This indie publishing gig isn’t for sissies. Kinda like the whole publishing gig in general. But handing off a manuscript to an editor then switching gears to write the next is a whole lot different than going to various dashboards each morning to look at sales numbers, deciding on the best use of the promo dollar, checking in with vendors or contractors on anticipated delivery dates for this and that.

And I’ve only reissued three out of the twelve books planned for this year! Let’s not even talk about new writing. Because that’s what amazes me. How many authors are so prolific while still dealing with the business end of things. Of course I’m reissuing a LOT of product in a very short period of time. But still. I’m beginning to understand why so many turn to virtual assistants for help.

Love Me Tender - 10/1999Love In Bloom - 06/2000My first foray into indie publishing was in 2010. I uploaded the Word docs of those backlist titles to Amazon, while letting Smashwords’ meat grinder churn out the editions required for iBooks and B & N. Boy have things changed in the six years since. I did my own covers for Love Me Tender and Love in Bloom, and those have held up well. As have the titles. The rest of my older backlist have seen several covers and at least one title change for each. Luckily, I have an in with a great designer who fixed me up and also did the covers for the reissued Smithson Group books.

By chance, an author friend who asked me to look at her indie file on my Kindle shared with me the name of her formatter who I’ve used for everything since. And another friend used an editing service that provides a final “oops detection” read of the formatted file to follow up the initial proofread of the manuscript. These people have been invaluable, and saved me tons of time. Sure, I could learn to format, though I’d still need an additional set of eyes on the file looking for typos, not to mention the grammar things I always miss.

Thing is, the information on how to do all of this, whether on your own or by hiring someone, is out there, readily shared and easily found. There are Facebook groups and Yahoo groups and Twitter where you can ask authors in the know ANYTHING and get a response. There are also writers organizations like NINC the shaughnessey accordand RWA where so much knowledge and generosity exists. There are blogs and podcasts and a never-ending stream of continually updated information. I hang on the words of these pioneers who have solved the problems I run into and who post the solutions (widgets! code!) so all I have to do is ask Google where to find it. I appreciate them more than I can say.

And I have a new backlist book out today!

(sunday’s word count: 10. yes, 10. because i didn’t really write. i just typed up some already handwritten pages and once i cleaned it up, that was the number of words i added to it.)