Happy New Year! – The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation. My author page is www.facebook.com/lindafausnet

 

Happy New Year 2014

 

29 Weeks Until Publication 

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

May you have a healthy, happy New Year where all your dreams come true.

Thank you for being with me when my dream comes true on July 14, 2014.

– Linda Fausnet

Self-Publishing – Making Your Own Luck

 

char

 

I’ve always said that there are three elements to a successful writing career – Talent, Perseverance, and Luck. The trouble is, you really only control one of those things.
Perseverance.

The stick-to-it-iveness.
The not-giving-up, working-as-hard-as-you-possibly-can part.

As far as talent is concerned, you either have it or you don’t. Fortunately, I seem to have some degree of writing talent to work with. Add a large degree of perseverance to that degree of talent, and I at least have a shot at making it as a successful writer.
Luck is just random. Some good writers get published by traditional publishers. Most don’t. And there is absolutely nothing you can do to improve your luck when it comes to getting a literary agent or big publisher to give you a chance.

The whole self-publishing deal changes the whole dynamic. For once, it’s the hard workers, not the lucky ones, who can find success. I’ve spent fifteen years working hard as a screenwriter, and then four years working hard as a novelist. I’ve had a few near misses with success, but have ultimately been unlucky.

Like in Hollywood,  traditional publishers count on those huge blockbusters – the Harry Potters, the 50 Shades of Grey, the Hunger Games kind of books to make their money. They make very little money on moderately successful, known as midlist, authors so they don’t pay them much mind. Simply put, publishers and agents aren’t interested in writers unless they think they will become the “next big thing”. The beauty of self-publishing is that an individual author *can* make money with midlist-type of success. Indie authors don’t have to sell nearly as many books to make a living as a traditionally published writer does because we don’t have to fork over well over half of the money to somebody else!
If you’re a really hardworking indie author who is willing and able to write lots of good books, over time you can make your own success. I’m so excited at

the prospect of actually being able to make money doing something that I love.
Plus, you know, there’s that whole thing about having people actually READ your books. That’s the best part for me. It really is. If I cared just about making money, I wouldn’t be donating the proceeds from my first published book to the Harvey Milk Foundation. This isn’t just my first published book, it’s also my favorite and it practically makes me tear up just thinking about the fact that people have actually bought and read it! Real readers who read it because they liked the concept and they wanted to read it and see what happens.

Real readers are so much different than making family members and friends read my book whether they want to or not. My closest family members and friends have read it (Thank you, guys!) but I have other friends, acquaintances, and coworkers who claim they want to read it, ask for me to send it to them, and then I never hear another word about it. It’s gotten to the point where I just smile and nod as I listen to them tell me that they can’t wait to read it. Suuuuuure you’ll read it, I think.

They never do.

When I published QUEEN HENRY, people bought it. People read it. Not thousands, but readers nonetheless.
No matter the number, how big or how small, people will continue to read it. People who I don’t know. They don’t know me, but they’re going to come to know Henry and Thomas and Sam and Alice, those characters that I’ve lived with and loved for so long.
To paraphrase a well-known inspirational baseball film (you have to whisper it…):

If you write it, people will read.

I better stop. I’m tearing up again….

Linda Fausnet

**Writers:

Join my WRITERS email list for Writing Tips and Book Recommendations!

**Readers:

Join my READERS email list to receive just the Book Recommendations!

 

On Dealing With Yucky Business Stuff – The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

31 Weeks Until Publication

In 2014, before publishing QUEEN HENRY, I will be developing my own publishing company. It’s possible that it will be a sole proprietorship, but most likely it will be an LLC.

Yeah. I’m not really sure what any of those terms mean, but I’m working on it…

I’m developing my own publishing company called Wannabe Pride Publishing. I’m doing this not to hide the fact that I’m self-publishing, but rather because I want to run this like a legitimate business. Because it is. Sure, I work a day job, but I spend as much time on writing and publishing as I would on another part-time job. I really love the idea of getting a Tax ID number and being all official and stuff. However, I’m really not crazy about all the left-brained complicated crap that comes along with running a business.

