Thursday, November 15, 2012

Write the darn book!

I’ve recently spent some time trying to help a friend come to a decision as to whether she wants to publish Indie or not. Which means a choice between traditional publishing with a company who will do all the work, or doing it all yourself.  She needs to ask herself these questions. Is she willing to invest the extra time, energy, hard work, and probably most important for many, a huge outlay of money?

Let’s understand that I’m talking about self-publishing in a professional manner. Many have chosen this route. They make up their own covers, have a friend or relative who is a teacher edit their work, and try to format the inside without any idea of what needs to be done. And then wonder why the book isn’t selling.

Some authors I know (me…gulp!) at the beginning of their careers choose to go with the first E-publisher who offers them a contract and at the beginning were quite satisfied. They found their books on the internet, realized their dream of seeing their name on a cover and sat back to wait for the royalty checks. To wait and wait…. Picture a skeleton sitting in front of a dusty monitor with tears dripping from each cheek bone.  Trust me! I know the feeling.

If you have some computer skills, a lot of energy and a few Indie-author friends close by who can help you (or even some pals online that would be willing to step up), you have a chance. I gave her this list to read before we would talk further.


1. Write the darn book. And make it your best work.

2. Join some Indie groups so you’re in contact with those who know what to do and will help with advice. The Indie Romance Ink and the Author's Network on yahoo are two good examples.

3. Get your social media working - twitter, facebook and goodreads at least. Of course, I’m taking it for granted you already have a website and/or blog.

4. Make sure you have at least one, if not two, good editors – a line editor and a content and copy editor. You need to search for these people and not pay top dollar because there's no guarantee that you'll get your money's worth. Getting recommendations is the best way to do this (which is why you need to be affiliated with other Indie authors).  Remember! There are many editors to choose from; people starting in the business who need work.

5. Find a good cover artist - again someone who's recommended. And get rid of the picture you have in your head about the exact way you want the cover. Most times it’s impossible to do, and if they try, which most artists will try, it’s not going to help sell your book.  The best idea is to see what others in your genre have chosen for their cover, authors who are selling really well. Then show those to your cover artist and let him/her come up with ideas. Chances are they have a better vision than you do of what’s popular.

6. Find a formatter to set your book up properly so that your book looks professional. Again, shop around.

7. If possible, either join in with a promoting group like the IBC (Indie Book Collective) group I'm in, or start one yourself so that it isn't just you pushing your own work.

8. Publishing the book on Amazon, or any of the other outlets, is the least work of all but a bit scary when you first do it. Other authors are very good about answering questions for a newbie who is stuck. Hence, the need to join an Indie group.

9. If you think it’s finally time to sit back, relax and wait for the money to roll in, think again. Now is when the real hard works begins. Now you have to promote the book. (This is where a group comes in handy.)


10. Write the second darn book, and make it as soon as possible after you’ve published the first. Make it your best work.

**For the next few days, I will take each of these points and enlarge on them using my own experiences as my imformation source. You won't believe what I went through until I hit it lucky!!??



  1. I'm looking forward to your future posts on this, Mimi! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

  2. Hi Angela,
    Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I will be posting part 2 today (Nov 17th) and I hope you can stop by again. If you do decide to go this Indie route and want any kind of support or questions answered, I'd be happy to assist you - just e-mail me at
    Take care... xo

  3. I am following this series with interest Mimi. I have started writing my first book. I have a professional cover. I have a published friend who will format for epublication and I have a promotional website who will market it on their site for me. I am setting up a website of my own in addition to my blog in readiness for this. I have also set up an author page on fb. All I have to do now is 'Write the darn book' as you say.

  4. Hi Adele,
    Sounds to me like you've done your homework :-) There's one thing you need to really think strongly about. Many Indie authors will tell you that having the 5 free days on Amazon every three months is their best promotional tool because it gets your book into the hands of hundreds, even thousands, of people who you would never reach otherwise. I'm not saying everyone who takes a free sample reads your book, but it gets your name out there which is very important. If even a few do read the book and write a nice review (which has been my experience)that is invaluable. But - to be able to do this you would need to enlist your book in the KDP select program which means that for those 3 months you can NOT have your book for sale anywhere else. Now to start this program when your book is first released is the easiest route because after it's been out on a lot of the other sites like smashwords, sony, All Romance just to name a few, it can take months to get them to take your book down if your should decide to give the select program a try. I will get into this more in the coming days as I write the next parts to the series so I hope you can follow. If you have any questions you want answered personally e-mail me at
    Good luck on getting the darn thing written!! :-)
    take care...xo

  5. Mimi, Your posts couldn't come at a more opportune time for me. I am working on a book about reactive attachment disorder from a dad's perspective, based in part on my blog.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us new writers. :)

  6. Hi Carl,
    I'm glad that my experiences can provide you with some guidance in your decision to write your book. I wish you good luck and want you to know that I'm happy to help in any way I can if you have questions. It's a huge undertaking but I know you'll be thrilled and feel a great sense of achievement when it's finally published.
    Take care...xo