since then!

    So, have you!

    I look forward to reading about your adventures as you journey through a writer’s life.

    As always,

    Cat

    1. MegDendlerMegDendler Post author

      So true, Cat! We are looking at doing three more books and want to make sure everything is on the right track. I hope you’ll share your thoughts along the way as we tackle each subject!

  2. annettebridges@gmail.com'Annette Bridges

    Oh Meg! How awesome you are for writing this blog and sharing your knowledge and lessons learned!!! Yeah you!! I guess I should do the same kind of reflecting one of these days since I too have spent thousands of dollars in the past three years self-publishing 3 books with 2 more set to publish this year. I really can hardly wait to read all of your upcoming blogs! Thanks for doing this and I wish you much success in 2015 and beyond! 🙂

    1. MegDendlerMegDendler Post author

      Thanks, Annette! It has been fun to watch your journey too (and even take part in it, on occasion!). I hope you’ll share your thoughts as we go along because I know you have learned tremendous lessons too.

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