Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Liberation in Self-Publishing

I know a lot of my friends and family who love writing have followed my publishing journey off and on over the past six years. I know that many want to get published, but may still shy away from self-publishing. I also know that many pitied me when I left my publisher and decided to go on my own.

To those of you who feel or have felt this way, I want to say the following: self-publishing has been one of the most liberating things I've ever done. My stance on it hasn't changed once in the three years I've been self-published. People say, "But you only experienced ONE publisher. You don't know how they really are."

I don't need to experience something firsthand multiple times to learn: I learn from the experiences of those around me. Nearly every single author friend I have who is traditionally published is either now self-publishing, or is trying everything in their power to get out of contracts with traditional publishers. My mom and I walked through Deseret Book a couple weeks ago, and at least three quarters of the books on the shelves there were written by authors who are now self-publishing. (And are members of my Indie Author Hub group. :-))

Displeasure with publishers isn't limited to authors with local, small companies. I have friends with the Big Five NY Publishers whose series were dropped before they were completed or who are getting absolutely no help with marketing, promoting, and even good editing. With self-publishing, your series ends when YOU want it to. You're in charge of every aspect and can take the necessary steps to ensure your success without worrying about stepping on toes or ending up in breach of contract.

People who successfully and correctly self-publish earn more than those who traditionally publish. Most of my traditionally published author friends make only a few thousand a year, if that. Compare that to many of my self-published friends who make six figures. (And I'm pretty well entrenched in the publishing scene - my friends are from both worlds.)

If you're still wondering if YOU could succeed as a self-publisher, I'm here to tell you that you can. There is nothing holding you back when you go this way, other than your own fears!

You haven't lost your chance. Now that the stigma is fading (thank goodness), it's time. And yes, YOU can be successful at it, so long as you make sure to do it correctly from the get-go.

How do you do it correctly?

Well, first, you write a book. Then self-edit it. Then edit it even more. Then hire an editor, proofreaders, etc. Educate yourself. Learn grammar. Learn how to write fiction (or non-fiction). Join a writers group. Do this while self-publishing. It's a process

Hire a cover designer. There are some really fantastic ones out there who don't charge an arm and a leg.

Then format the dang thing into an eBook and upload it to Kindle. (This is the easiest part, trust me.)

If you're serious about writing, being read, and making money while doing it, then the monetary investments are incredibly necessary and will be worth it. Especially when you read those first few positive reviews. :-)

Many of you have read my first book and know that, well, it's a first book. It's been edited multiple times by different professional editors, but it still has a problems with pacing in a couple of places. Your first book won't be utterly breath-taking either, and that's totally fine. You have to start somewhere in order to go up. Those of you who have read my series know how drastically I've improved. The first book was good, but the last several are truly excellent. I put a lot of hard work into that series.

And if I hadn't ever gone out on a limb and published The Key of Kilenya on my own, I wouldn't have learned nearly as quickly as I have. And I wouldn't have made money while doing so. I wouldn't have published six 80,000 word books in two and a half years. Traditional publishers don't have the resources to put out that many books by the same author in that little time. They're forced to hold their authors back. And believe me - the more you write, the faster and better you get. You'll be chomping at the bits, waiting for your publisher to catch up.

Please email me if you're interested in learning how to self-publish. I'll give you links to all the good places to go to educate yourself and prepare yourself.

This June (Saturday the 7th), my writer's group (Indie Author Hub) is hosting a fantastic writers conference. It'll be in the Provo Marriot and will be all day. The keynote speaker is a NYT Bestselling Indie author named Amy Harmon. The classes will be professional and upbeat and very helpful. If at all possible, please come. (People are flying in from all over the country to attend.) Click here if you want more information.

I WANT to see you succeed! I want to help you down this path! I want you to enjoy the liberation and freedom that comes with taking your writing destiny in your own hands.


  1. Wish I'd known about the conference before my Saturday filled up. It sounds amazing! How do I find out about the next one? I'm still working on the edit, edit, and edit some more balanced with writing on a regular basis, but I'll definitely send you an S.O.S when I'm ready for the publication stage. ;)

    1. Your Saturdays way out in June are already full? Wow! I'm impressed - that's great scheduling. Or just very, very busy.

      And I really need to post a short tutorial on how to self-publish... every aspect.

    2. Unfortunately the very busy is more true. Baby (due a week before) and a move (sometime shortly thereafter) are coming my way.

      A tutorial would be great!

  2. I would love to get those links for self publishing and maybe to join your indie writers group. My books aren't the norm, They are non fiction history type books. The series is called "At The Station" and the first book is "Death At The Station" Ogden's Historical Union Station. History like you've never read before. It isn't quite ready for publishing yet, hopefully in the next six months but the web site is up and my blog is hopefully creating a buzz. Any help you can offer is immensely appreciated. and

    Thank you so much for your help

    1. First, the links. The biggest place to go is Joe Konrath's blog, and really, that's one of the only links I give out (until people have taken the time to read it). He really *teaches* how to be a successful self-published author. I've spent hours and hours reading his blog, going through the archives, and learning his method, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is serious about self-publishing. He can be pretty blunt. :-) But he's very intelligent.

      Next, my Indie Author Hub group. It's the best group of writers I've ever been a part of. We charge a yearly due of $20, but it's totally worth it. The members of the group are very, very serious (and many are very, very successful :-)). We help each other promote, we do a newsletter to readers, we help each other figure out how to self-publish well, we help each other with descriptions, manuscript edits, and everything else under the sun when it comes to self-publishing. We're a very tight-knit family and always welcome other people. :-) Learn more about us here:

      And good luck! Keep me posted! You can also read up on how other authors have done it. Karen McQuestion, Joe Konrath, Barry Eisler, Amanda Hocking, etc.