G is for Good Gravy, What Am I Doing?


Good Gravy, What Am I Doing?

Clockwork Nessie will be back tomorrow. Today, I’m going to deviate and talk about…

Self-publishing. Duhn, duhn, duhnnnnn… (Come back! No! Wait! it’s not that bad! Really!)

Once synonymous for drivel no one else would touch, self-publishing has come a long way since the first few intrepid authors first discovered Createspace, Amazon Direct Publishing, Lulu and Smashwords, to name just a few avenues into the published world.


20 thoughts on “G is for Good Gravy, What Am I Doing?

  1. I’ve learn a lot from you just from this post! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences. I too agree that it is absolutely necessary to get a grammar nazi external party to go through your book.

    • Awesome! Best wishes for your book’s success! My other me has a self-pubbed series coming out beginning in May, too. Hopefully I have enough time to apply lessons learned.

  2. Hi Claire, I like your attitude! I read a post a while back–wish I could recall who wrote it. The author said–talking about self-publishing, and about the Amanda Hockings, JA Konraths and Claude Bouchards, that we can’t all hit home runs. Some of us will have base hits–in fact, most of us will have singles if we’re lucky. Not many writers knock one out of the park. SO, like you, I’m enjoying what I’m doing. If I never have a bestseller, that’s okay. Must be that journey/destination thing, huh? 🙂 Good post!

    • I’ve been doing a lot more scouring for self-publishing blog posts lately. Lot of terrific ones out there. Tracey Garvis-Graves has a fun blog about her self-publishing journey.

  3. If there’s one thing I wish more self-publishers would do, it’s hire a professional editor to look over their books before they submit. I can’t count the number of self-published books I’ve not finished or put down because they needed another edit or two before they’d be ready to go.

    In fact, I think Courtney Milan’s “Unlocked” was the first self-published novella I read that was as high of a quality as a traditionally published story. (And her self-published stuff has continued to be just as excellent as her traditionally published stories. She’s fantastic and I was so happy to see you mention her name!)

    I also think you make another good point: as a self-publisher, you’re responsible for the design, development, and marketing of your book, not just the writing of it. It’s good that those are also things you like doing!

    Good luck with the book, and I can’t wait to read more of your story tomorrow!

    • Amen. It’s really tempting to shrug and say, “eh, so I make a typo or two or three; everybody else does, even the indies.” I’d say know your audience. If you’re writing slash or fan fiction, you probably have a very forgiving readership and therefore the expense may be unnecessary. Ditto with titillating pulp fiction. But for a work you want to have any sort of shelf life, it’s not something you can or should talk yourself out of.

      Courtney is so smart! I attended her workshop at last year’s RWA convention and that really planted the self-publishing seed for me. That, and sitting and chatting with Sara Fawkes. I hadn’t even heard of either of their books at the time. I sure have now and have read both authors.

    • It certainly can be exhausting. But it does add a little diversity to my to do list and I’m kinda all over the diversity angle of the business (hence my three pen names).

  4. Glad I found your blog during the A to Z Challenge! It sounds like you have a realistic view of self publishing. I think as writers we have so many opportunities these days, and one option does not fit all for every writer or even every project.

    I’m going the traditional route, but in the back of my mind I’m interested in maybe doing something on the side, maybe releasing something in a different genre under a pen name–who knows! I could do that myself if I wanted. I think we’ll see more flexibility as time moves on, but as you hinted at, quality matters. Paying for editing is smart and necessary if you want anyone to read your book. Too many well meaning writers are too quick to self pub without taking the time to make a quality product.

    • Thanks! I really do try to stay grounded if only to keep the good outcomes as much of a happy surprise as possible. It’s far too easy to let my writer’s imagination cast me in a sensationalized version of what that reality will be. 🙂

  5. Hi Claire,

    Thanks for your self-publishing notes here! I’m putting together a new article about how the modern writer is changing before our eyes (over at Repossible) and would love to come back to you for some more insight into your self-publishing experience. I’m currently interviewing a publisher who helps writers with self-publishing, too.

    I especially enjoyed your bullet points above about why you’re choosing to do this. Mainly, as I see it, for the editorial and marketing control.

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