So I love INDIE!
I love indie movies, indie songs…and my recent love? Indie books!
Normally I make it a point not to get too deep or informative on my blog, BUT this is an emergency, people. I have friends—and friends of friends—who just found out that I indie-published my first book. And now they want to know how to do it themselves. But the thing is I had A LOT of help from…friends. So how should I know?
Now with that preamble, let me introduce my friends and contributors who (because of my quandary) have donated their time to give us invaluable information on going indie.
And yes, I came upon many of these contributors by stalking. Pure and simple. In some way, these authors, bloggers, editors, graphic designers, marketers, business owners, and all-around good guys and gals have that certain je ne sais quoi. In other words, they caught my eye in some way in the indie market and my inner journalist HAD to ask them how they did it!
So, here they are…in alphabetical order:
Jewel Adams (www.jeweladams.com)
J. Adams is the author of inspirational interracial romance, romantic fantasy and middle-grade readers, as well as a motivational speaker. Her novels are clean, emotion-driven and passionate, and each carries a message of hope, celebrating the worth of women and the human spirit.
She is the author of New, That Kind of Love, Sweet 21 Birthday Ball, For Love of Angel, Say What you Need to Say and more!
Ian Anthony (http://igmanthony.com/)
‘Ello Ladies and Gents! Anthony’s the name, Ian Anthony. The University of Utah’s a right good institution. I go for me learning in chemistry and philosophy. Ruddy brilliant is what epic fantasy is, and I’ve been writin’ me fair share o’ it, by and by. Me blog’s all about ‘ow you can publish your own book fer free! I.E: My name’s Ian Anthony. I’m a Senior at the University of Utah majoring in Chemistry and Philosophy. I’ve recently started writing an epic fantasy book and have since become enamored with the whole process of self-publishing. I’m blogging how to do it for free. *Steph’s note: He is writing the Terra Ignis series and blogging about how to publish your own book CHEAP…well, free (but can you? He claims yes); he’s gathering all of the best deals and tutorials on his site that every Indie needs.
Cindy Bennett (cindybennett.blogspot.com)
Me. I write YA fiction, mostly contemporary with the occasional dip into paranormal. I’ve spent the last few years learning the in’s-and-out’s of self-publishing and self-marketing. I live in Salt Lake City, happily married and mom to four amazing kids and two great daughters-in-law.
*She is the author of romances and paranormal romances: Geek Girl, Heart on a Chain, Immortal Mine, Reluctance, Enchanted Fairytales. *Steph’s note; I’ve ALWAYS wanted to read Geek Girl—I’d better get on it).
Christine Byrant (christinebryant.blogspot.com)
I’ve always been a writer. Even before I could compose a single word with pen, I scribbled my version of cursive along the open page just to see what it looked like. After helping run the family restaurant for most of our marriage, I’ve finally broken away to pursue my dream of being an author. In addition to graduating from The Institute of Children’s Literature, I attend writer’s conferences and workshops on a regular basis. I’m a member of Idaho League of Writers and the Executive Director of Authors Incognito, a national writers group that includes over 300 aspiring authors. *Christine is the author of the Crystor Series: Bound and Broken.
Stacy J. Coles (http://www.saythiswrite.com)
Stacey is an editor, writer, graphic designer, She lives in Fruit Heights, Utah with her husband and three awesome kids. She is the author of, Enjoy Today Before It Slips Away.*Steph’s note: I’ve looked at her site and IT IS an Indie author’s dream!
Maria Hoagland (mariahoagland.blogspot.com)
Maria’s previous publications include newspaper articles, poems, short stories, and blog posts, but her literary love is novel writing. She is a long distance runner, wife and mother, and serial room re-decorator. Nourish & Strengthen is her debut novel. *Steph’s note—after looking at her blog, I’m totally pestering her in the future so I can research diabetes for one of my characters. She is a treasure trove of information!
Cindy Hogan (cindymhogan.blogspot.com)
Cindy Hogan graduated in secondary education and enjoys spending time with unpredictable teenagers. More than anything, she loves the time she has with her own teenage daughters and wishes she could freeze them at this fun age. If she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her snuggled up with the love of her life watching a fun movie or planning their next party. She is the author of Watched and Protected.
Heather Horrocks (www.booksbyheatherhorrocks.com)
Heather writes PG-rated mysteries and romantic comedies, along with inspirational books. She is a kindle bestselling author of mysteries, romances, inspirational and more: Bah, Humbug, Pride and Precipitation, Snowed Inn, Women and Men who knew the Mortal Messiah, the Bad Mothers Club, Old Maid of Honor, Regally Blond and so much more. *Steph’s note: I stalked her yesterday on facebook because she pretty much has the best titles and covers out there.
Heather Justesen (www.heatherjustesen.com)
Heather Justesen has been writing for twelve years and has written romance, mysteries, non-fiction and dabbles in other genres. She’s thrilled to be making regular money every month now she’s switched to self-publishing. She is the author of Family by Design, Rebound, Blank Slate, The Ball’s in Her Court (and my personal favorite) POD like a PRO *Steph’s note: This girl was a lifesaver when it came to formatting my paperback and ebooks, just saying!
Andrea Pearson (http://www.andreapearsonbooks.blogspot.com http://www.kilenyaseries.com)
Andrea Pearson is a Utah native who left her publisher in March of 2011 when she realized she could do things better on her own. She frequently presents at writer’s conferences on the topic of Indie publishing, and is an editor for Gather.com’s official writing group. She has seven eBooks available. She is the author of the Kilenya series and the first two books of the Katon University Series.
