Our special guest today is author Wynne Channing, who's sharing some great tips on how to avoid some of the pitfalls of self-publishing. Her new book, What Kills Me, is a fantastic new vampire story and will be available for purchase for only $0.99 during this tour. Wynne has also provided a prize for one lucky commentor which includes a signed bookmark with butterfly charm and an e-copy of What Kills Me. Details are at the end of the post. This giveaway is for US & Canada only.
An author's redo: Three self-publishing mistakes that I regret.
It took me less than six months to write my YA paranormal adventure What Kills Me. Then I put it away for more than a year unsure of what to do with it. One day, the books editor at the newspaper where I work showed me how to submit my e-book to Amazon. It looked easier than setting up a Facebook profile.
It is not. But I was fooled enough to launch myself down the path of Indie Author-dom.
And now I have the honor of appearing on The Speculative Salon as part of my first blog tour! I’d like to share a few words of advice to anyone thinking of taking this amazing, exciting, and scary step.
Okay, the title is a little misleading. I can’t really regret my choices since I’ve learned from them. And they are not mistakes. What is wrong for one author can be right for another.
But here’s what I would redo if I had a time machine or could mail myself a letter like that nonsensical romantic film starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. Here are three “mistakes” that I would redo:
Wait to start promoting your book: Hang on, Wynne. I haven’t finished the book yet. How can I promote it? Yeah, that’s the conversation that I had with myself...which I regret. It’s never too early to start talking about your upcoming project. Sign up for Twitter. Identify yourself as [insert name here, author of the upcoming amazing book..., etc.] Start amassing followers. Connect with other writers and book bloggers. Start a blog. Tell people about your progress. Do a cover reveal. Collect emails so you can inform your new fans exactly when they can grab a piece of your literary genius.
Attempt to format your book yourself if you are techno-twit: Here are some things I could have been doing in the three days that I spent trying to format What Kills Me for publication: have tea and cake, plot the sequel, set myself up on Goodreads, work on my Amazon author profile, have tea and cake. Instead, I had a bald spot from scratching the same spot above my brow and an e-book with no working hyperlinks and strange spacing. By all means, try it. There are a lot of sites that offer great advice on how to do it yourself. But if it is making you want to throw your computer, hire an editor or formatter. Then go for tea and cake.
Be humble: Modesty is one of my father’s tenets. Don’t brag, he would always say. Growing up, I didn’t need to brag because I had subterranean self-esteem and as an adult, my self-deprecating humor helped me at parties.
But it prevented me at first from talking about What Kills Me. “Oh, I wrote a little something.” Uhh, no. I wrote a novel. I chose to publish it myself. And within two months, it won a reader’s choice award and almost 100 people have praised it with reviews. Once I started openly talking about the project, it invited dialogue. I met a lot more people, received great advice, and invaluable referrals.
Be proud of your accomplishments. Writing is hard. Whether you’ve started your first chapter, or you’ve just pressed “publish” on Amazon, tell someone. Hell, tell me! I will say that I am proud of you and please know that you deserve the praise.
Contest: Ok everyone, you know the drill. Leave us a comment and you'll be entered to win the lovely bookmark and ebook of What Kills Me. Please include an email address where we can contact the winner who will be chosen at the end of the tour on September 25th. Again, this contest is for US & Canadian residents only.
What Kills Me Links
What Kills Me is now $.99 on Amazon and Smashwords
About the book: An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race. So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive. How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?
About Wynne: Wynne Channing is a national newspaper reporter and young adult novelist. Wynne loves telling stories and as a journalist, she has interviewed everyone from Daniel Radcliffe and Hugh Jackman to the president of the Maldives and Duchess Sarah Ferguson. The closest she has come to interviewing a vampire is sitting down with True Blood‘s Alexander Skarsgard (he didn’t bite). She briefly considered calling her debut novel “Well” so then everyone would say: “Well written by Wynne Channing.”
Connect with Wynne