For the past 18 months I have been walking the writer’s path. It has been demanding, challenging, discouraging, and exciting. My hope is that journaling my experiences will help clarify my thoughts about where I am and where I want to go from here ; and, possibly help others who are traveling the same path.
Writing became a passion of mine in high school. That was the beginning of my dream to to become a published author. But, my passion remained a secret for many years (except for my family). I used it primarily for journaling, for notes to myself about books I planned to write; then, later for the creation of leaders’ manuals and workshop handbooks for leadership training programs in Corporate America.
I made a stab at being serious about developing my skills with a couple of creative writing classes. I even spent several thousand dollars on a course that promised to help me write and publish my first book within six months . . . but no results, just a lot of money down the drain. For some reason I just couldn’t stay focused on the goal long enough to make it happen – and there was a fair amount of self-doubt that took its toll, as well.
Then, in January 2012, my world shifted. I lost my job. Even though I hated every minute when I was at work, the loss was devastating and panic set in. Finally, after the terror subsided, I realized it was exactly what I needed because I was now forced to focus on what I really wanted. I was ready to follow my dream and WRITE!
With the introduction of e-books and the ease of self-publishing, I knew my time had come – it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
It was a struggle at first because the Internet was foreign territory for me, and extremely intimidating. That coupled with being overwhelmed with the entire publishing process almost defeated me – but I pulled through.
My first book was published in April 2012. I am happy to report that I currently have 16 published books with two more in the works. I should add; however, that even though the writing has been fairly easy, the learning curve of self-publishing and marketing my books has been one of the steepest I have ever had to climb.
Amazon had such a huge chunk of the e-book market, it was fairly easy to get a book published through them, and there was an abundance of books available about how to publish on Kindle, that Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) was the obvious first choice.
Over the next 15 months, I published 16 books through KDP and CreateSpace (also Amazon) – and the first 14 were also enrolled in KDP Select. This prevented me from publishing them anywhere else for at least 90 days. Being such an incredible (and relatively uninformed) novice, I didn’t realize that I had to uncheck a box on their publishing Website, or the enrollment automatically renewed. By the time I figured out what was going on, nine months had past and my books were still only on Kindle and CreateSpace – a good market, but limited.
Finally, I unchecked the boxes on all the books, the time periods expired and I was free to go elsewhere to expand my distribution. OMG – I realized that now I had another huge learning curve ahead of me. But, first I had to figure out what all the possibilities were. To be continued . . .