Independence Day – Self-publishing

This is my first guest columnist for this round of self-publishing.  I introduce Mrs. Lynn Emery who has written a number of bestselling books for Harper Collins and other noted publishers. While writing for BET, she had one book selected and made into a TV movie.  She  is a supervisory social worker and an all around great person.  Let me say at the outset that any errors you find are mine because she is an ace at proofing.  I present this in two parts to allow you time to study and absorb.  The second part will go on in two – three weeks.  Wish me well on this. Here goes:

When Francine asked me to write a short article on being an indie author I said, “Sure!  Then I thought, “Oh Lord, where to begin?”  By the time any advice or how-to piece is written, it’s outdated.  Things are changing just that fast.  What I might have advised or told others about indie publishing three months ago is now quite different.  So be advised  you must stay tuned in and connected because what I’m saying here might be obsolete in short order.  With that said here we go.

I started down the road to self-publishing in 2010.  At that point the term “indie publishing” wasn’t widely used.  In fact it took months after I started learning the ropes to hear it.  Let me tackle semantics first.  Indie author and indie publishing is more acurate than “self-publishing” to describe what I do now.  The old term implies I do everything myself, including promation. In reality I’ve chosen to hire a team of freelancers to help with editing, proofreading, cover design and sometimes promotion or marketing. I’m independent of any book publishing entity or even the people I hire. I make all the decisions, but I do get wonderful input and advice.  Therefore I use indie publishing and indie author exclusively.  The term “self-publishing” doesn’t do my business justice anymore, in my opinion.

I’m going to assume you’ve done your homework.  I shouldn’t have to tell you what KDP stands for, or that Smashwords offers e-books in multiple formats.  If you are not fmiliar with the terms mobi or e-pub, then get to work.  Google and Bing are your friends.  There is simply not enough space for me to give you a step-by-step explanation of all the ends and outs of being an indie author. Read please.  That said I will give you some advice.

The very first step is to decide if you want to be an indie author.  This isn’t an open and shut question  Some writers truly don’t want to wear all of the hats of an indie author.  They want a publisher to handle cover design, and hiring editors, copyeditors and proofreaders.  They don’t want to have to think  about distribution.  Most important, they want an advance and the cachet of saying, “My publisher thinks. “Or “My editor says…”  So truly consider if you want to be an indie author.

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Okay, Lynn sets out quite a tableaux for you to consider.  If it’s something you want, please don’t back off.  I pray about things I want and usually find my way to these things.  Please don’t forget to come back for the second part that delineates more of the  how-to bit.

Until next time, don’t forget to hug yourself and others, along with my cyberhugs.