I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Oh you wrote a book? How fun!” since October. And yes, writing Beasts and Savages was fun. I was a naive writer playing around with characters in a world I built. Don’t get me wrong, writing is still fun, but there’s little pockets of work infused with the fun now. There’s also something else that wasn’t there before: A deep sense of passion and commitment to a way of life.
Don’t think that being a writer is a way of life? Ask an author, they’ll confirm that it is.
As an indie author, I live, sleep, and dream about writing and books. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing, if I’m not thinking about writing, I’m reading. If I’m not doing any of those things, it’s because I’m researching book marketing, formatting, social networking,etc.
In a way I didn’t understand, my life changed when I hit that publish button in October. At first, the ride of putting myself out there in a world I knew nothing about was exciting and scary. Once things calmed down a bit (around December), I’d learned enough to know that I didn’t know anything.
I looked back at October Emma and thought, “Emma! What were you thinking?! Your book wasn’t ready to go to print. Just look what you’ve done! No one’s ever going to take you seriously at this rate. Now you have to go back and fix those mistakes, and search for more. This is going to take a month, or two, maybe three. And you’re supposed to be writing the sequel, young lady. Next time you’re getting an editor, I don’t care how many papers you have to proof.” … and for January and February, that’s what I did: went back and fixed mistakes.
While I was editing and re-editing, in the back of my mind was a little voice saying, “You missed out on so many marketing opportunities because you had no idea what you were doing. In a way, that’s good. Very few people saw your terrible first edition. But now you’re six months out, you don’t have a sequel yet, and no one knows who you are. No one. Stop editing for the seventh time and get writing. And find an editor!” So, I did. Writing the second book took much less time than the first, but waiting on editing is taking just as long.
After March Emma finished her second novel, I decided to stop writing for a bit and put on my marketing hat. I had a book expo at the end of April, after all. The expo will be rainbows and sunshine and hundreds of people will line up to meet the authors there. Since I haven’t become a bestseller online yet, maybe I can at least become a little know in my state. Um, no. If you haven’t read my blog posts about attending a book expo, read them here.
When I got back home and settled from the expo, I decided it was time to take a new approach. I’d gotten back Savage Revolution from my critique partner and was excited to make the changes. I still haven’t gotten my book back from the editor, but I’ve decided that I’ll go ahead and ask my formatter to make me a copy for beta readers.
The next thing on my list was to pick my last three KDP free days before my contract with Amazon is up in June, line up the marketing, and make sure my second book is ready to publish by the KDP days. And then, line up a marketing budget and sign up for promotions. I’m still working on this, but at least I have a plan this time.
In addition to my marketing plan and book release, I want to get Savage City out so there’s less of a turn around this time. So I’ve given myself a 3,000 a day word goal until the book is finished. That’s about three hours a day. If all goes as planned, it should be out late June, early July.
What do all my ramblings have to do with anything? Why did I share this with you? Because I started this blog to document the ups and downs of a beginner indie author. Most of my followers are new or aspiring authors.
I love writing and I aspire to be only a full time author one day. Until then, I’ll keep working hard to make doing what I love my only full time job. After all, no one’s going to write the last three books in The Beastly Series for me, and I have three other series and two stand alones waiting to be written.
P.S. Have you signed up to win one of 10 signed paperbacks through Goodreads? You have until May 31. Go Go Go!