I lived! Fortunately, I knew quite a few people in the room at the Pikes Peak Romance Writers meeting, although I have to admit I kind of went into extrovert mode for a while and thus into an altered state in which I can’t quite remember everything that happened. Weird, that. I finally got to talk to some people that I recognized from PPW meetings but hadn’t really met, which was nice.
Milt Mays and Robin Nolet both talked about their different roads to publishing, too, which was great. It was funny, though, that Terry O’Dell and Magaret Brettschneider (of the people I recognized and knew were in self-publishing; apologies to those I missed) were both in the audience, and I just assume they both know more than I do by a long shot. However, I think what has proven true so far is that ebooks and this new wave of self-publishing with POD are still so new that everyone who so much as dips a toe in that water can have something useful to share–and to learn. “How did you do THAT?” “Did it work?” “Oh, that’s an awesome workaround.” “Good warning…I’ll think twice before I do this other thing.” If I get nothing else out of self-publishing, it’s the pleasure of knowing other people who like to poke around like I do, who take an experimental approach to publishing, rather than a fearful one. (Not that sheer panic isn’t involved.)
I passed out my Roadmap to Indie Publishing, and that went over well.
- To those who don’t understand Facebook/Twitter: Just talk to people. You’re a writer; you are, by definition, interesting. Yes, on occasion, tell people about the work you have to sell. But mostly talk, and listen, and respond. If it were a private conversation, it wouldn’t be on Twitter. (Treat it like a cocktail party where you can jump into anything interesting, say anything [as long as it’s interesting], and show up for in your bathrobe. Downside: having to provide your own booze and snacks…)
- I can’t recommend starting with Smashwords strongly enough.
- My two biggest setbacks (although I doubt I would change them) have been 1) writing under more than one name and 2) giving stories away for free to my family. Doing so set me back three months. I’m just starting to recover. Your family and friends are part of a critical mass that you need to get started, and I should have waited. But eh, it makes me happy.
- My friend Mark Fassett is the guy who does the awesome writer software: Storybox is for writing, and helped me crank out words about 50% faster than I had before (when I’m on a roll, that is), and Trackerbox is for tracking your sales on Smashwords, B&N, Amazon, etc. Nice.
- I sold two books! However, I was also a dork…due to the magic of the Internet, I can take orders for books, have people pay online with credit cards (via my PayPal merchant account), and have the books shipped to them. I forgot to mention this…even after I created some last-minute order forms. Siiiiigh. I also didn’t have coupons ready for free books, like Robin did…AND I forgot to pick up one of her coupons. I had biz cards, but they were the old ones that just have this site on them. My head = attached, but only barely, in case you were wondering.
- I brought books with me in a rolly suitcase a la Beth Groundwater, which worked very well, but the books slid around, and now one of the covers is bent. I’ll have to rethink how to pack them. But otherwise it was handy.
- I think it was Milt who mentioned that Tattered Cover has a local authors program where they will also consider self-published authors. Neat! Link to program is here. “Local authors” is definitely Colorado authors; possibly those from Wyoming, New Mexico, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, and Kansas; and possibly authors from worldwide who are writing specifically about Rocky Mountain state-related topics.
- I plugged for NaNoTryMo: The Pikes Peak Writers’ NaNoWriMo write-ins, which are at the Imagination Celebration station, at the Citadel Mall. They’re from 6:30 to 8:30. It’s free!
I wish I’d taken more notes about what my fellow authors had said…ack! I though I’d written down stuff they were doing and wanted to copy, and I didn’t! What a dork. I guess I was just too excited 🙂
I hope everyone had fun and will consider trying at least to put up a short story as an ebook. Don’t knock it until you try it 🙂