Going Indie—What I’ve Learned (So Far)—Part 11

Forge Your Own Way. (By Morrowlong [CC-BY-SA-3.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0] or GFDL [http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons]

Forge Your Own Way. (By Morrowlong [CC-BY-SA-3.0 [http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0] or GFDL [http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons]

It’s truly never-ending.

When you’re doing everything yourself—and by “yourself” I do mean having a team, but though you do have a team, you’re still in charge—you never really get a break. And that’s okay, because, in this instance, it truly is a labor of love.  But, you can only push yourself so far without adversely affecting your health, relationships, that kind of thing. It’s like I’ve said before, you can only do what you can do. Don’t fret about it…but do your best.

Indie publishing.

I’ve been working on my Psychic manuscript since before 2000. I’d originally started notes and chapter one around 1994, actually, when I’d discovered that our government claimed to have disbanded a classified remote viewing program. It gave me a story idea, so I began notes and such, but it wasn’t until 2000 that I sat down in earnest and began the task I’m still trying to complete. This month, I hope to finally complete it. And though I’ve been working on this project for a large frigging part of my life (surprisingly, this is the manuscript I’ve worked the longest, good God—20 years, if you count when I started taking notes—man that just hit me as I write this!), the difficulty has largely been the timeframe of the book. I’ve had to change the dates and ages and technology numerous times in trying to get this thing out there. And, as I’m wrapping things up, I’m still discovering little nit-noy shit (even though I have a proofreader), like the age of my antagonist at certain events, or the need to again change his weapon of choice. It’s become maddening. I am, however, finding this stuff before my proofreader will find it (she’s still reading and not yet at the end), but it’s frustrating! So, once again, I have to go back in and make corrections. But, that’s the way this works. Unless you do have another set of eyes…and even perhaps despite that, you may still find errors, because no one knows your story like you do.

Good Lord, 20 years?

Hopefully, what you find are not egregious errors…but even so, remember, even with the Big Dogs (the Big Five/Whatever) readers find errors. We’re human, and we make mistakes.

So, here is my latest round of things I’ve discovered:

  1. We’re human, we make mistakes. Accept that, but do your best. Have a thick skin, and readers…be kind. Understand this, fact, too.
  2. Blurbs? As I’d written in a previous post, I’m no longer seeking them…but to those I’ve already gathered, I’m going to use. Again, I reiterate: all those who have written me a cover blurb have actually read my work.
  3. Copyright your work! There is a really good post on this, and it got my ass in gear, now all my work is copyrighted. I always meant to do this, it got lost in the shuffle, so, thanks, Susan (Susan Spann has been most helpful to our writing community)!
  4. Don’t respond to e-mails with your favorite (or any, for that matter!) music blasting away! You could get carried away! There, I said it. You think that’s a stupid thing to say, but I love rock and roll, and, well, yes, sometimes I can get a little carried away with the energy of it. Music can and does change your state of mind, and you don’t want to get cocky. Just sayin’.
  5. Putting a price on your cover. When I first noted this item, I was of the mind to put a price on your book when printing the cover (if you can). It’s been mentioned a couple times on sites/sellers of books. I’ve asked my community about it, and I don’t remember anyone responding, so I don’t take it as being all that important. The more I thought about it, the more I came up with: why? In today’s world, that only really seems applicable to brick-and-mortar bookstores. So, I’m backing off the need for that. I don’t think you need to have that anymore. That’s old school (unless someone reading this can give me a good reason to do so). Everyone discounts books, even the brick-and-mortar stores. Indie authors cut deals left and right. Why would this be a necessity anymore?
  6. Be quick to apologize! Never be afraid to say you’re sorry for something you may have done, even if you’re not sure you’ve actually done something wrong. I am constantly amazed at how few people in the world actually apologize for anything, especially men. You got it. Men, friggin Man-the-HELL-up and take goddamn responsibility for your actions. I see it so much in my day job it pisses me off (and had another experience with exactly this just yesterday!). I forget why I’d originally included this item, but the point is salient. Get off your Ego Podiums!
  7. WP blogging: check that your saves are actually saved! Good Lord, this bites me more than I care to consider—and other WP bloggers! Yet, every time I contact WP about this, it’s like the first time they’ve ever heard about it! It’s not, WP, so please, fix the damned issue! Below the post window, on the right, there’s a “Draft saved at…” timestamp, and below that is a “Revisions” history. Checks these areas frequently!  Can’t emphasize this enough! Check them every time you save, to make sure your save—whether it’s a “Ctrl-S” or “Save Draft” selection—that they actually have taken. Especially if you’ve completed an initial post then been away from that post for a long time, like hours or days, and come back. Copy your text into Word or Notepad as you’re working. Highlight and copy into your clipboard what you’ve worked on periodically. If you happen to get a message that has the words to the effect “Do you really want to do this“…it’s too late. You’re screwed. You’ll keep what you last entered and saved, but anything after that last “official” save is forever gone.
  8. Cut your losses. If something’s not working out for you, detach yourself from it. Remove yourself from it. I recently had to do that with something with which I’d been associated for a very long time. It’s going  its way, I’m going mine. C’est la vie. Move on. Don’t keep the “bad energy” in your Weltanschauung. Don’t bad talk whatever it is…just move on.
  9. Not all advice is good. Everyone has an opinion, just like me, but not everything we give will work for you. And—I have to say this—not everyone knows what they’re talking about! Not everyone truly understands Indie publishing! And…some are actively trying to still discredit Indie publishing, because they’re in Traditional publishing, are pissed, scared, Old School, whatever, and are trying to interdict, spoof, and (argh, I’ve forgotten the term!) intentionally direct you away from your chosen path. Be aware. Consider all you hear with a block of salt. And remember this: there are always a million reasons not to do something…but, you only need to find one reason to change. Make the break and create a new path for yourself. This, however, is one guy who has his shit together: Bob Mayer. Read his stuff.
  10. Not everything you write is publishable! This should be obvious! Going Indie may give you license to publish everything you write, but everything you write is not necessarily publishable.
  11. Keep writing.

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About fpdorchak

Paranormal fiction author.
This entry was posted in To Be Human, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Going Indie—What I’ve Learned (So Far)—Part 11

  1. karen lin says:

    All great suggestions. Hardest thing for me is Cut Your Losses. I hate to have wasted time. The upside: I finish projects. The Downside: they aren’t always good. But that would be true either way. Right?

    • fpdorchak says:

      You gotta do what you gotta do! And sometimes that means finishing what you’ve started. :-] There are no “right” answers, Karen! The energy of a project—or anything—is what it is…and it’s up to us to figure out how we want t deal with it…..

  2. Paul says:

    “Keep writing.” Great way to end this post, Frank, because if we don’t do that, we’re really sunk. Lots of great tips here!

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