Common Sense Dictates

Common sense dictates that before one starts a project, you should accumulate all the information on how to go about it in the most productive way possible, so that you can succeed. As I pondered becoming an author I read about the process. I delved into traditional publishing, took a course on how to get my work out there, checked into how to do the best query letters, how to promote, how to find the best editing, and even took classes on grammar to brush up. But the thing that caught my eye was the new trend towards Indie Publishing.

I’m old fashioned, I thought the only good book was one that went through the traditional publishing route. I recognized though, the Indie route might help teach me more about writing and the process. I could dip my toe into the pool and test the water. So against all of my ‘common sense’, I decided to try Indie first.

The amount of information I had to absorb tested my aging brain to the max. I also learned to cuss like a sailor! I wore out a PC and a faithful laptop that I still mourn. But in the end, Windswept Hearts was born and I had the education of a lifetime.

I learned the limits to my computer skills and finally realized that, as in any business, I would have to invest before I made money. I decided that independence was over rated and I needed help. I had made a nice circle of supportive, talented friends in the various author sites I frequented. I turned to them and hired for mere pennies, massive talent. It’s been one of the best investments I’ve ever made. 

I started with Rick Carufel, to set up my manuscript for acceptance by Smashwords and Createspace. He was easy to work with and did a professional, awesome job in a timely manner. Within two weeks I had my book out in print and into a very expansive market.

I struggled with an author webpage, which every article I read suggested I have. I finally settled with Weebly.com. It seemed to be the most user friendly. Yet I struggled and grew frustrated. Again I researched the skills of my friends and when Lisa Logue offered to set up websites, I jumped at her offer. 

I can’t describe my joy every time I log into my new website. Her talents know no bounds. How she knew exactly what I liked and needed I have no idea. Now, I’m complete as an author!  

Will all of this increase my book sales? Yes, I’ve noticed an uptick in sales. Nothing major, but I’m just beginning. Of course, the entire goal of this project was simply to learn how it works and be able to do what I love to do, write. The Indie experiment has been a great success and I think has prepared me now to attempt the traditional publishing route. Why? Because I’m confident, more educated and  understand more about the competitive world of publishing. 

I wouldn’t have ever gotten here without those authors and entrepreneurs who gave me a hand up freely. To all of you, my most grateful thanks.

Orangeberry Summer Splash Blog Tour

Two weeks ago I went on a cyber journey into the world of blog tours. I learned how comment, reply, re-tweet, re-blog, advertise and post. I was excited when my ‘starter kit’ arrived and it was much easier than I thought it would be.  There was a question/answer form, a fun article prompt, biography and list of all my author pages, website, FaceBook and Twitter links.

I watched and waited, nervous. Then a whirlwind week of hours on the computer!  The following bloggers hosted Windswept Hearts and did an awesome job – http://myseryniti.wordpress.com/   –  https://twitter.com/pandorapoikilos  –  http://wefancybooks.blogspot.com/

http://bunnysreview.com/  –  http://www.ravinaandreakurian.com/   My thanks for their kindness and professionalism.

I found that it gave me much needed exposure, more confidence, and traffic on my book. I met new authors and found some really neat books to read this winter. I will definitely be doing this again.

If you have ever thought about doing a virtual book tour, may I suggest Orangeberry? They have many different promotional packages as well as blog tours. Their next virtual book tour will be Orangeberry Big Bang, running from Jan 2nd to the 31. Sign up deadline is Dec 3rd, 2012. Check it out!  http://www.orangeberrybooktours.com/

My thanks to Pandora Poikilos for all her work in organizing and tweeting!