Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 9/27/13

Whether you are a novice writer, experienced writer, self-publishing writer, or dreaming of seeing your name on the cover of your book—and haven’t ever submitted a manuscript, anywhere—there is one central piece of advice I was given that I share with you today: NEVER QUIT!

Years ago, when I jumped in to an unexpected teaching position—with both feet and knees knocking—my daughter gave me a poster for my classroom.  In big, bold, bright-colored lettering it read: NEVER NEVER NEVER Quit!  The miracle of learning comes when you least expect it.  The truth of that statement played out many times, and since then, I have translated it into my personal pep-talks when I’m struggling with a writing project.

Ever read any of the stats about famous writers?  Mystery writer Agatha Christie had no formal education yet taught herself to read and eventually wrote at least 66 novels plus numerous short stories, and even movies.  John Grisham’s first novel was rejected 25 times.  Frank Herbert’s science fiction novel Dune was rejected 20 times.  Even Stephen King received more rejection letters than he cares to remember.  And, it has even been documented that Rudyard Kipling received a rejection letter stating: I’m sorry Mr. Kipling, but you just don’t know how to use the English language.  J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter sagas, was turned away by 12 publishers only to be “discovered” by a very small publishing press. 

So, how do writers defeat the nay-sayers and the doubting thoughts that creep in?  We create our own, personalized, Pep Rally points:

  • Listen to your supporters!  Family, friends and other writers from your writing group who know your work and appreciate the story you’ve created can offer you the emotional support you’ll need before you publish and after you publish.Do you read the comics?  Remember when Charlie Brown was trying to kick a football and kept missing?  His good friend, Lucy, held the ball for him so that his perspective changed—just a bit—which helped him succeed.
  • Go to your first outlines and take note of the excellence in your writing! Yes, it really is okay to acknowledge that what you’ve created is well done!
  • Review the research.  If your project is based on a true story, maybe (just maybe) something slipped between the drafts. Then you can enjoy the satisfaction of enhancing the material—on your own—so that you can present the best manuscript.
  •  Re-think your publishing concepts.  If the general, mainstream publishers just don’t “get” what you’re writing, then look to the self-publishing presses. Children’s author, Beatrix Potter was not able to find a conventional publisher who would accept The Tale of Peter Rabbit.  She did not give up.  She self-published!

Someone once told me that “an apparent failure is only an opportunity to begin again; pray, reset, restart, refocus and succeed.”  I haven’t counted the numerous times this has happened in my writing life; however, I can tell you that I’ve never been happier with this gift of writing that keeps my fingers typing.  May you feel this satisfying enjoyment, too.

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

Top Four Reasons to Self-Publish: Part 1 – Control

Last month, I did a series on the most popular questions self-publishing authors ask. The posts were such a hit, I’ve decided to do another series this month. Each week in August, I will discuss one of the top four reasons why you should self-publish your book.

The first reason I’ll discuss is my personal favorite: control. Self-publishing allows the author to control the entire process: the manuscript’s content, the cover design and copy, even the selling price. This is a completely different experience than if you  use a traditional publisher.

With traditional publishing, the editor or publishing firm calls all the shots. They decide how your book should read. They choose what it will look, when it will be released, how much it will sell for, etc.

While there is nothing “wrong” with the traditional publishing route, many authors cherish their work so much they can’t stand the thought of someone else being in control of their project. Others want the creative freedom to express themselves and to take chances.

Control is the number one reason why famous authors who have previously published with traditional publishing companies are choosing to self-publish their books.

The Huffington Post recently interviewed six popular authors who switched to self-publishing because they wanted control. You can read the interview at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/16/why-traditionally-publish_n_2487464.html.

I’d love to know, how has the need for control influenced your publishing decisions?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Self Publishing Week in Review: 5/7/13

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self publishing process, which will lead to a greater self publishing experience. To help you stay current on self publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news in self publishing this week.

‘Wool’ author Hugh Howey chimes in on print, digital, self-publishing

In this article, successful self publishing author Hugh Howey talks about the new publishing paradigm. He discusses  the future of self publishing, using social media to promote your book, and more.

Patti Davis to Self-Publish New Lesbian-themed Novel

Patti Davis, author, actress, and the daughter of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, is the latest notable author to give self publishing a try. Though mostly a nonfiction writer, Davis self published her new novel, Till Human Voices Wake Us, in March and now  is publishing a paperback edition. The book is the first of three new novels that Davis will self publish.

Self-Published Titles Dominate Top of Ebook Best-Sellers List

Self published authors recently stunned the publishing world by taking the #1 and #2 spots on the DBW Ebook Best-Seller list. Last week, five of the top 10 were self published ebooks.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Famous Self-Published Authors: Jack Canfield and Mark Hensen

I’m sure you’ve read, or at least heard, of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series by Jack Canfield and Mark Hensen. According to The New Yorker, this series is the “biggest-selling non-fiction franchise in the history of American publishing” and has sold “approximately 80 million” books. These books are currently self-published by Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing, LLC. This is a just another example of the success self-published books can have. If you believe in your book, self-publishing can help you share your story with the world. Don’t be discouraged by critics and pessimist. Success is possible for self-published authors.

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

Famous Self-Published Author: Thomas Paine

In school, you learned all about the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution. Well, one of the most important publications at that time was originally self-published. Common Sense by Thomas Paine was a pamphlet that encouraged freedom from England. The pamphlet was originally self-published anonymously and became an instant success. The publication is still discussed and read in schools and colleges today.

Not only did people read and love this self-published publication, but it sparked change and lead to our freedom. If you want to make a difference in society, share your ideas with the world. Don’t be afraid of rejection, and if someone tells you that no one will ever read or remember a self-published book, think of Thomas Paine.

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

Famous Self-Published Author: Beatrix Potter

Did you know that the first Peter Rabbit book was self-published? When Beatrix Potter submitted the first manuscript, she received several rejection letters. She decided to self-publish a limited edition. After seeing the printed book and recognizing the commercial possibilities, Publisher Frederick Warne changed his opinion and agreed to publish a color copy of the book. To date, the story has been translated into 36 languages and has sold over 45 million copies. This could be your children’s book.

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

Famous Self-Published Author: Walt Whitman

Have you ever read Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass? This poetry collection were self-published in Brooklyn in 1855. The first edition contained only 12 poems, but the final edition contained almost 400.

The first edition found offensive due to its homosexual undertones. However, not all responses were negative. Some critics considered Whitman’s work a classic. Today, Whitman’s book is still read by college students and literature lovers. His book has held up to the review of classic rather than the one of offensive.

Whitman’s self-publishing journey was not a walk in the park. He struggled to sell his book, and he was subject to censorship and criticism. However, he did not give up. He continued to revise and stand behind his book, and in the end, his title became an American classic.

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.