Jolene Perry (jolenesbeenwriting.blogspot.com)
I wear juvenile t-shirts, worn out chucks, and am obsessed with writing. Putting a story together appeals to the used-to-be math teacher side of me as well as the girl who wished she could draw. I’m still sort of stunned that I finished one book, much less published several. Being an author is a very happy place to be. *Steph’s note: She is the author of YA romances Spill over, My heart for yours, Knee Deep, and Night Sky (and yes, I LOVE her covers as well)
BJ Rowley (www.bjrowley.com)
In the mid-90s, I decided to try my hand at writing, having been an avid reader for most of my life. Publishing under the name of BJ Rowley, I currently have seven books published … five of them action-adventure novels written mainly for Youth and Young Adults (and the Young at Heart), a non-fiction book written for Young Women, and a general-audience Christmas/Inspirational novel. I’m also a co-author of two “how-to” books published by LDStorymakers on how to write and get published in the LDS market. I hope to see one or two of my books converted into a movie sometime in the future. (more on that as soon as I know.) I do my writing in the evenings and during whatever other spare time I can arrange. When I’m at home, I like to play the piano and spend time with my family. BJ is the author of My Body Fell Off, Silver Hawks Revenge, Missing Children, Sting, Sixteen in No Time, Mysterious Ways, What Makes Guys Tick, Publishing Secrets, Writing Secrets. *Steph’s note: this man wears a million hats. He started this revolution.
Cheri Schmidt (www.cherischmidt.net)
She always had an interest in paranormal creatures. When stories of these beings continued to entertain her thoughts, to the point of almost haunting her, she decided it was time to start writing them down. FATEFUL is her first finished work, though other stories had come to her before that. She has seven other books in the plans, including: some on vampires, some on fairies, and all of them with a romantic twist. She is the author of fantasy romance: Fateful, Fractured, Forever and more.
Regina Sirois (www.reginasirois.com)
Regina Sirois is a mother who loves (sometimes hates) to write. She says nothing is better than finding the right word and nothing is worse than having the right word grease up and slip out of your hands repeatedly. She self-published her first novel, On Little Wings, because she felt strongly that YA literature was skimpy when it came to clean books about family and forgiveness and first love. Six months later On Little Wings was awarded the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012 and will be published through Penguin/Viking in 2013. She spends most of her spare time just thinking. *Steph’s note: her first book is my new favorite book as earlier blogs and tweets will attest.
I’m a starving artist who loves to be a starving artist!
I am the author of romantic comedies: Rules of Engagement, Meet Your Match, Prank Wars, and I’m the soon-to-be Indie published author of The Twisted Tales Series (a paranormal romance about twisted faery tales with faeries).
*Steph’s note—I could’ve put a Steph’s note on all of these contributors, but c’mon; I can’t be too predictable. Just know that they are ALL amazing.
Now, are you ready for the questions that my good contributors will be answering for the rest of this How-to-Indie-Publish guide?
Day One (Friday) And no, after midnight on Thursday does NOT count as Friday–this will come up Friday afternoon tomorrow:
(First round of questions, and…go!)
*What inspired you to Go-Indie?
Day Two (Saturday):
(Paperback Writer; creating the ‘look’ for your ‘book’)
*What service did you use to print the paperback version of your book?
*What did you do for your cover? Did you use a service? A friend? Software?
*Who did you use as your editor? Where do you find a good editor?
*Formatting your paperback. Did you do it yourself? How? Any helpful sites you looked at?
*Did you find someone else to help you? Who? How much did it cost? Helpful sites?
Day Three (Sunday):
(ISBN, LCCN, COPYRIGHT. Oh my! Three things you need for your book)
*What is an ISBN, LCCN, and a copyright?
*How did you get your ISBN, LCCN, and copyright? How much did they cost? How long did it take to get after ordering it?
*Is there anything we should know about an ISBN, LCCN, or Copyright?
*Why would you buy your own ISBN instead of getting a free one from Createspace? Pros? Cons?
*What about a copyright? Did you think it was important to buy one or not?
Day Four (Monday):
(Distribution, marketing, costs, prices, money…Hey, wait, we get money?)
*What did you do for distribution?
*What did you do for basic marketing?
*What is the lowest possible price you can self-publish a book for? The highest? How do you keep costs down?
*What do you expect after you’ve downloaded your book on Createspace/ or any other service? How long does it take to get your proof?
*Royalties and the like…
Day Five (Tuesday):
(Let’s talk Boring…I mean Business)
*Did you use the service you self-published through as your publisher or did you make your own publishing company/ name/ imprint?
*What sort of business license did you take out if so. How much did it cost? What did you have to fill out? Where did you find the forms?
*Now that you are selling books, what do you have to do for taxes? What about sale’s tax?
Day Six (Wednesday):
Ebooks, where the real money is at (get your money for nothing and your chicks for free…)
*What sites do you upload your ebook?
* Formatting your ebook: what software do you use? How? Any helpful sites that you looked at? Any books that tell you how to format your ebook?
*Did you use a service to format your ebook? Who or where? How much did it cost?
*How did you make sure that your ebook was formatted correctly on the different sites where you uploaded your book?
*Is it true you need a separate ISBN for your ebook, and where did you get it?
*How much do you price your ebooks and why?
*You’ve uploaded your book, what should you expect now?
Day Seven (Thursday):
(Going Indie. Well? Was it worth it?)
How was your experience with going Indie?
Any advice you’d like to give to us newbies?
And then day eight is the day before my birthday, so I have to be done with this guide on day seven so I can continue as normal. I have NEEDS people!!!
So PLEASE if you are an Indie author and you are not on the list above, feel free to introduce yourself and make comments on all these blogs to help everyone out. And if you’re a soon-to-be Indie author, feel free to ask as many questions as you like.
Of course, I have every intention of turning your questions over to the class so they can answer for me, but still…