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 [she, her] currently writes cozy space opera for Kalikoi. The novella series A Place of Refuge begins with Finding Refuge: Telepathic warrior Talia Avi, genius engineer Miki Boudreaux, and augmented soldier Faigin Balfour fought the fascist Federated Colonies for ten years, following the charismatic dissenter Jon Churchill. Then Jon disappeared, Talia was thought dead, and Miki and Faigin struggled to take Jon’s place and stay alive. When the FC is unexpectedly upended, Talia is reunited with her friends and they are given sanctuary on the enigmatic planet Refuge. The trio of former guerillas strive to recover from lifetimes of trauma, build new lives on a planet with endless horizons, and forge tender new connections with each other.
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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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