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!
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
Contests & Awards
Book Release & Scheduling
Live Events & Blog Tours
Freebies, KDP, & Discount Promotions
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!