5 Useful Lessons from Indie-Publishing

My adventure with indie-publishing Finding Refuge with the Kalikoi collective got me writing again, and has been fun. Plus I have actually learned some things about preparing, publishing, and *cue music*…myself.

1. Writing is a thousand times less stressful when I am writing primarily to please myself. You’d think I would’ve learned this lesson long ago, and I sort of did, but print publishing messed with my head.

2. I cannot comprehend the complexities of Photoshop or even its simpler relatives. In fact, even a basic tutorial makes me want to weep. It was definitely worth it to me to pay for a nice cover, made easier by me having a day job. Augusta Scarlett did mine. If you have the talent to do your own, she has a post linking 35 Great Sites With Awesome Stock Photos for Your Book Cover.

3. Aside from reviews of the actual novella, getting feedback related to the writing-adjacent process can be very useful along the way. It was an immense help to have other writers help me with my blurb, in particular, but also to help me choose a cover model and to discuss wordcount concerns.

4. “Writing-adjacent” is a term I made up for myself. It covers everything that is not writing or editing the story. Emailing a cover artist, reading new-to-me blogs to see if I want to submit them a review copy, struggling with a blurb, asking if someone can proofread a manuscript for me are all writing-adjacent tasks. They are work, and I started keeping track of the days I performed writing-adjacent work, because it helped show me I was making progress.

5. Organization is key. Each platform that will sell your book (Kindle, Google Play, etc.) wants different variations on the same information (summary, blurb, categories, keywords). I am now keeping a document for each novella and projected novella that includes all of this information in the same place. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

About Victoria Janssen

Victoria Janssen’s first erotic novel, The Duchess, Her Maid, The Groom and Their Lover (Harlequin Spice, December 2008), was translated into French and German. Her second Spice novel, The Moonlight Mistress (December 2009), was translated into Italian and nominated for a RT Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her third novel is The Duke & The Pirate Queen (December 2010). She has also published erotic short stories as Elspeth Potter. Her blog features professional writing and marketing tips, genre discussion, book reviews, and occasional author interviews.
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2 Responses to 5 Useful Lessons from Indie-Publishing

  1. Keira Soleore says:

    Trad publishing hides all the busy work that is required to publish a book. But you’ve found that the headache is worth it in order to rediscover the joy of writing for yourself. How wonderful is that!

  2. Definitely, it feels good to be writing again.

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