Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thirteen Things I Learned About Self Publishing And MY BEST FRIEND DEATH

Have you ever glanced at a book blurb and known, just known, that the story’s one you must read?




That’s what happened to me with My Best Friend Death and I’m happy to say the book more than met the blurb’s promise…so I invited the author Michael Anthony to share his story and his self publishing tips with us.




Thirteen Things I Learned From Self-Publishing
1. Writing is fun. Querying is stressful. Given enough time (and rejections) the stress of querying can spill over into the joy of writing. When that happens, writing stops being an outlet, and starts being a chore. No one likes chores.
2. Many people (myself included) call a new book or WIP their 'baby'. What few realize when publishing traditionally is that you are giving up your parental right to 'raise' that 'baby', to nurture it. But when you e-pub, you have full custody. The well-being of that 'child' is entirely in your hands. Yes, it's scary, but it's also liberating.
3. Criticism can beat you to the ground if you let it. But only if you let it.
4. You can judge a book by its cover. Especially if it's a self-published book. Publishing a novel isn't cheap. Don't get me wrong, it isn't particularly expensive either. With that being said, from my experience, there are two types of e-publishers: those who invest in their novel (this includes time as well as mullah) and those who don't. Quality of cover art is a HUGE indicator of which category the author falls under.
5. Based on #4, you might be wondering how much e-publishing cost. Well, I spent about $1000 publishing my novel. That paid for an editor and cover designer, marketing, website/domain name, and a few miscellaneous things that don't really matter (paper, ink cartridges, etc). I spent that over the course of four or five months, so it wasn't all upfront. 
6. kdp.amazon.com, createspace.com, and smashwords.com are a self-publisher's best resources. Period.
7. It is SO important (no matter how you publish) to give your readers a way to communicate with you. A single compliment can truly lift your spirits. Also, if there is ever an error (however small) they will likely point it out if they otherwise enjoyed the book. Readers WANT to help writers they 'discover'.
8. Not scoring an agent doesn't mean you're not a good writer. It's so easy to slip into the defeated mindset and second guess your talents, but you have to fight it. You have to believe in yourself.
9. Self-publishing isn't taking the easy way out. Not by a long shot. Aside from looking for an agent (which the NSA recently reclassified as a form of torture), it is insanely time consuming and physically and mentally draining. You don't have a network behind you (Can you hear me now? Good). It's just you and the 857 different hats you have to wear to get the job done professionally.
10. This goes for self-publishers and traditional publishers alike: DON'T READ REVIEWS OF YOUR NOVEL. Now that I've made that blanket statement, allow me to amend it: Don't read negative reviews. If the review has a star rating, don't read anything at or below three stars. If it doesn't have a star rating (or something similar) don't read it at all. A bad review can and will ruin your entire day no matter how many good reviews stand around it.
11. Along the same lines, critics can be incredibly harsh, especially over the internet. They have to ability to say whatever they want because they can hide behind a username. But because we are trying to build a name for ourselves, we have to remain composed no matter what. When senseless hate is spewed, the hardest thing in the world is to unload your cannon of vicious insults and paint on a smile. But you MUST do it. What's said on the internet is available for everyone to see. As writers, people judge us by our words.
12. Jumping back to number 5, let me say this: you get what you pay for. This is especially true when preparing your novel for publication. The more you pay (usually) the better the quality. The opposite can also be true. Trust me, when you think your work is near perfect, there's nothing worse than someone pointing out glaring issues you paid someone to fix. You lose faith in the quality of your work, and that's the worst feeling in the world.
13. There is truly no greater feeling than seeing a complete stranger reading your book. It makes you feel...eternal. Infinite. Limitless. It makes you feel like you've made your mark on the world.

Michael’s tips are really helpful and almost as inspiring as his blurb for My Best Friend Death is compelling.

Here it is:

Damien Crown devotes his life to being his brother's superman. Like all heroes, he's locked in a deadly war with a formidable foe—his brother's depression. Instead of perishing in a climactic battle as comics suggest, he dies at the screech of tires and the blare of a car horn. But in those last precious moments, he regrets not taking off the cape and living his own life.
 

But those regrets don't last long when Death becomes his life-coach.
 

Given a new body and one more year to live, Damien seizes the opportunity to reinvent himself. Forbidden by Death from making contact with his old family, he knows the trek will be hard, but he's happy to leave behind the pressures of his old life.
 

Until his brother attempts suicide.
 

Now, the only way to save his brother is to break Death's rules. But with a life any kid would kill for, Damien finds himself stuck between who he was, and who he wants to be. He can don his cape and die for his brother, or hang it up and finally live for himself.

If you’re like me and you'd like to read this story, you can purchase it on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KTJ2UUK



And if you want to know more about his self publishing adventures and his writing you can find Michael Anthony at the following places:





Thanks for visiting.  Feel free to leave a question or a comment. We’d love to hear from you.

8 comments:

  1. What an intriguing plot. Reminds me somewhat of What Dreams May Come. I self published a book (about death) and it made some money but I reinvested it in another book (poetry) that didn't. About 1000 copies were printed at a cost of about $1,000 (in three printings). http://silverandgold.swva.net/jimdanstories.htm

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    1. Colleen,
      I didn't know you self published. Cool. I'll check it out.

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  2. Thanks for sharing the journey behind the book. My T13

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    1. Heather, I really like the last point. It's inspiring. :) And I appreciate your visit.

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  3. I think publishing is changing in many ways, some good, some bad. I am still undecided as to what route might be best. At my college, self-publishing was most definitely looked down upon - real writers didn't do that. But I think that kind of thinking is old-fashioned and definitely out of date. Unfortunately I frequently find self-published books that were published too soon. It's a conundrum.

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    1. CountryDew,
      It's exciting because there are more options for authors now.

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