Tag Archives: indie publishing

ANWA Conference

Have you registered for ANWA’s Writers Conference? It could change your life. The last few ANWA Conferences have changed mine. In honor of the upcoming learning opportunities, I thought I’d share a few of the classes I attended over the last few years that made such an impression on me.
I only remember one class from my first conference, Marsha Ward’s class on indie publishing. I wandered in there with no intention of being interested in the subject. I really was only there for Marsha. We’d never met, but I’d heard her name enough times over the weekend to be curious. Marsha’s enthusiasm for indie publishing caught my attention, even though I wasn’t interested in it for myself. Back then, I was querying my first novel, Master of Emotion. The process was new and exciting, and I wanted to go the traditional publishing route.
I must have learned more than I remember because I went home and revised my manuscript. The changes improved it and made me want to be published even more.
By the time my second ANWA Conference rolled around, I’d finished my second novel, Once Upon a Tour. I finished the novel about three weeks before conference—just in time to pitch! I learned so much pitching, especially about how hard it is to write a catchy, concise one-sentence summary. The whole process was challenging, but fun. Then, I was still in the proofreading stage with my novel when I sat in on Kelly Mortimer’s class on self-editing. I took her eight page handout home and used it to line-edit my manuscripts. By the time I finished, I had removed 5,000 unnecessary words from each novel. I was shocked and excited by the differences I could see in my writing.
When I finished my third novel, Supreme Chancellor of Stupidity, a few months later, I pulled out my editing handout from conference and cleaned up my manuscript before I had anyone else read it. Word’s Find and Replace commands became my new best friends.
You’d think that serving as ANWA’s Treasurer might have curtailed my class attendance at last year’s ANWA conference, and I’ll admit that I didn’t see every class I wanted. But two sessions helped me in my stage of writing. See, by then I had followed Marsha’s advice and dived into indie publishing, and a month before, I had self-published my first novel as an e-book. To publicize my writing and newly published book, I’d also started a blogspot blog. I was struggling with web issues and with the covers for my second and third novels when Conference jumped in to help. A class on cover design issues and another on online/website promotion answered my questions and inspired me to start a web page at www.dogdenhuff.com . My covers improved as well.
It shocks me how far I’ve come in four years and how critical the ANWA Conferences have been to my success. I now have three indie published novels, available in both e-book and paperback forms. I like my website, and I love my chapter meetings which are filled with funny, talented sisters. ANWA, and especially ANWA Conferences, have truly blessed my life.
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Self-publishing Questions

A fellow ANWA member, Theresa Sneed, has recently decided to dive into indie publishing. She sent me a list of questions to interview me on her blog. Check out her adventure at http://theresasneed.com/. Here’s the interview:

1.  How many books do you have published, and are they all self-published? What are the titles and where can we purchase them? Please give link(s).

I’ve self-published all three of my completed novels:

Master of Emotion (Book 1 of my Young Adult Sci-Fi Romance series)

Supreme Chancellor of Stupidity (Book 2 of my Young Adult Sci-Fi Romance series)

Once Upon a Tour—An LDS Romance

All of my books are available as e-books and paperbacks on Amazon and as e-books on Smashwords. Here are the links:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=d+ogden+huff

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/111566

2. How long have you been self-published?

Master of Emotion was published December, 2011, the other two in 2012.

3. Do you set goals or follow a schedule pertaining to writing, self-publishing, and marketing?

Well, when I self-published Master of Emotion, I intended to set goals and implement a marketing plan—but a very busy church job and a some other non-profit work got in the way. Since then, I’ve been able to self-publish my other two novels, first as e-books and then as paperbacks, but I’ve chosen to use any other free time I have available to write, rather than market my books. After all, writing is therapeutic and marketing is work. My goal now is to finish my Young Adult Sci-Fi Series and then market the whole series together.

4. If you’ve been self-published for a while, what changes have you seen in the self-publishing industry?

There are more resources and information available. Every day it gets easier.

5. If you’ve been traditionally published, what moved you to become self-published?

I haven’t been traditionally published, but a chapter meeting lesson on self-publishing convinced me to give it a try. I’ve never regretted that decision.

6. Simon and Shuster has jumped on the bandwagon with their self-publishing service called, Archways. Do you see self-publishing as the “wave of the future?”

