View Full Version : Square One: My Self-Publishing Diary

10-21-2013, 10:44 AM
Hi! I'm pretty new here, but ever since I discovered this forum, it's been one of my favorites. I just love reading about everyone's success. I've always had a soft spot for independent production and art, and seeing writer's going for their dream come hell or high water inspires me like nothing else. You folks are the reason I decided to do this in the first place!

So, as you may have gathered from the title, I am an utter noob when it comes to all things publishing. I have lots of experience writing, but no official training, and I'm trying to work on my skills before I start working on my manuscript. Yup, you read that right: I haven't finished my novel yet. Haven't even started, though I don't feel bad about it just yet, since it's my NaNo project. But in the meantime, I've been doing intense research on how to navigate the publishing and promotion process. I have hundreds of pages bookmarked, and I am clumsily trying to build a social media presence before I start trying to market anything. I wouldn't say it's been a rousing success so far, but I'm trying.

In the meantime, I thought I'd start this journal thread anyway, so I can document how things are going. I hope that it's allowed, even though I don't have a finished manuscript yet. I'll only be talking about my self-publishing concerns, of course. My writing woes will go elsewhere - to a bar, most likely.

Anyway, here's my to-do list!

Finish reading my genre research list (YA scifi - good LORD, there's a lot it)
Finish prep for NaNo
Regularly update blog (!!!)
Start using twitter, look into getting a facebook page and a website
Become more active on GoodReads
Locate affordable editing/proofreading/cover services
Failing that, locate money (has anyone had any luck with PubSlush (http://pubslush.com/)?)
At some point, write novel

I probably sound like I'm getting ahead of myself - and I probably am. I just want to be as prepared as possible for getting readers. I love my story, and I want other people to love it too. We'll see how successful my efforts turn out to be. :)

10-21-2013, 02:05 PM

I don't think you are getting ahead of yourself, in fact I think you are doing things in a good order. Whether one chooses to self-publish or pursue a trade publisher, or both--there is a lot to learn. I think you are right to start now.

You might also want to consider starting a savings for your project professional editing is a bit pricey, but so worth it. And the same with covers.

I look forward to hearing about more of your adventures.

10-21-2013, 03:58 PM
Yeah, don't forget that last one, lol -- though you can get away with a novella, too.

Welcome to the forum!

M. H. Lee
10-21-2013, 07:45 PM
Welcome to the forum and good luck with your writing journey!

Just want to strongly encourage you to prioritize writing that novel. Look around on enough blogs and forums and you'll see that some people took years to write their first novel or had to write five to six novels before they wrote one that belonged anywhere other than a bonfire.

Until you actually sit down and start writing that novel you have no feel for how easy or hard it's going to be for you. And some of the things on your list (like locating editing services) are going to be irrelevant until you have something finished.

The more time you're spending on a blog, twitter, and FB, the less time you'll have for what should be driving all of those--your writing.

Good luck. Just, ya know, don't let preparing to write keep you from actually writing.

10-21-2013, 08:17 PM
Hi Witty!

Seconding Lee's advice, get your head down over November and try to get the first draft down. That, in itself, is a major achievement.

Best of luck in your adventures.

10-21-2013, 11:23 PM
Looking forward to following your journey. I third M. H. Lee's wise counsel.

10-22-2013, 05:32 AM
Another person agreeing with M. H. Lee. It's cool that you're interested in researching self publishing, but setting foot on the trail and taking the journey of writing something from start to finish really needs to be your first priority. I notice you wrote that you have lots of experience writing, so we may be off base in our reaction. But writing a book is no small feat, and you'll need to have written one before you can really take other steps.

Anyway, I do wish you the best of luck and I look forward to hearing about your (hopefully many) adventures. :D I, too, am doing NaNoWriMo this November. (I'll be writing my second novel.) May it be a great experience for us both! :)

Old Hack
10-22-2013, 01:58 PM
It does seem premature to start a self publishing diary thread before you've even started to write a book.

I'm not convinced this is a good idea.

10-22-2013, 08:40 PM
Thanks, all. :) The placement of writing at the end of my list was mostly for humor's sake -- it is, of course, what I'm most focused on. I just wanted to get a headstart on those other things, too. I tend to over-research when I'm excited about something.

And if this thread is inappropriate at this point, I can just leave it unupdated until the manuscript is finished. I wasn't going to post in it *terribly* often yet. Just when I had a question, or something to report regarding publishing. Wasn't trying to break any rules!

10-23-2013, 01:03 AM
Square one of self-publishing is surely when you start preparing a complete manuscript for publishing ?

Norman D Gutter
10-23-2013, 04:10 AM
Good luck with your writing, w.b. I hope you are able to quickly get some works finished and published.