I’ve been asked recently how to get started with indie publishing. That’s… a slightly tricky question since, like so many questions, the answer is roughly “It depends”. That’s not me being coy! It really does depend on who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, what your budget it and what you want to accomplish. There’s more but that’s a good start!
Nevertheless there are a few basic things that you’ll need to take into account if you want to pursue self-publishing. First and most importantly: you need to research your options. You need to know what you want to do and what will work for you.
For example: Do you want to publish to Amazon exclusively? Do you want to publish via Draft2Digital, Pronoun or Smashwords? Do you want to offer only ebooks or only print? Or do you want to offer both? What about audiobooks? If you want to publish print books, do you go with CreateSpace, IngramSpark or some other publisher entirely? Do you hire someone to do the work for you or do you want to invest the time yourself? Do you want to set up a small imprint for your own books? If so, can you design the logo yourself or do you want to hire someone to do it for you? What are the benefits and drawbacks of any and all of these choices? Etc, etc.
That’s… a lot of question to throw at you, sorry. They’re important, but you don’t have to tackle them all in one go! For me, personally, the biggest issue was anxiety, so for me the main thing that I needed to do was a quick way to get my work out there and then sort the rest later. It’s not a strategy I recommend unless you need it, but it’s a strategy. Anyway, let’s break it down a bit by looking at what you need before you get to that “hit publish” button.
Today in Anonymous Kindnesses Specific To The Lynn, we tackle what you will probably think is a slightly frivolous and entirely unexpected topic: book gifting.
I told you it was frivolous. But if you haven’t yet noticed from my blog, I really like books. Most all of my friends really like books. And I think one of the things we like most is sharing books.
And it’s almost always a nice feeling to find yourself facing an unexpected gift which was given purely because someone cares about you. (Disclaimer: Not everyone thinks this is a nice feeling. If you know someone like that, honour their feelings on the matter! And maybe try to find some compromise if possible.)
But if you’re someone who likes being given gifts (which I am!), then it is a great thing to know that someone cared enough to gift me something. Especially when it’s a book (and most likely on my wishlist or chosen with care because the gifter thought I’d like it), because obviously books are my one true weakness.
So… I know that I said this was a post specifically about book gifting, but of course this applies to other gifts as well. It’s just that books are the best gift anyone can give me if you’re looking for a gift for me personally. (I’m also really fond of “I donated to X charity in your name!” as gifts.)
And my friends know this. Of course I do my best to return the favour when I can afford to. ^_^
One of the reasons random gifts can be so kind is because they can be timely reminders that someone cares about you. As someone who deals with depression (don’t worry; it’s usually under control), it’s something that can have a lot of emotional impact because it’s such a concrete reminder that someone cares about you enough to spend time (and/or money) on finding (and/or making) you the perfect gift.
That’s powerful stuff.
And I’m grateful to everyone who’s ever sent me gifts, even when I’ve not always been good at graciously accepting them upon arrival, because knowing that people care is the greatest gift of all. <3
An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows: My thoughts will follow. I enjoyed this, but I didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped I would.
Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver: My thoughts will follow. This was delightful. Not perfect, but utterly and entirely delightful and I’d be happy to recommend it to anyone looking for a diverse read and a read that offers hope and goodness.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: My thoughts will follow, but basically this book is absolutely amazing and if you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac: My thoughts will follow. This was a beautifully written look at Navajo code talkers in WW2. I think with the amount of information it includes it leans more towards creative nonfiction than a novel, but don’t let that put you off. It works well with the structure of the book, it’s an important piece of history and it’s well-written.
A Courtship of Dragons by Becca Lusher: Slowly, slowly, this story is continuing. I’m… oddly not enjoying it as much as I normally like Becca’s work, though. It feels far less polished and strong than her work usually is. (Sorry, Becca!)
