When I decided at the beginning of this year to take back up the mantle of becoming a writer, I quickly found that there was more information out in the great wide world than I knew what to do with. I started to break everything up into more manageable pieces – starting with ordering books on self-publishing.
Before I delve too far into the first book review – as promised – let me stop for a moment and explain why I’m tackling self-publishing. Roughly seven years ago, I completed my first story for NaNoWriMo, and with it came a free publishing opportunity (well, I got a free book out of it) with Lulu. This opened my eyes to the possibility of self-publishing, and I quickly dove right in. Now, I dove right in without any real research, without any real plan, and relying heavily on Creatspace to make everything possible. I’ve tried my hand at queries, submissions, etc. But it occurred to me that I was spending more time crafting each and every different query for a different agent, and not focusing on what really mattered: my stories. That is why I decided that this time, I would do self-publishing, and I would do it right. My expectations aren’t high, I just want to share my stories with the world, and not keep them locked up waiting for that “right” person to see them.
Anyway…this site is called “Ramblings” for a reason…my first book that I’ve reviewed, taken notes of, etc. would be M.K. Williams “Self-Publishing for the First-Time Author” (and yes, aware I’m not following Chicago style formatting). Let me just get right down to it:
Pros: The overview covers formatting, platforms (I had no idea how many there were), and offers some realistic insights into the realm of self-publishing, and the potential of success. The BEST part of this book is not the book itself, but the links she provides on her site. I’ve printed and made ready her Book Birth Certificate, Self-Publishing Checklist, and Marketing Plan. These are also very straightforward. There are details I’ll have to delve deeper into, but on the surface, this book is the perfect starting point for fellow would-be writers.
Cons: While she offers quite a bit about a variety of topics, there isn’t as much depth on some elements as I was hoping for. I had never even heard of Smashwords or StreetLibs, and while I can vaguely understand why she uses them, they are part of the list of what I’ll need to do more research on.
So there you have it – my self-publishing journey (this time) so far, to date. Obviously, this is a work in progress. I’m trying to venture into creating some writer related connections through different venues while simultaneously not losing sight of what I started this all for. I won’t lie, that’s been taking a bit to get used to, and it’ll be something I have to continue to adapt to. As I learn, as I adapt, I will happily share all that I know with my fellow would-be writers. Maybe my struggles can help you save time on dead ends, and make the transition to full writer more successful. Here’s hoping.
Until next time –