The Indelibles recently started a monthly feature called Indie Life, running the second Wednesday of every month. Even though I'm already part of a blog ring, a blog chain, and a group blog, I couldn't resist adding this feature too. After all, "being indie doesn't have to mean going it alone."
If you've been following this blog for a while, then you may know that I self-published my first novella, Lyon's Legacy, back in October 2011. Since then, I've also self-published four short stories while I revised Twinned Universes, the sequel to Lyon's Legacy. I'm currently in the final stages of preparing Twinned Universes for release next month. Here are some things I'm doing differently the second time around:
Announcing a release date in advance. Last time, I didn't know how long it would take me to format the story and publish it, so I didn't pick a date in advance. Now that I (in theory) know what I'm doing, I decided to pick a date. Since my main character is pure Irish, as is the man he's cloned from, I decided to go with Saint Patrick's Day, March 17, and see if I can get a little "luck of the Irish." Turns out that's a Sunday, but I since may need to do some last-minute adjustments before hitting the "Publish" buttons, that should work out for me. At this point, I don't know if I'll be rushing to make that deadline or waiting impatiently for the date.
Formatting for CreateSpace first. I first published Lyon's Legacy in eBook format; I didn't know about CreateSpace at the time and didn't get a paper version of my book out until 2012. Now I'm formatting the paper book before I work on the eBook version. Both versions should be available by the release date. I figure if I want to tweak wording to avoid widows and orphans in the paper version, then I should do that first and base the eBook on the paper book. I wish I could say formatting for CreateSpace was easier this time, but it still took me over a week to get an "issue-less" PDF. Alternating headers are so much simpler to manage without page numbers, which work better in the footer. I'll do the eBooks after I review the paper proof. What's your biggest issue with formatting, either for eBook or paper?
Adding the book to Goodreads in advance. I knew indie authors could add books when they're out, and I knew publishers could schedule book that aren't out yet, but I didn't know indie author could add unpublished books too. Once I had an IBSN for the paper version of Twinned Universes, I used that to add the book to Goodreads. I'll add other things, like the cover and eBook editions, when they're available. In the meantime, people can already add the book to their shelves.
Organizing a blog tour in advance. With my first book, I waited until it was out before asking people to interview me or review it. This time, I've already contacted a blog tour organizer, and soon I'll e-mail some bloggers who already said they would be willing to host me.
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