Last week I shared with you about the first half of my publishing journey. that was mostly my inspiration and initial years, before I began in earnest. From here on out is the half of the story when I began to look at it more as a business and try to do things with a more professional nature. I would say that, previously, I was a writer. From here on out, I am an author.
You will probably be able to relate to much of my story and the pursuit of a writing career. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section or contact me privately.
It seemed like the fire had gone out in me after a few years and some really dark times in my life. I barely dabbled in fiction anymore and only wrote a few essays through the years. Then I started postgrad studies and didn’t do much with it. My studies were geared largely towards getting some credentials so that I felt qualified to write a nonfiction book called Why Your Pastor Left. I’d seen and been subjected to abuses while doing youth work in churches in the upper Midwest… worse, I was not alone and all of my peers had seen and experienced similar things. I gathered research for it through my studies and, master’s degree in hand, wrote it in about 3 days (though it took me years and many revisions to be happy with it.)
WYPL was a burden of passion. I queried and did everything I could to get it published. One literary agent in told me that he felt “this book absolutely needs to exist; you put your finger on a huge issue that no one is talking about, and that is absolutely courageous… but I am not brave enough to attach myself to it.” After dealing more and more with scams and sharks I had begun to learn more about the Print on Demand technology since many folks in my now-closed writers’ group had been early supporters of Lulu. I decided that if I could find the perfect cover art for WYPL I would pursue that. I found the art and learned how far Createspace had come. After much research and watching Youtube videos, I landed there.
I also started writing short fiction again and the fire immediately rekindled and I began writing again and had learned to outline, which took my abilities to the next step, in my opinion. I also began blogging and attending writing conventions and zealously decided this was something worth doing, so I ought to do it well. After speaking with Chuck Sambuchino (speaker/author of Writer’s Market) after one conference, he recommended writing about writing, since my previous blog had simply not taken off after a few years.
In following his advice, I had to learn everything about the Indie industry in order to report on it. The best way to learn something is to teach it, which is why teachers often have students give reports. It makes it stick.
After learning most of the ins and outs I published several ebooks and had another book picked up by a traditional press. I kept blogging and learning and heavily rewrote The Kakos Realm, splitting it into two superior books and finished the third book in the series, along with several others. Some of my best manuscripts remain unpublished and under consideration by literary agents.
I also formed a small publisher for my own books, one that I may consider publishing other authors under. Treeshaker Books exists under the premise that the person who cares most for their book is the author of that book and will work harder than anyone else to make the book sell (it’s all in it’s infancy at the moment, but give it a follow/like over at Facebook). Through TSB, I have also done consulting work and even hired myself out to give advice on self-publishing; I’ve also done all of the work myself to prepare the files and get the book onto the market for some clients. I also published the Indie Author’s Bible, which shows new authors all of the things I’ve learned and gives step by step instructions on how to publish DIY style.
I am also available for official consultation on books, and will often chat about things/give advice without anything official… i.e. I often give advice and guidance that other people charge cash for. I say that we’re all in this together. As Indies, we are responsible for rescuing literature from the Big Five publishers… though I say that, I know it’s also a business and I’m totally willing to sell out when Harper Collins or any of the others come calling. 😉