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HopelessDreamer
01-12-2014, 01:05 AM
After two years of submitting a MS and getting similar responses from agents, like "good, but not for us," I've decided to self-publish. When I first started coming to AW, self-publishing was akin to vanity publishing. It's been liberating and fascinating to watch the market change so rapidly. After a lot of consideration (and, let's be honest, frustration) I've finally decided that, yes, self-publishing is for me. And it feels good.

I will be publishing a YA Fantasy novel. My goal is to have it available by my birthday, April 26th. I've edited it upwards of thirty times, and right now it's in the hands of two friends. One is a graphic designer who's agreed to design my cover. The other has an English degree with a concentration in creative writing, and is incredibly critical. She doesn't pull any punches, which is exactly what I need. I'd also like to fish around AW to see if anyone is willing to beta for me. I know I need a professional editor as well, but I don't want to shell out any money until I've had it beta'd.

I wish I could have my friend professionally edit it, but I've lurked around AW enough to know that I should have someone who's trained as an editor do that.

Anyway, I know I'm starting this self-publishing diary early, but I think that'll be best for me. I want to keep track of my planning from the very beginning. I've looked into marketing a lot, and have an initial plan in place:

- An author twitter account. I'll post occasionally about my novel, but I won't get spammy. I'd rather communicate with followers and post interesting anecdotes and events in my daily life.
- A website. My boyfriend has a lot of experience in this area, and is helping me create a simple but informative page.
- A Goodreads author account. I haven't participated much on Goodreads yet, but from what I've seen, I really like the site. I want to be an active participant and also offer occasional book giveaways.
- A Facebook page. I haven't started creating this yet, as I'm afraid my friends and family will think I'm vain for making an author page before I publish!
- A detailed Amazon author page that links to my website, Twitter, Facebook page, and Goodreads account.
- A book blog tour. I don't mind spending money on this as long as I do my research and make sure I stick with reputable touring companies. Still, I'd like to keep my initial tour under $50.
- KEEP UP WITH MY AW ACCOUNT AND THIS THREAD. I am SUCH a lurker. I am on this site several times a week (at least,) but I hardly even log in anymore. I know this doesn't have much to do with advertising, but I need to be a more active participant. Actually participating on AW really helps my motivation with writing, so I can only imagine it'll do the same with publishing.
-Continue working on the sequel to this MS. This is probably the most important part to me.

I know there isn't a lot I can do as far as advertising before the novel comes out, but I want to do as much as I can now. I want to be prepared to have the best launch I can.

Spell-it-out
01-12-2014, 01:57 AM
Hi Hopeless Dreamer,

Welcome to the world of self-publishing! Tell us a little more about your novel if you can. It's great to see that you've a plan set out already, nice one.

HopelessDreamer
01-12-2014, 02:42 AM
Thanks, Sio! I've actually been following your self-publishing thread for a while now. Your local sales especially are really impressive! As far as my novel is concerned, this is the fourth I've written. I wrote 50,000 words of it in a frenzy for NaNoWriMo 2011, and finished the next 30,000 over the next few months. I edited it several times and tried to publish it traditionally. I've picked it up and put it down so many times. I tried so hard to trunk it, but unlike the other three novels I've written, I've just never been able to file it away. This just feels like the one I should publish.

Literateparakeet
01-12-2014, 03:41 AM
Welcome! Congrats, on your decision, sounds like you are prepared to "do it right". Look forward to hearing more about your journey!

Ann Joyce
01-12-2014, 05:10 AM
Welcome aboard, HopelessDreamer. I wish you a successful journey!

LBlankenship
01-12-2014, 06:01 AM
Welcome and I hope our self-publishing stories help you!

merrihiatt
01-12-2014, 06:04 AM
Welcome! Looking forward to following your journey.

WriterBN
01-12-2014, 08:06 PM
Welcome and best wishes for your debut!

Lady MacBeth
01-13-2014, 03:41 AM
Good luck! :)

HopelessDreamer
01-13-2014, 12:30 PM
Thanks, everybody!

profen4
01-13-2014, 03:38 PM
Welcome to the dark side, Hopeless :). Wishing you all kinds of success, and looking forward to following your journey.

Cheers

Norman D Gutter
01-13-2014, 05:19 PM
H.P.: Welcome to the SP club. I hope it works out well for you.

NDG

Old Hack
01-13-2014, 06:15 PM
Welcome to the dark side, Hopeless :).

Are you referring to self publishing, profen, or to AbsoluteWrite?

Ha!

Sheryl Nantus
01-13-2014, 06:25 PM
You look like you've got all your ducks in a row and are SUPER organized - this looks great!

Wishing you all the best of luck and smooth sailing!!!

profen4
01-13-2014, 06:51 PM
Are you referring to self publishing, profen, or to AbsoluteWrite?

Ha!

Old Hack, I suddenly feel surrounded by darkness :)

grayworld
01-19-2014, 10:51 AM
Good luck to you, HopelessDreamer. You've clearly done your research. And as a longtime lurker, I'm with you on keeping up with AW. I'm bad at it too, but always find myself coming away with more knowledge and motivation after each visit.

Callista Melaney
01-19-2014, 06:40 PM
How exciting! Good luck Hopeless! :)

Have you thought about "cold call" contacting bloggers yourself, essentially for free? I know someone who did a blog tour recently, and all he did was email a bunch of review blogs and author blogs that are relevant to his genre asking if he could guest post, and many of them were happy to accept. It's probably a lot of work, but...it's free!

And Goodreads is awesome for generating pre-release buzz for a YA novel. Something I've seen other authors do is offer ARCs for honest reviews through the site, which are helpful for getting those first few sales once the book is released.

Sorry if I'm repeating anything you already knew. Again, good luck! :)

Mama Llama
03-01-2014, 08:11 PM
I'm reading through each of the self-publishing diaries right now, and I'm excited to see how this plan works out for you. Sounds like you've got a good idea of what you're doing.

I also figured I'd comment as a way to help you keep your non-lurking goal and update us with how things are going so far! :)

cwbrowning
03-01-2014, 08:41 PM
Congratulations on your jump and welcome to the crazy world of self-publishing! Best of luck and keep us posted on your success!!