Loch Awe in spring - Photo courtesy of Neil Donald Photography






Saturday, 14 December 2013

Is getting to grips with technology a distraction? by Jenny Harper

Years ago, when I was editing a magazine for craftspeople, I used to feel so sorry for these creative folk, who also had to market their own work, run a business, get noticed by the media, deal with advertising and generally be savvy in ways that for most of them was totally alien.

Guess what? That's exactly how I'm feeing myself right now! Having taken the decision to publish a couple of my novels as an indie, I'm trying to get to grips with everything that needs to be done. I know, I know, lots of you have done this already, but come on, it is a bit scary, isn't it? There's so much to think about, from the process of uploading to making sure that absolutely everything is in order. There's ISBNs, acknowledgements, blurb, trailer for the next book, covers – deep breath – metadata, tags, marketing strategies, promotion, not to mention ITIN numbers and heaven knows what.

Then there's my website. I set it up a year ago and felt very proud of myself. It's just simple and I didn't promote it, because, well, I had nothing much to promote. Now it needs updating so that I can put up the news about my story in the RNA anthology, take part in the My Writing Process blog, start to build an email list, link to my books when they go up on Amazon, and heaven knows what else.

It's exciting, for sure, but it's also extremely time-consuming and a little scary. And I'd much rather be sitting writing than having to get to grips with all of this.

The plus side is, I can finally get some of my work out there to all the readers I imagine breathlessly waiting to read my every word. *Grins*

Without being ironic, though, it really is exciting. My novels are sad things hiding facelessly on my computer. None of you really knows what my writing is like or what kind of stories I tell (apart from my lovely writing buddies, Jennifer and Dianne, that is). Of course it's scary, opening your work to the world in this way, but it's exhilarating too. Soon my little babies will have faces and, like newborns, will sally out into the world to engage with others and try to make their mark.

I thought I'd design the covers myself, but have now decided to employ an experienced graphic designer. It will be really interesting to see what he comes up with!

I've given myself last month to edit the books (and after a year or two away from them, it was surprising to see how much needed editing!) and this month to get the covers done, my ducks in a row, and one title uploaded. January will see book number two, but I probably won't do the third till March or April.

Meantime, what about my writing? The ideas are beginning to whizz around, and I can't wait to have the chance to clear space in my head so that I can sit down and do what I really want to do – which is, after all, write.

But then, it's about engaging with the reading public too ...

By the time I blog here again, I hope to be able to share some of my work with you. You never know, I may even cheat on the rota and sneak in early. That's what being a marketing manager dictates, after all!


12 comments:

  1. Jenny, I'm looking forward to reading the books and if you work out how to ring fence time so not every spare moment is spent marketing and checking amazon numbers, please let me know. Anne Stenhouse

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now that's the bit I'm dreading ... Hope YOUR numbers are great!

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a really interesting post, Jenny. I'm looking forward to reading your books - and your My Writing Process blog. There is an amazing amount of work to do in getting a title out there. I supose that's why mainstream publishers wag their fingers warningly and say indie authors can't do it without their expertise - but many indie authors have proved the publishing gatekeepers wrong and I hope you will be another one to do so. Good luck.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Mary. There's a lot to learn, but I'm blessed with many friends willing to share their advice and expertise.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Really looking forward to following your progress, Jenny! Everything else can start taking over the writing time but it's much better to have your books out there and to start building your 'name/brand'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Rosemary. Filled with apprehension and excitement...

      Delete
  6. Jenny, I'm in awe. I don't think I would ever have the courage to self-pub like that. But for what it's worth, I think it's the right thing to do - your work is do good that it's only right people should have the opportunity to read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer. Don't know if others will agree - that's the scary bit, isn't it?

      Delete
  7. Jenny, I'm soooo full of admiration! You're a star for doing all this and I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished result(s).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks Gill. Be in awe when I've actually done it!

    ReplyDelete
  9. So many people have been picked up by big publishing houses following success on Kindle ebooks with rave reviews....you next!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well Linda, if I get as many rave reviews as I have rave rejections, I'll be a bestseller for sure!

    ReplyDelete