Masquerade by Laura Lam: I’ve finally tracked down a copy! So of course I dove straight in. I’m enjoying it so far, though it’s taken me a bit longer than I thought to settle into the world Lam’s built these past two books. (Masquerade picks up right where Shadowplay left off.) You can read it without (re)reading book 2, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Dragongift by Becca Lusher: Wherein the Adventures of Mhysra, Cumulo and the other surviving Riders continue! Also wherein the plot thickens, Yullik remains terrifying and we may slowly be learning more about Dhori. It’s as different in tone as Rift Riders was to Wingborn, but the heart and core of the series, the characters and their relationships with one another, continues just as strongly.
Technobabylon: My thoughts can be found here, but if you enjoy diverse futuristic settings in gaming, do check it out to see if it’s something you’re interested in. I found it a lot of fun.
Divinity: Original Sin 2: This is still only in Alpha. It plays quite similar to the first game, except with some changed dynamics (you don’t start off with two characters) and the option to play as several different races rather than only as human. Being an alpha, things are subject to change, but I’ve had a lot of fun returning to Rivellon and I’m looking forward to seeing how the game develops.
Rogue One: Everyone who knows me and watched this before I did and didn’t tell me I was going to need tissues? I hate you for not telling me I would need tissues. Seriously, what kind of friend are you not to tell me I would be needing tissues? Glad to have finally seen it, though, and kinda looking forward to seeing it again (WITH TISSUES) now that I know what to expect and at some point where no one will disturb me so I can actually watch it in peace.
Sera Myu: I’m slowly wending my way through the musicals. So far I’ve seen the ones available to me up to the original Sailor Stars musical. Next up is the kaiteiban of the Stars musical. I’m really enjoying them and because my brain is mush, they all get only one entry this month, sorry! Most have got a number of really big plot holes and the costumes are… something special that only happened in the 90s but that’s what makes them glorious, and the shows just spread cheer and joy. The cast looks like they’re having a blast in every musical and I love them to bits. <3
So, the NL and EN tags are the ones actually used in the story. If it’s listed for both then it’s a shorthand I’m using to note which of the characters is which. Where no name for ‘both’ is included I haven’t used a name for both. (Expect this list to get updated per chapter!)
Beek (NL), Black Spring/Black Rock (EN), Black Beek (both)
Stefan (NL), Steve (EN), Ste (both)
Katherina (NL), Katherine (EN), Kat (both), aka Wylerheks (NL), Black Rock Witch (EN) Wyler Witch (both)
Jolanda (NL), Jocelyn (EN), Jo (both)
Timo (NL), Tyler (EN), Tiy (both)
Oma (NL), Gramma (EN), Granny (both)
Max (NL), Matt (EN), Maxmatt (both)
Robert Grim (NL, EN)
Claire Hamer (NL), Claire Hammer (EN)
Jens van der Heijden (NL), Warren Castillo (EN), Jenren (both)
Kobus Mater (NL), Colton Mathers (EN), Colbus (both)
Jules Helsloot (NL), Justin Walker (En), Ju (both)
Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.
Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened or the consequences will be too terrible to bear.
The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into dark, medieval practices of the distant past.
In chapter 32 and 33: Ste had to make a choice! He had to choose between resurrecting his dead son and saving his living wife and remaining son. Predictably, he chose to resurrect his son. Also there were many horrors that the townspeople brought down upon themselves because they were cruel and horrid and failed to see the good in life and other people.
Asexualities edited by Megan Milks & Karli June Cerankowski
Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee
I Want to Write:
The rest of DemiPrincess1
The rest of Ribbon Dancer
I think I may have to accept that Ribbon Dancer won’t be quite as short as I aimed it to be, but we’ll see how it goes. I’m hoping to at least keep it within the length of a short story (so below 7,500 words). DemiPrincess1 is… what, 15,000 words away from being finished in this draft? It likely won’t hit the 80,000 on my word count metre, but that’s only because I underwrite. The full story should be around (read comfortably past) that number when it’s all done and polished.
This feels like more than it is, but honestly right now I’m not actually a good judge of anything at all. I know I don’t actually want to read all of Asexualities, I’ll be focusing as best I can on the Hugo nominees and I know that a chunk of my time will go towards PhD proposal drafting rather than fiction writing. We’ll just see how it all goes.