Self-publishing is here to stay, but as more and more authors jump on the self-publishing bandwagon, the “supply” of books will go up. Laws of Economics dictate that when there is a high supply and demand doesn’t change, the price of books will be lower. Luckily, the profit margin to the self-published author is higher than to a traditionally published author so a lower price per book is acceptable. However, if the number of e-books continues to increase, it will make it more difficult to stand out in the crowd and get a share of the market.

Like the 1850’s Gold Rush, where the only people making money were the people selling stuff to the prospectors, in the 21st Century Book Rush, the only people making money may be a few authors who break-out from the crowd and those people selling products and services to the self-published authors. For the future, the only sure thing in publishing will be change.

7. Do you use a website and/or blog to market your book(s)? Please leave web addresses.

My website is www.dogdenhuff.com . Check it out!

8. What is your best tip for marketing self-published books?

I loved Lisa Mangum’s advice at the 2012 ANWA Writers Conference. She decided to do one marketing activity per week. That might include anything from blogging to facebooking to speaking. At the time, I thought I could do that—and I fully intend to. Once my life slows down.

9. Let’s talk money. How much more profitable has self-publishing been for you than traditional publishing? If you’ve never been traditionally published, have you found self-publishing to be worthwhile? Please give examples.

I didn’t self-publish for the money, so the few hundred dollars I’ve earned when someone has wandered over to one of my books is just icing on the cake. I never could have traditionally published during the last couple of years—I simply did not have the time. As a result, I wouldn’t have made any money at all. But now I’ve profited from my writing. How cool is that?

10. Do you support your family with your self-published earnings?

Heck, no. But I go on an occasional date with my husband with my self-published earnings. That’s cool too.

11. What has been the most difficult part of self-publishing for you?

Finding time for the work of marketing. Everything else is fun, not work.

12. What has been the most exciting or rewarding part of self-publishing for you?

I had no idea that self-publishing would be so much FUN. I’ve loved learning the process, seeing the results, getting feedback from readers. There’s nothing like reading my own words in a paperback novel. Friends actually believe I’m an author now.

13. There has been a stigma on self-published books making them seem of a lesser value than those traditionally published. Why do you believe this is so? With the advent of e-books and the saturation of easy-to-self-publish books, do you find this still to be true?

Back when self-publishing meant dumping a bunch of money into printing your books, there was a well-earned stigma that the authors that would do that were either naïve or arrogant.  But now that the quality of self-published books have gone up and the cost has gone down (to the point of being free) I think the table is turning. Traditionally published authors are looking at the high profit margins of self-published authors and getting a little jealous. In addition, it’s getting harder to tell the self-published book from a traditionally published book, and even more difficult with e-books. In the future, I think the stigma will be with unprofessionally edited books compared with professionally edited books. The successful self-published author will be one who is fanatical about the quality of his/her book.

14. What question have I not asked about self-publishing that you would like to pose and respond to?

Since you’re not self-publishing for the money, why do it?

1. To ensure my hard work isn’t wasted – What good does it accomplish having my novels sleeping in a folder on my computer?

2. To share with my friends and family – I want others to be able to read my novels now, not in three to five years.

3. To back up my documents – I don’t have to worry about losing my manuscripts if my computer crashes, my house burns down, or my two-year-old granddaughter helps me type.

4. To catch the wave (of self-publishing) – I didn’t want to be left watching others ride the wave to shore.

5.  To catch my mistakes – Reading from a paperback book makes it easier to see my errors, my misspellings, my repeated words that somehow don’t appear on my computer screen. I swear they weren’t there before!

6. To get real feedback from someone other than family and friends – Strangers will tell you the truth. You learn a lot from the truth.

7. To avoid sending queries and getting rejection letters – Self-publishing is my way of sending agents, editors, and publishing companies a rejection letter from ME. Feels good.

8. To learn tons – I have new mad editing skills, cover design skills, and website skills. I’m a self-publishing ninja.

9. To have FUN – I have giggled with glee repeatedly as I’ve self-published my novels. Writing is more fun when you can see the result.

10. To claim bragging rights – I’m a real author and have the books to prove it. Boo-Yah.

I’m having fun! Are you?

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