I self-published my first book in April 2014. Work Your Package – A Guide to Being the Total Package was written in four months in the midst of planning my first annual women’s conference. My wicked editor was member of my board of directors who knows my “voice”. My cover was created by the amazing graphic artists at my job and I used a head shot taken by the staff photographer. The entire thing was low budget and cost me little to nothing to complete, submit and eventually be listed on Amazon. How did I get it done so quick? I put myself out there and told everyone who was coming to my conference or knew about my conference that I was launching my book at the conference. Pressure? Yup, just a little bit. It put me in the hot seat. Made me create a backwards production schedule so that I would have the books in hand at least a week before the conference. I beat my self-imposed deadline by a few days. That’s the book I tell everyone about. That’s the one that I take with me when I have speaking engagements. That’s the book I autograph with pride and personalized messages of encouragement.
Then there’s my second book. The one that I’ve been working on since I was pregnant and on bed rest with my oldest who just turned 10 this past summer. Stop it with the looks of shock and awe. Let me explain (or at least try to) why there has been such a delay. While my first book was created as a guide for women and men to be the best versions of themselves, my second book is purely creative. It’s a romance novel with characters that have lived in my head for ten years. My characters are my friends. They say the things I won’t, do the things that I dream about and have pieces of me woven in each of them. The draft version of my novel is currently 246 pages and I’ve committed myself to 100 more to wrap everything up in a bow and set it up for the next book in the series (which I’ve already outlined). If you’ve never written a book, you might be asking, “Why is it taking you so long to finish the book?” I could come up with some hogwash excuse like “life happens” but the truth is, my creative process has absolutely no linear trajectory. As I was telling a friend the other day, my thoughts don’t come 1, 2, 3…My creative thoughts spout out of my head like 1, 7, 3, 25. Eventually it will all come out, but very rarely in order. My research is just as important as the development of my characters. I have stacks of research that I’ve collected over the years and I pull from it as I write. I hope when the book is released October 2016 (Yup, I just gave myself a deadline) that people will enjoy it and tell others about it. There will be pieces of my creative heart on each page.
So what’s your story? Are you ready to tell it? Do you have a method to capture your thoughts? (I have journals everywhere…nightstand, car, purse, work) I believe that everyone has a story to tell and with so many different genre’s of books, there is no limit to how many stories you can tell. Are you a technical subject matter expert? Do you have you inspiring story of triumph over insurmountable odds? Do you want encourage our future leaders? Are you the next E.L. James? While you may not think there’s a place for you, someone is waiting to hear your story.
By the way, self-publishing isn’t hard to do but you have to do your research. I used CreateSpace by Amazon and it worked out well for my first book. I’m in the process of looking at other options for my novel. Below are a couple of more options for you to explore. I’m not endorsing any particular company but I want to eliminate your excuse of “I don’t know where to get started.” What type of maven would I be if I kept all the information to myself?
Here’s an article about how to get started: