Mar
6
2014

Confessions of a Self-Published Author

A Guest Post by Amanda McCarter

I’m going to let you in on a little secret.

I love self-publishing. Let me explain.

It’s not just about the money potential or the freedom, but those are a big part of it. I enjoy the whole process. Writing, cover creation, formatting, uploading. All of it. Well, maybe not editing. That’s a bit like pulling teeth for me. But I’m getting better about it.

And that’s part of the fun. Getting better.

I wasn’t good at covers when I started. I dreaded doing it. Because they always came out awful. So I took a class on cover design. My skill improved dramatically once I understood what I was doing wrong and how to fix it.  And I learned how to format pdfs from my published ebooks into paperback books. Next I’m going to learn how to write better pitches and blurbs to better market my stories.

But why do I do all this? Don’t these things take time away from my writing?

Yes, yes they do and I’m trying to balance it all. But in addition to being very fun and fueling my creativity, it does something very, very important. It puts me in control of my business. That’s exactly what this wild, wonderful process is. The writing, the cover art, the formatting, all of it. It’s my business. It’s part of my job as a publisher.

Will I eventually hire someone else to do all these things for me? Maybe. I’ve hired out work before and I will most likely do so again. Particularly with editing and any covers where I want original artwork. And, of course, if my writing demands more of my time and I can’t do the other things anymore, I will hire someone. If I can’t produce new work, I can’t do all the other fun things. But I need to understand what’s good and what isn’t. I need to know if someone is doing subpar work or work above the board. The only way I know to do this is to learn it myself and study my business. This can potentially save me thousands of dollars, protect my business, and increase my income as time goes on and my writing and publishing improve.

I understand that these things aren’t appealing to everyone. Some people want to focus exclusively on their writing and farm out the publishing work to someone else. Great! That’s their business, literally, and what works for me isn’t going to work for everyone. I like being involved throughout the whole process. Sure, it’s frustrating and I’ve done my share of swearing at the computer. But the end result almost always makes it worth it.

What do you like about being your own publisher?

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Amanda grew up reading the works of Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Frank Herbert and dozens of other fantasy and science fiction writers. As time went on, it occurred to her to write her own fantastic stories of faraway places and distant lands.

Encouraged by her mother and her family to write, a one time hobby became an obsession and a passion. An obsession she hopes to one day make full time.

Currently, Amanda lives in Tulsa, OK with her boyfriend, a snake, two cats, and two dogs. When not dreaming of faraway places and distant lands, she spends her time knitting, reading, and playing video games.

 

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