Venturing into Indie Publishing and Getting Back My Passion

Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Getting a new cover soon
and ebook format
At the end of last year, I shared with Muffin readers how excited I was about indie publishing after coming back from the 20Books to 50K conference in Las Vegas. Since then, I've been studying, reading books and articles, listening to podcasts and webinars, and thinking constantly about indie publishing. I had a lot to learn, and I still do. But I'm going forward with my plans, and I can't wait. The first book I'll publish under my company name, Editor 911 Books, will be: How to Book, Present, and Sell at School Visits and Children's Author Talks! (working title)

I'm in the middle of contacting some chidren's authors I know to answer questions for their expert advice to be included in my book. I'm asking one of them to write a foreword. I'm revising the manuscript--on page 70 out of 100. I'm enrolled in a Photoshop online course specifically to design book covers, so I can create professional covers. And I'm lining up my beta readers and proofreader. My critique group has looked at some of the manuscript and gave me excellent advice.

I'm also listening to a webinar about "going wide" with PublishDrive. If you aren't familiar with the indie publishing community, going wide is when your books are available in many stores, such as Kobo, Google Play, Overdrive, Apple iBooks, Amazon, and more. When you're exclusive, as many authors are, this means that your books are only with Amazon, and most of the time this is because you want to put it in the KindleUnlimited store.

So many decisions! So much to learn! So many new companies to explore!

But I can tell you that I haven't been this excited about writing, marketing, and books in a very long time.

Why did I decide to write about school visits? School presentations are still one of the biggest ways that children's authors market their books to kids, and there wasn't a good guidebook out there, which I discovered when preparing for the online class I teach for WOW! about how to book and present school visits and children's author talks. As a lot of us writers tend to do--if we can't find a book we want to read, we write it ourselves. I sat on the idea for a while because I thought I would have to write a book proposal, do a market study, find a publisher, negotiate a contract, etc, etc. As a single, working mom, all of that was overwhelming and stifling my creativitiy.

Once I heard about how respected and successful so many indie authors are today, I never looked back. As a matter of fact, I finally called the publisher of my very first middle-grade historical fiction novel, Finding My Place, and discovered that I have the ebook rights! So I will also be self-publishing that with a new cover designed by our very own Angela Mackintosh.

Even if you aren't considering indie publishing, this blog post has a message for you. If you're feeling uncreative or you can't make yourself put your butt in the chair to write words, or you're defeated with all the rejections and the hard work of researching companies and agents, find SOMETHING to put your passion back into your writing.

Find a good writing podcast with uplifiting stories. Read a new author and fall in love with her words. Get together with other writers and share stories, successes, and failures. Go on a writing retreat and spend time with your manuscript. Consider indie publishing something, just to try it out.

Get your passion back. I'll tell you from personal experience that you won't be sorry!

Margo L. Dill is teaching the WOW! School Visit and Author Talk class this winter, beginning on February 19. Sign up here for only $99! To be informed when her school visit book and other books come out, plus receive a free 1,000-word edit, sign up for her newsletter list for writers here. Margo is the managing editor of WOW! and lives in St. Louis, MO, with her dog and her daughter. 


Sue Bradford Edwards said...

This is all so exciting! Do you mind sharing the title and other info on the cover design class you are taking? Curious minds and all that.

Margo Dill said...

Hi Sue:
And I was thinking of asking you if you wanted to be a beta reader for the school visit book. I'll contact you "off the grid."

Thank you! Sure, I am taking the book cover photoshop course through the Self-Publishing Show Formula's online courses run by Mark Dawson who is an indie thriller writer who has made 7-figures for two years in a row and just got a deal with a publisher for ONLY his print book rights (so he gets to keep his ebook rights) and his HARDCOVER books will be sold in bookshops in England (if you are interested, you should Google him because his story is amazing--he started as a trad pub author whose contract was canceled because he couldn't sell enough books.) and James Blatch who hasn't published his book yet. Anyway, here's the link: You will have to scroll down to the book cover course to read about it because since I am enrolled, I go straight to the course material. Whew, that was more than you bargained for in an answer, right?

Marcia Peterson said...

Your excitement is contagious, Margo. Glad to hear it, and your tips are great!

Angela Mackintosh said...

I'm so excited for you, Margo! I also want to talk to you about the WOW publishing arm once you get your own thing going. :) xo

Margo Dill said...

Yes, I would love to do a WOW! publishing arm. If we just had more time in the day! I am so ready for spring. I think I will be so much more productive.

Thanks, Marcia!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

I'd be happy to be a Beta reader. Just drop me a note when you have it done.

And thank you for the answer. I'll have to look at his classes.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Just catching up here but yes, that's a great title to go with self-publishing! Certain books lend themselves better than others and that has a built-in target audience.

I feel like I need to get another book done before I forget everything I taught myself with the book I published. And with the speed that this industry goes, it's probably already old hat from just a year ago! Good luck, Margo!

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