As a seasoned Indie author, I get asked a slew of questions in regards to how to publish on various platforms, craft, style, and so on. I’ve decided to compile a page to point you lovelies in the right direction. It’s tough and mind-boggling when you have a story you want to get out there but you don’t know where to start. I get it. I felt it. I lived it. I breathed it. I also set out on a journey to learn everything I could about the process. Now, I’m going to point you down that same path, but with blinders on. I didn’t have blinders. Some of the information I stumbled upon was bogus.
So, you’ve got a story you think rocks. You’ve passed a few copies to people willing to read and give you helpful feedback. You’ve had it professionally edited. You’re totally ready to hit publish on that puppy. How? What next? Where do you start? Google brings up LOADS of sites and how-to’s, but the sight of them all leaves your head swimming.
Have no fear. You’re in the right place!
Here are a few places to start. There’s a wealth of information at each of these:
There are classes offered here, books on writing and marketing, podcasts, and pretty much everything you could think of. Also, at the time of this posting Successful Self-Publishing is free in ebook form. If you’re looking for a breakdown in plain terms, this is the book for you.
Fiction Author Coach
Ran by my friend, Heather Hildenbrand, this is one kickass site. If you feel the need to hire a coach to walk you through things, Heather is knowledgeable and super nice.
Here are a few things I love. They’ve helped me create my own stories.
The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression
This is by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi. I use it so frequently. It’s a fantastic resource to have at your desk. In fact, you should check all of their writer novels out. They’ve crafted a truly fantastic series.
On Writing: 10th Anniversary Edition: A Memoir of the Craft
Steven King. Need I say more?
This is by the talented Elizabeth Gilbert. So inspiring. This is a must-read!
Here are some of my tips:
- Plot your books out. This will not only save you time, but it will also create a more well-rounded story. If you’re looking for a book to learn how to plot, this is my FAVORITE one: Take Off Your Pants! by Libbie Hawker
- Use the Pomodoro technique when writing. I set a timer on my iPhone for 25 minutes and dictate my plotted story. This keeps me focused and it’s fun to see how many words you can get to in 25 minutes. After your timer goes off give yourself 5 minutes to stretch or unfocus your mind. Then start again.
- Track your writing sessions. I create a spreadsheet with the day of the week and date, target goal, start time, end time, words for that session, and then a running tally of words for that day. If you want to see what I’m talking about pop over to my Instagram and look through my images until you find one.
- Shut down your work each day as though it were an out of home office you were leaving from. For me, I shut down my business at 5 in the evening. I don’t check my FB or any social media. I don’t check emails. I log off for the night. I know this job is on ALL THE TIME because it’s internet based, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. This business will run just fine without out trying to keep a firm grip on your social media or repeatedly checking your email. Others shut down their salons or bookstores (whatever it may be) at 5 or so in the evening and they survive. You will too. I’m always saying that we as a society are too often addicted to being distracted from our daily lives. Social media is the addiction. Also, give yourself one (even better two!) days off of social media and email per week. Unplug. Relax. It will all be there when you get back. Not only do I shut down my office at 5pm every evening, I also take 1-2 solid days off per week, AND we go on a week-long vacation every summer where I completely unplug from everything for the entire time. I don’t even bring my kindle…only paperbacks!
- Dictate your stories. Not only does this save your hands/fingers/wrists but it also saves you time. You can talk faster than you can type. I went from 2k words per day to 5k. I could do more, but I know myself enough to know that 5k is my sweet spot. It makes me feel good and my brain doesn’t feel squishy and stressed. Find your sweet spot, but try out dictation to get there. You might enjoy it.
I hope you’ve found this page helpful!
Best of luck in all you do! 😉