Believe me, I would love to be just the creative author type and not have to worry my debatably “pretty little head” about all that nasty business stuff, but that’s not to be. At least not with this novel. Several literary agents told me point-blank that it was a “tough sell” because it was gay-themed. Nobody wanted any part of it because they figured no one would buy my little gay book.

I’m really hoping to prove them wrong by selling a lot of books and helping the Harvey Milk Foundation in the process.

It’s still possible that I have a chance at traditionally publishing someday, but that’s not an option in the near future, so my plan is to take my career in my own hands. It’s tough and intimidating sometimes, but I’m really excited about it. All I know is that if I’m going to do this whole self-publishing thing, I want to do it right. That means I’m going to have to deal with a bunch of yucky business stuff like:

Register my business with official whozit people in the State of Maryland,

Get a Tax ID number so I can feel all official,

Get ISBN numbers for my books (you really should do that if you self-publish, even if you don’t make it an official business),

Open a business bank account,

Get a company credit card,

Keep track of all receipts,

File quarterly tax returns, and

Probably lots more garbage I haven’t even thought of yet.

The plan for QUEEN HENRY is to put whatever money I make on book sales into my snazzy business account, and then write the Harvey Milk Foundation a check with my snazzy business checks. Pretty cool, huh?

If you plan to self-publish, you really don’t have to go through all the trouble of making it an official business. Truth be told, I don’t blame writers one bit if they don’t do it this way. I just really like the idea of creating a business for doing what I love.

It’s gonna be a challenge for a flaky, right-brained creative like me, but I think it will be worth it.

Wish me luck. And please buy my book.

–          Linda Fausnet

On Not Giving Up…Fighting for the Characters

Today, please welcome guest blogger, February Grace! She is a published poet, writer, and artist living in Southeastern Michigan. She is obsessed with colors, clocks, and meteor showers. Her novels, GODSPEED and OF STARDUST, were published in 2013 by Booktrope.

I’ve lived with chronic pain all of my life. In fact, my earliest childhood memories involve being in pain.

No one knew at the time that I was/am suffering from a rare genetic condition that is destroying the collagen in my body.

Did you know that your eyes are made up mostly of collagen? I didn’t, until my eyes were nearly destroyed by my condition and I went blind.

Did you know that collagen is needed to keep your connective tissues, well, connecting? I didn’t, until they realized why my joints are falling apart.

I didn’t understand any of what was happening to me, not until a few years ago when the genetics department at a major university saw me and said “Yep, we’ve seen people like you before.”

That was new to me, because so many of my doctors had said to me over the years “We’ve never seen anything like your (fill in the blank) before.”

Twenty years I’d searched for answers to all of my health problems: they wouldn’t come until the age of 38.

So, what has this got to do with writing, you wonder?

I’m a writer, and writing has been a means of coping with illness but also a struggle during extended periods of severe health problems.

What does this all mean for you?

Well, if you’re one of the many, many people out there who are suffering from physical ailments or disabilities as you try to write, then I hope this post will speak to you.

I’m here today to say, at the end of it all, three most important words: don’t give up.

I came so close to giving up, so many times, on stories and poems that would later become published works.

I came even closer to giving up on the stories that would become my two published novels.

One of the hardest times I ever had battling illness and trying to write was in 2010. I had lost my eyesight slowly over time at first and then rapidly, and by the end of 2008 I was blind. In 2009 I began a series of surgeries (that would total six in all by 2011) to give me back some use of my sight. I was blessed to have some of the very best surgeons in the world, and even they were doubtful in the beginning they’d be able to help me.

Then, in 2010-2011, I had nine more surgeries, too gruesome to get into here, but let me explain that I also battled a major infection during that time . After months of failed therapy on regular antibiotics, I took 33 days of potent IV antibiotics to kill the infection.

At times, I really thought it was going to kill me.

Through it all, whenever I had a moment of clarity where I could battle the pain back far enough to try, I kept writing.

At times when I was blind and recovering from eye surgery this meant dictating notes into an iPod to be used later (I’m rubbish at dictating actual storyline or dialog, sadly.) Sometimes I typed with my eyes closed and with my head propped up on pillows because I couldn’t hold it up. Sometimes I blindly wrote ideas on sticky notes with a huge Sharpie and shoved them all in a binder to be used later.

To my surprise, I ended up using almost all of them.

