For anyone who knows me I also have a book blog. Yes, I am starting another blog since I have become a blogger in addition to being an author. I love to write, but this particular blog has a purpose as well as a compelling story behind it.
I begin my career as a writer when I was only 16 years old,and dabbled when I was still much younger. They just didn’t exist as a physical book…only as Word files that traveled from one computer to another along with portfolios of character sketches. Family, friends, and total strangers talked me into getting published when I was still very young. I knew nothing about publishing whatsoever. I didn’t have anyone to ask either, and back then the Internet was dial-up and really expensive. It wouldn’t connect to my parents’ dinosaur computer where I wrote my stories. At 21 and a writer’s conference later, I try to publish traditionally. It didn’t work. A lot of things run through my mind. My work wasn’t good enough just as I always thought from the beginning. I’m too young. Publishing way too hard just as I had imagined. I’m going to college, so I don’t have the time to query, send, and rewrite things. I’m going to have homework, class, and labs galore for my chosen major. I put it away and will try again later.
To make this part of the story short I find out about and self publish after college. My first run was TERRIBLE in so many ways. I’ve told my story elsewhere that hasn’t posted it yet so I can’t really share it in grave detail here. I was 28, but I don’t count the first year too much as far as my journey for knowledge except what not to do and what to avoid. It is also a message to the 20 somethings that it can be done if you start in the right place. As for me and other young authors, we are often told we’re “too young” to publish. How untrue that is! You don’t have to be 40+ to publish! But, you still have to do it correctly or forever be righting the wrong. So, I had to dig myself out of a hole to get back on track, but at least no one found my book since I was now ashamed of it after I found out the truth. It was now a fight for survival. It counted for nothing as far as marketing prowess since it was a total bust. Even my finished product was a piece of crap.
During my fight for survival and search for answers, I run across The Fine Print of Self Publishing (then in its 3rd edition) by Mark Levine and Mark Levine himself since he gives the readers who read everything a special treat: a FREE 30 min chat. He gave me some advice that I took to claw my way out of oblivion and on track but set back. I still knew hardly nothing of what I had gotten myself into, but now on the road, I begin to learn at an exponential rate. I am still learning today. I then had a desire to help other people find their way since I know what it feels like to be lost in the publishing wilderness. It feels like being lost in a physical wilderness. To me it seems like being lost in the Amazon or the Congo River Basin. I spend a lot of time in the woods and in nature, but even people like me can get lost in woods we’ve never been in and venture too far. I took what I know about the outdoors and applied it to a different wilderness. I found means to survive but I’m still not to civilization (discovered) yet. One thing I apply from the outdoors to publishing is I have to keep moving or I’ll never be found or I’ll die in this wilderness. I may have to do I don’t want to do and eat things that may be yucky but good for me, but if it means the difference from life and death, then I’ll do it.
During my travels I keep in touch with Mark since he welcomes authors he’s worked with to do so. I would tell him about this little tool I found here or this website I found there, etc. One day out of the blue he asked me to write something that has all of my insight, tips, and tools and let him see it. Self Promoting and Survival Tips for Newbie Authors was born. As a publishing industry professional and as an author, he instantly felt other people could learn from my insight and story and benefit. At one point and time he was a newbie himself and made every possible mistake that a newbie could make and shared his insight and people benefited from him (like me). Any author out there was a newbie at one time. He wrote a very generous blog post about it. The ebook should be coming out this year and will appear on this blog on it’s own page. It may not be a big book, but it has a lot in it.
Also as a consequence of the little ebook and from working and talking with Mark, he also advised me to begin a blog to stay current since what I know and the industry changes so much. This is where this blog came from. It’s anyone’s guess where it will go from here.
Go through and look at the pages of tools and websites that I have discovered already, and it’s only been a little over a year. I don’t consider myself an expert. I don’t work miracles either. I’m not even seasoned yet! I’m still a newbie, but some of my “newness” has worn off. I’m just here to help out the newbies and the ones who are aspiring to have someone to point them in the right direction. When I was a newbie, I wished I had that. I just had a crash course that gave me a concussion, but I kept on going anyway.