Monday, March 14, 2016

Taking Stock

Musings of an Indie Author

While I’m waiting for my Beta readers to react to Jamie’s Children, I’m attempting to not even look at the manuscript … something I have a great of difficulty doing. I like to re-read and tinker, and re-re-read and tinker more, or un-tinker what I tinkered with the first/second/third time. You get the idea.

I started this journey just under three years ago, on May 6, 2013. And yes, I do remember the exact date … I had met my friend Judy for lunch after an ENT appointment (that’s “ear, nose, and throat” specialist for the uninitiated) and she suggested I write a book.

And here I am just shy of three years later with book number five on its way to completion. What have I learned in this time?

The writing part is great. Turning on the creative juices was life-changing. With each book I’ve made every effort to improve my craft. I will continue to do this as long as I am able. It’s exciting, maddening, sleeplessness-inducing, frustrating, and fulfilling beyond belief. It makes me happy.

It’s what comes after that’s not so much fun. How to let people know you’ve written those books. I have a Facebook author page, a Twitter account, this blog “Words and Music.” I have an Amazon author page and I joined a website, Self-Publisher’s Showcase, which just named me “Author of the Month” for March 2016. I have my own author’s page on that website as well, and it is operated by supportive and encouraging folks. Belonging to it is a plus for my SEO (I had no idea what that was until a couple of years ago). In fact, all of these things increase my visibility on the web.

Do they sell books? Maybe. It’s hard to quantify. I’ve sold some. I’d like to sell more, but I don’t kid myself that I’ll ever become a NY Times bestselling author. Maybe if I posted on Instagram and ... no, I don’t think I could handle one more of these things. I still don’t “get” Twitter, but I have a nice number of followers.

As a self-published or “indie” author, I’m one of most likely hundreds of thousands who love to write ─ and use various ways to get our work out there. I like CreateSpace and have had good experiences with them for the most part. I get a huge thrill out of holding a printed book in my hands.

There are some folks who seem to enjoy my books. For those people, and maybe most of all for me, I’m eager to start on the next project. Oh, and keep an eye out for Jamie’s Children. I think it’s my best effort to date!