I was driven to finish the book I was working on, GODSPEED, and though it took nearly two years from beginning to end, I did finish it.

As I sit here now and glance over at the bookshelf where the beautiful new hardcover edition, just released by my wonderful publisher, Booktrope, sits, I marvel at it. How did I manage to finish it, as sick as I was?

I just kept trying.

You see, there really is no secret, or magic fix as to how to keep writing if you’re battling health problems, whether they are physical or in the realm of another set of issues I deal with—battling your own mind. You just have to keep trying.

I’m here today to tell you that all the trying can turn out to be so worth it.

If nothing else, you end up with a story that you can be proud of because you didn’t give up on it when times were tough.

Or you could end up like me, with two published novels to your name after persevering through mental and physical challenges you never thought you could face.

These days, in addition to dealing with chronic pain and health issues due to the genetic condition, I am also in another struggle to find the words: one that is directly related to medications that I take to deal with Bipolar disorder.

My medications force me to sleep at night (when I used to do so much writing) and calm the frenzy of my thoughts: stilling the storm where I was once used to finding the words. They are doing their job, but that is not helping me as a writer.

Now the battle has escalated to a whole new level. Still, I can’t give up.

You see, I’ve left two of my characters in quite a predicament, and I can’t just abandon them there.

I have to keep fighting for the words.

Whatever your battles may be, I hope that you will keep fighting, too. Your characters need you—you’re the only one who can give them the life they deserve.

I wish you luck and courage on the journey, and the discovery of many, many words you never knew that you had in you.

~February Grace

~~*~~

GODSPEED, Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/14uTC4s

GODSPEED, Nook: http://bit.ly/1aKus6s

OF STARDUST: Amazon Kindle: amzn.to/17y5KGf

OF STARDUST: Nook: http://bit.ly/16M0pN0

Both books are also available in print.

Find her on Twitter: @FebruaryGrace

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/februarygrace

Blog: www.februarywriter.blogspot.com

Creating a Facebook Author Page – The Road to Self-Publishing

This article is part of my ongoing Wannabe Pride Self-Publishing blog series in preparation for publishing my novel, QUEEN HENRY, in July of 2014. Proceeds from this novel will go to the Harvey Milk Foundation.

32 Weeks Until Publication

This past week I created an author page on Facebook, which is another important step in the road to self-publishing. The first thing I did was send out Facebook invites to my friends and family for them to “Like” the page, which many of them did.

Next, I posted the new Facebook page on Twitter, and I actually got handful of people whom I didn’t know who “Liked” the page. Of course, this is the whole point of creating the author page. Still, I was unprepared for how thrilling it was to finally, FINALLY be able to share my work with other people. I’ve been a writer for a really long time, and I suppose I’ve really gotten used to writing story after story that very few people, if any, will actually read. I usually give my novels to friends and family. Sometimes they do read them. Most of the time, they don’t. They get busy, life gets in the way, and so forth.

I don’t get how you can tell me you’re too busy to read, and then show up to my house with a paperback in your hand. Or I see that you’ve reviewed a bunch of books recently on Goodreads

But whatever. I’m not bitter. Much.

Anyway, having a handful of strangers “Like” my author page was a wonderful reminder that, come July of 2014, people WILL read this book – my favorite book that I’ve held so close to my heart for so many years. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the idea that I’ll finally be able to share my book and my characters with others. Though it’s kind of fun having an author page, I’ve never thought much about having my name listed on the cover of my book or being well-known as an author. The truth is, I don’t care if people ever know my name. It means more to me to have people know the name Henry Vaughn, Jr, my main character, than my own. When the screenplay version of my story was a finalist in a contest, I was way more excited about seeing the words QUEEN HENRY in print than to see my own name in the list of finalists.

Right now, my author page has 59 likes. Hardly bestseller status, but the idea that 59 people might potentially read my novel blows my mind.

It really, really does.

I’ve never been a writer in the hopes of making a lot of money, and of course QUEEN HENRY is no exception in that I’m donating all the net proceeds to the Harvey Milk Foundation. The idea of having people actually read my work is far more valuable to me than money could ever be. 

To “Like” my brand new author page, I hope you’ll click here!

Thank you for your support!

-Linda Fausnet