Indie shout out: Author Lucy Pireel (cyber-puppy winner from my last post) has just released her first indie short story collection, Red Gone Bad, available now for download at Smashwords and Amazon. Congratulations, Lucy!
Word of the week: replete \ri-ˈplēt\ (hear it!) - adjective: fully or abundantly provided or filled - (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Lists, Lists, and More Lists
I have this terrible habit of starting a bunch of things, and then putting them on the back burner “just for a moment.” Yeesh. I tell you, if my projects were food, my family would all be eating burnt popcicles and charcoaled grits. (Hey, some fairs actually sell fried sticks of butter to their patrons. Weirder things have been eaten—so there.)
Anyway, in order to stave off this accidental “burning,” I make lists. Shopping lists, household lists, chore lists, birthday lists, Christmas lists, writing lists, reading lists . . . and the lists go on. Heck, I even have lists of my lists. (Nah, I'm just kidding.) You see, much as old brains are fragile, they're likewise replete with holes, much like a colander. Or a sieve. A sifter. Strainer. Cheesecloth. Moth-worn blanket—ha! I dare you to strain cooked spaghetti with a blanket.
Now, when one makes a list, crossing off said items from said list when said task is said complete is said to give one a said sense of fulfillment and satisfaction, no?* Well, after turning that rubber band ball of indie publishing around in my hands a few thousand times, I had decided to make a list of what I thought I needed to do:
- Construct 1 year, 3 year, 5 year, and 10 year goals
- Take down old website, construct a new one
- Inquire about business license
- Gather content editor, line editor, and proofreader
- Set up Kindle publishing account
- Learn formatting, typesetting, and layout
- Register press name
- Write and edit content
- Design covers
- Write blurbs
- Author photo
- Author bio
- Research into registering writing pseudonym
- Copyright books/collections
- Research marketing tactics
- Keep business expense records
- Book trailer
- Podcast and audiobooks
- Figure out target audience and market to them
- Read “How to Prepare Book to Upload to Kindle”
One brainstorming. One sitting. One month after I received my final rejection slip. Yes, it's one long list, with hidden sub-items under the main ones. Of these twenty-one tasks, I've thrown out four, completed eight, and have nine sitting on the back burner, “just for a moment.” (Gosh, what is that burning smell . . . ?) This, from a list compiled a little over year ago.
Have I received my sense of fulfillment and satisfaction? Somewhat. More, as I continue to cross off competed tasks.
Oh, yeah . . . and my cynical mind can hear it all now: “Pfft! You don't even need half that stuff. Publish your work under your author name, and be done with it,” from the indie-experienced, to: “More! There has to be more that you're missing. Come on, think!” Plaintive cries from other indie-newbies like myself, filled with doubts and worries and semi-imagined frets. And I truly hope my cynical mind is wrong.
But you know, no matter what type shouts the loudest, the longest, or the hardest to be heard, we all need to follow our own paths and learn at our own pace, otherwise we'll all be torn in too many different directions and end up in a frustrating stalemate. Then what? Nothing would get ever done.
Bottom line: Learn what you can. Apply what you learn. Throw out what doesn't work. Make lists, and cross off tasks.
A fundamental part of indie publishing is maintaining control over one's work. Maintaining control over oneself throughout the indie publishing process, I highly suspect, is integral to possible future success. “Hasty” and “pigheaded” and “going in blind” should never factor in.
* Hey, according to writing experts, the verb “said” is allegedly invisible. Did ya see it? Huh? Huh? Did ya? Did ya?