Monday, 12 March 2012

The Joys of Publishing with Melissa Blue, plus giveaway!

I'm psyched to introduce Melissa Blue to my blog. She's my long term CP and she's here to talk about publishing in general, and self-publishing. As well as writing multiple witty yet heartwarming romance novels, she has also delved into the world of self-publishing and is doing spectacularly well (being her CP, I can totally see why. Lets just say there's plenty of snark, tears and shivers involved in her stories). Read to the end and leave a comment for the chance to win not only a copy of her amazing debut first self-published book 'See Megan Run' but also a $15 Amazon voucher! Seriously, a free book and $15 dollars to buy more, what's stopping you? :o) x
*****
Hi, my name is Melissa Blue and I used to be published. Or I was unpublished after being published and then I re-published except it's self-published.
Ok. Let's try this again, my name is Melissa Blue and I'm going to tell you things they don't tell you about publishing.
I used to be a newbie. I used to believe that there were publishing faeries who sprinkled dust on manuscripts and voila your book ended up published. No, I'm not being facetious (maybe a little) or condescending. There was literally a time where I thought all it took to get published was writing a book and sending it in. I was 19. I wasn't exactly a worldly 19, either. I had vast knowledge in one area and that was it. So, write book + send book to publisher (Harlequin was the extent of "publisher") = book is published.
Did you notice there was nothing in between or after? To say I had a bit of a learning curve is an understatement. Let's fast forward so this blog isn't novel length. I learned a few things about writing, for one. Your characters need to have a goal. Go figure. You need to think in terms of career, as in write more than one book, send and voila published. (More than one book in the same genre too.) Sometimes (most times, if not all the time) being published isn't all rainbows and farting unicorns. And sometimes after getting that brass ring you end up unpublished again.
Who'd thought? And one would think I'd learned my lesson and learned a thing or two about being self-published. Before, you know, I jumped off that bridge of insanity.
Of course not, 'cause here's the thing about being published. No one's journey is the same. Plus, you can read about the details but human beings tend to gloss over them until it is NEED TO KNOW. Take a moment and imagine your dream publisher….Do you know off the top of your head what format they prefer? Is the synopsis two pages or up to five? What's the e-mail addy or address you need to send the ms to? Even if you know, aren't you going to double check?
Yeah. That's how it ALWAYS is. Published in a traditional sense. Or self-published. There are ways to make your life easier, but nothing is easy.
Self-publishing isn't any different, except you are the publisher. You are going to find out the details of things you never knew existed. Like All Romance E-books requires you to upload your own formatting. And Smashwords has its own formatting i.e. a word doc in a very specific manner. And that watching to see if you've had a sale is ten times worse than checking to see if the editor has replied back. Maybe a hundred times.
And are you published? Or is the "self" designation required. Or are you some freak-a-zoid like me and formerly published but now self-published.
Here's the bit of advice I glossed over again and again when I was unpublished (the first time) there is no secret handshake. It's a bit of luck and hard work. Go figure.
Well, you can find more barrels of sunshine on my blog. Where, it’s a complete coincidence, you can find links to buy my books.
Wait there’s more! Leave a comment and you can win a $15 Amazon gift card and a copy of one of my books--See Megan Run.
And! For a limited time you can ask me any questions about self-publishing.
*****
Thanks Melissa! You're a star. You can buy Mel's books here. :o)

12 comments:

  1. O comments? How can there be zero comments? Okay, maybe it's me, but when I see a title that says, "How to..." I expect some information about whatever the topic of the "How to...". And as entertaining as this blog post is, there is no real nuts and bolts, "How to...". So either I will have to go click on your links, or I may never know "How to...". ;-)
    Nancy AKA sheandeen AKA Nan

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    1. You're right. The nuts and bolts would have required a series of posts, which isn't all together a bad idea. But, given smarter people than I have done this, I'll leave it to the professionals. The one link I'd give regarding self-publishing is my one saving grace for formatting, at least IMHO. Guido Henkel did a wonderful series on his blog. For free: http://guidohenkel.com/2010/12/take-pride-in-your-ebook-formatting/

      At the very least I hope that's a start.

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  2. You're right, maybe 'how to' was a little bit of a stretch. Although if you have any questions about the process, Melissa would be happy to tell you :o)

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  3. This made me chortle! Maybe it was the farting unicorns or the fairies that sprinkled magic dust over manuscripts ;)

    Melissa, I hope going from published to un-published to self-published works out for you... I'll be checking out your work very soon!

    x

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    1. @Xandra Those unicorns have a series gas problem. I've sent them links to WebMd and Dr. Oz but yet and still...

      "Melissa, I hope going from published to un-published to self-published works out for you... I'll be checking out your work very soon!"

      So far so good. The whole process has been very eye opening and challenging.

      As for checking out my work, YAY! Low brow humor for the win. :)

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    2. Series...wow. It is bad. lol "serious"

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    3. Lol, don't ya just love typos? Yesterday I made loads!

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  4. Thanks again, Aimee, for having me on your blog.

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  5. Unicorns fart? Not in my kingdom (though they do plenty of other disgusting things)

    Good for you for going the self-pub route. One thing is for sure, you make your own luck in this business. Really hope all goes well for you. Will be watching.

    Incy

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    1. "Unicorns fart? Not in my kingdom (though they do plenty of other disgusting things)"

      I suspect it has everything to do with the horn on their head. If nature stuck something in the middle of your forehead it'd make you odd too.

      "Good for you for going the self-pub route. One thing is for sure, you make your own luck in this business. "

      So true. I think for a lot of authors who put out their own shingle per se has realized what a great opportunity self-publishing can be right now. The luck is that self-publishing has become a viable way to make money. Also helps it's starting to lose its stigma.

      "Really hope all goes well for you. Will be watching."

      Me too. lol And thank you.

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  6. And here I thought unicorn's farted roses! ;o)

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