writing business

My Progress in Self-Publishing – The Book Cover

There are many blogs about writers trying to self-publish. Unfortunately, this is another one. And, this is the worst kind of blog post — one where the self-publishing effort is in-progress.

I’ll start with after my book has been edited to the point where I felt it could be read without too much wincing by the reader. My plan is to “go wide” meaning I will not be exclusive to any one platform (i.e. KDP Select). So, the first place I went to publish my book was KDP.

I learned how to format the inside of the book and had no problems with the upload. I could feel the tingle of excitement to be a published author. I felt the dread that strangers would read something I wrote. Yet, all my in-progress slammed to a halt when I attempted the book cover for the print edition.

I hate the book covers in my genre. Everything is dark with reds and greens. My novel has humor and satire and is optimistic. I want my cover to be bright and the designers I found disagreed with me. So, I designed the front and back covers separately using MS Publisher.

However, I do not have the software nor expertise to design book covers and I knew my design needed more attention. I tried to find a book designer again. I am still looking.

While looking, I started learning the software to design a book cover. This is my novel and I am paying the designer. Why can’t there be a compromise?

Staying Motivated to Write

This blog post is about staying motivated to write.

Yes, there are a jillion zillion such posts from bloggers much better than me to write about it. There are also bloggers who do not know how to write about it, but did anyway. That makes it no reason for me to write about writing motivation, so I will.

A wall exists in a parallel universe inside the writer’s mind. The writer is on one side of the wall saying, “I want to write.” On the other side of the wall is the writer’s ability to write. At the same time, the wall does not exist. Something like Schrödinger’s cat in 3-D.

The reason there are so many opinions about motivation is because there is no answer. Like The Cat, every answer is correct at the same time it is wrong. So, I’ll add to that with this advice that I hope some day a person will read:

Time was invented by humanity to judge a person’s ability to act. Ignore time and think past the wall to a world created by your mind.

From Fear to Publication

This blog entry is not a motivational speech. It is a layer of my opinions and wanderings of random thoughts about one aspect of publishing a book — the ego and the fear.

I believe there are many well written books that could be classics and loved by many. However, the writer’s only copy is sitting on some electronic device or printed and gathering dust somewhere. It is almost like the best writers do not want to be published. It is almost like the best writers are the ones who fear publication the most.

Of course, there are many books that should remain unpublished. I wrote two of them. There are also a lot of books that should not have been published. I have read some of them. In the end, I think the difference between publishing and not seems to be the ego.

Those with the biggest ego appear to find it easy to publish. I don’t mean “ego” in the negative sense. These authors want the world to know they wrote something and have no fear of the public reading what they wrote. Is there a link between ego and fear?

Over the years, I have met some very good writers who never published. They saw publishing as a barrier they could not overcome. Also, almost none of them had strong egos. Some even told me they feared where the publication route would take them.

I have no answer for how people without strong egos can overcome their fear and get published. (Except overcome their fear and publish, but that’s a motivational speech.) I have three books sitting alone on my computer and printed out that are ready to be self-published. They’ve been sitting there for too long.

Join a Writers’ Group

Writers’ groups are opportunities to encourage and inspire writers along with providing a means to network. As president of a writers’ group, we provide benefits to motivate people to join. We have luncheons with guest speakers, on occasion writing events, and a discount on our writing contest. Member dues help pay for these things.

Our group, like many others, offer author representation on the website, a monthly newsletter, and we support several critique groups. More things member dues support. Yet, even with being in a large population area with a vibrant writing community we struggle with membership.

Writer groups are needed so a writer has a place to go to for support. Yet, I know many writers who do not belong to a writers’ group.

I think it is important for writers to join one. Most membership fees are reasonable and the opportunities to join can mean more than the money. There are opportunities to make writing friends and learn from other writers.

I belong to several groups, some too far away for me to attend the meetings. Yet, they still provide a way to network and learn. They are an outreach asset with diverse benefits.

I would encourage all writers to support at least one writers’ group in some way. However, I won’t suggest starting one unless you are so motivated. As a president of a writers’ group, it can be rewarding, but also challenging.