Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ever Thought of Publishing Your Own Book?



There are so many self-publishing companies out there that the task of publishing a book can be quite daunting. However, I see that as nothing but opportunity for aspiring writers to get their voices heard around the world.

There was a time when a writer had to run the gauntlet of seeking out the gatekeepers in order to get published. They'd have to wait weeks for a response, only to face the agonizing pain of defeat when rejected, because seeking out agents and writing queries to editors and book publishers was part of the process, and somehow a writer had to squeeze in time to write, all while holding down a pay-the-bills job. But all that changed when the Internet came into being and people started self-publishing their own E-books online. Soon, editors and agents were struggling for work due to layoffs and the world of publishing as we know it transformed before our very eyes.

I've often been asked, "What made you want to go the non-traditional route?" The answer was simply: Time.

When I resigned from teaching, I made a decision to pursue writing as a career. I was a new mother with a newborn child, and most families understand that when a new family member arrives, caring for that baby is a full-time job. That was my number one priority and I knew that I didn't want to be constrained by deadlines, contracts, get bogged down by mailing queries, or people making decisions for me in regards to my book. That's just not me. Some people can do quite well going the traditional route, but that's not my personality. I wanted to have full control over my own vision and my own work, and most important, I wanted to spend what little time and effort I had to actually: Write. So I thought, "Why not publish articles through magazines and anthologies while I take my time self-publishing my own E-book* stories and books?"

Which is why I chose to go through the Kindle Select Program.

There, I could publish my own short stories as E-books such as:
The Boy's Club, A Shadow to Call Her Own, Vile Visitors, Blog to Jump-Start Your Writing Career; and the story that gave me the inspiration to write my latest novella, Run Mama, RunThe Morning Start Gift.  I have also published unedited works-in-progress which some of my readers enjoy reading before the final edits are made. Currently, I am still working on Heart of the Jaguar's prequel, titled, "Soul Tracker," which takes place in New Mexico 1821, back when Spain went to war with Mexico and still owned those territories of the U.S.



You're probably wondering that with so many self-publishing choices, why do I use the KDP program? I use the Kindle Select Program because it is part of Amazon, which is also in partnership with Createspace, which publishes the paperback books, and ACX, which does audio. It's like having a three-in-one. Nowadays, having more streams for an audience to get access to your writing is important if not crucial to your career's survival, especially when you are competing with thousands of writers publishing those books and E-books.

In addition, Amazon gives you your own personal Author's web page, where you can upload all of your work, link your blog, and social media feeds. Some self-published authors have their own personal websites, and perhaps I may consider getting one in the near future, but at this time I don't see a need to get one when I have everything there on Amazon's Author page.

The Kdp select platform, where I publish the E-books is very

simple to use, and the instructions on how to upload your piece, and in what format you should have it in is all there. The royalties range from 35-70%, so you have all control over pricing, book covers, etc. They even have a cover creator in which you can select a cover for your book. I began using Cover Creator, but as I started getting more serious about my writing, I sought out a professional, which I have to say will pay off if you have set aside a budget for it. Nothing attracts more readers like amazing art work. I'm happy to have finally found one who is reasonably priced and will work very hard at putting your vision on the front cover. If you would like to peruse her website, her name is Linda Boulanger with Tell~Tale Book Cover Designs, you can also find her on Facebook: Tell Tale Books.

A word of caution. Kindle is getting stricter now with the quality of work that is uploaded by allowing readers to flag your work if it is poorly formatted or poorly written. If that is the case, Amazon will remove your work from their site, so if you don't have an editor, and you are serious about making this a career, I highly recommend getting one. There are many out there who will charge you an arm and a leg, so consider looking around and researching them before settling with one. LinkedIn is a good platform to place an ad for editors. Interview them and ask them about their favorite genre. They will more than likely invest more time and effort if they are editing what they enjoy reading. I don't recommend conducting the interview through email. I prefer to call them to get a sense of their personality style and make sure I get a good feel for the other person, before investing good money in partnering with someone. This is a great way to build a team of collaborators who will help you succeed with your published work. It's taken me many years to find a team I am happy with, and I have seen the benefits of it. I'm still working on the marketing component of it, but since I'm not a wealthy writer yet, HA! I'm still doing all that leg work myself. In fact, I'm hosting my very first online Book Release party tomorrow, so if you are interested in attending, private message me or find me on Facebook: Jax Cortez and request an invite. I'd love to have you there.

I hope this clears up some questions, you may have had about book publishing. If you enjoyed reading this piece and would like to know more, please subscribe to my blog to get future updates when a new post goes live. Happy Writing!!!





*E-book- a book or story you can read through an electronic platform like a Kindle or Nook device

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