Yay! It’s finally here! I published The Rustler’s Daughter, my historical/western romance. The ebook is available now on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. It will be available in paperback next month on Amazon.
This is the third book I have published. However, I realized that I am a writer, not a publisher. That’s a problem. This last year, has been a huge learning experience for me. One of the biggest decisions I've made is to get more serious about publishing. Since getting more involved in this whole process, I have learned that people can write books, make their own covers, and publish on Amazon (and other sites) with little to no help or money - nothing wrong with that.
However, I have been talking to several authors who have challenged me to take the next step, and to get serious about turning my writing into a publishing business. The difference? Money and time. No easier way to say it. I had to ask myself if I was willing to invest in me and my writing.
With The Rustler’s Daughter, I did invest more time and money than I did with my Dion series. I got a professional cover and an editor. I didn’t rush it. I made sure this book was the best I had to offer. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my other two books as well. But this one just feels different…it feels better…polished.
As a result, I have decided to invest in me. I am sending my first two books, Where Will You Run? and Where Will You Hide?, to my editor. I am going to have her go through them the way they should have been before I published them, but I didn’t know that then. Now I do. I’m also working with my very talented brother on making new covers for them as well. I bought ISBNs for my printed books along with bar codes, so that they can be sold in stores, and I am going to start working on book signings and other public appearances.
The other investments? I made a website (www.mefranco.com), and I also bought business cards (cheap through Vistaprint) and swag items. I am considering some reputable advertising companies as well once the other two books have been re-published with the updates.
Some of the complaints about self-publishing involve people pointing fingers at self published authors, saying they are lazy by not pursuing traditional publishing or publishing crap. The lazy part is totally ridiculous, although I have to say, I have read some crap books (traditional and self pubbed). I’ve seen some self published books that put traditionally published books to shame, and I’ve seen some I wouldn’t use in the bottom of a bird cage.
Understand that I am not being critical. I'm just concerned. Obviously, it's in my best interest to see self publishing flourish, so I do worry when I see complaints about professionalism and inconsistency. If authors took the time to look professional (editing, polished covers, ISBNs, formatting, etc.), would it lend more credibility to self publishing and shut up the critics? Probably not, but who knows?
Will I make it? Will all of this pay off? Honestly, I don’t know. But if I do fail, I want to say that I gave it my best shot. I want to say that I did everything in my power to make this work. I don’t want to have any regrets.