An Indie Publishing Journey: Chapter 4

This is the fourth chapter in an ongoing series following my indie publishing journey. You can read all the posts by clicking here 

As much as I wanted these posts to be informative, I’ve realised, as I’m writing them in real time as I progress towards publishing my first novel, they can’t have any sort of order.

When I decided that indie publishing would be my first choice route to publication, I knew it was going to be a challenge. I knew there would be a steep learning curve and it would be labor intensive and require commitment and dedication. What I didn’t expect was the lack of orderly process – at least for this newcomer! Sure, there is advice and information on what to do, but not necessarily an ‘order’ or a ‘set of instructions’ to follow that will take you step-by-step through the process. Hence the lack of ‘order’ or ‘steps’ to these indie publishing chapters!

Indie publishing means that I’m independent – as in not accountable to someone else. But, it also means I’m in charge of everything. That’s where things get messy. As although I’m charge of getting things organised, I’m still reliant on external help – editors, designers, online technology – all of which have to be managed. And have time-lines and dead-lines of their own, which don’t often work in with my own.

This past month has by far been the busiest in terms of non-writing as I work towards publication. There’s been ups and downs, but for the most part it’s been productive (and full-on!) month. Here’s what I’ve been organising/doing/managing:

  • Cover design (can’t wait to show you this!)
  • Working through the copy edit and sending manuscript off for final proofread
  • Signing up to platforms to manage my publishing career including: Publish Drive, Ingram Spark, bookfunnel, Amazon, iBooks, Bookbub, KDP Rocket, Kobo Writing Life,.
  • Purchasing and managing ISBNs
  • Finalising reader magnet (free eBook offering to subscribers)
  • Using Mailchimp to set up autoresponders and managing my mailing list
  • Being interviewed on a writing Podcast (exiting! Stay tuned.)
  • Collating a list of podcasts, book reviewers and bloggers to send advanced reading copies to and request reviews/interviews for first book release
  • Overseeing my website revamp (and loving the end result)
  • Working on the back end of my website to fix the things that didn’t migrate well 🙁

As you can see, all these things need to be done, but there is no order in which to do them.

This is where indie publishers need exceptional time management and organization skills. Multi-tasking is an essential skill for indie publishers. You need to multi-task, and you need to multi-task well! It’s somewhat like the balancing spinning plates act you see on variety shows. You need to keep them all spinning – all at once!

As I sit here now writing this post, my head is a mass of jumbled thoughts on what’s next. There’s a lot of waiting time. Waiting on designers to do their thing. Waiting on editors/proofreaders to do their thing. There’s not actually a lot I can do now until I have all my formatted files and final cover images. Once I do, though, it will be full speed into action. In the meantime, it’s back to writing (yay!).

Then, once I have my files, I’ll be able to set a firm release date. I’ll be able to do a cover reveal (subscribers get to see this first!). And I’ll be able to get my book uploaded, get some ARCs printed, and get on with organising promotional things. Still so much to do.

And then the countdown to publishing day will begin!

For now, I’m working through things and learning along the way. I know once I’ve published this book, I’ll be able to look back on the process and make more sense of it. Then, hopefully, I’ll be able to share with you a more orderly experience of what’s involved in getting a book from finished draft to publication. Maybe a checklist, or something along those lines. Let me know if you have something in mind that you’d like to see. I’m open to suggestions. 🙂

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