It’s taking me a really long time to admit to myself and the world what it is I really want to do. I get easily distracted, or inspired by other people, and suddenly find myself going off on tangents… Maybe I can make a range of baby clothes?! Maybe I can become a life coach?! Maybe I could actually put my experience and training to use and become a freelance Copywriter?!
Gotta face facts: I want to write stories. I want to write stories and get paid for doing so. I want to spend my life creating, writing and looking after my kids. That would make me happy.
The reason it has taken me so long to realise that this is what I truly want is largely fear and intimidation; I assumed that the only way this could be my reality was if I did things the traditional way: find an agent, get a publisher, wait for the royalties to flow in. (Hahahaha)
But there are many flaws to that plan, not least the fact it stops me at the first hurdle by playing right into the hands of my inferiority complex. Deep down I doubt that I’m good enough, so I don’t feel excited or confident enough to fight for an agent.
When I read David Gaughran’s book, Let’s Get Digital: How to self publish and why you should, it was as though the clouds parted. People – like me – have done this. They have written books, published them, found readers and made money. And they don’t seem to have regretted their writing path one bit.
I highly recommend this book, whether you need inspiration or a clearly laid out map of how to get your book from your computer onto other people’s e-readers. The author is down to earth, realistic and uplifting.
He breaks down some myths surrounding Amazon’s Kindle Store, and gives some effective ways to get your book noticed, starting from getting a brilliant editor and front cover all the way to running promotions and connecting with readers.
The part I found particularly insightful was the background to the publishing industry, and the impact that indie authors has had on it. Most eye opening was the royalties you can achieve as a self-publisher: 70% of the sale price, depending on the price you set, compared to around 14% for an average traditionally published book. More excitingly, self-publishing gives the author so much more control, speed and freedom to make money however they choose. It’s hard work, but it’s all to play for!
It made me see the possibilities and allowed me to gently, and without regret, give up on my dreams of being traditionally published. There’s another way and it’s exciting.
I’m now in the process of getting a professional critique of my first novel – I’ve been fiddling with it for too long and now it needs to either be finished or shelved – and to start outlining my next few novels. The key to success with self-publishing seems to be quality and quantity, so I need to find ways to streamline the planning and writing process so that I can publish as prolifically as possible.
I’ll be reviewing some books that offer advice on how to do this in the future, not to mention sharing my self-publishing adventures and mistakes!
And as always, I’ll be fitting all of this around my mothering career, housework career (please someone fire me from this one) and general life-administrator.
My cup truly runneth over…