Monday, July 22, 2013

Self Publishing Forum


Please join me in welcoming authors Cathy Bryant and Tyrean Martinson. They've graciously agreed to share their insight on the self publishing journey. 

Cathy's latest book, entitled The Way of Grace, is the third in The Miller's Creek Series, and can be found here.

Champion in the Darkness, Tyrean's debut novel and the first in The Champion Trilogy, is available here.





Cathy Bryant
Welcome Cathy and Tyrean! So glad you both could join us. What motivated you to self publish?
  

Cathy: Thank you! It's great to be here. The main reason I decided to self-publish was because I felt it was the direction the Lord wanted me to go. It wasn't an easy decision; at the time, self-publishing was writer suicide. Around that time I was devouring novels and would find scenes that seemed tacked onto the storyline for shock value. I really didn't want publishers and editors doing that to my stories.





Tyrean Martinson
Tyrean: Thank you Karen, it's a pleasure to be here! There were four areas that pushed me toward self publishing.

Research - I researched both traditional publishing and self publishing for several years and I discovered that most of the Christian fantasy authors published by the big, traditional Christian publishing houses had been previously published in another genre first. I looked up author and publishing house info, and agents, but I didn't see any easy "breakthrough" area for new Christian fantasy authors. I realized not long after I went with self publishing that I hadn't dug deep enough into the world of small press publishing. I'll be doing more research into that area in the next year or so, as I consider where to send future projects.

More Research - I researched independent authors and looked at their process. I found that I liked the idea of independent publishing and I added it to my bucket list of writing goals.

The Bucket List of Writing Goals - This list includes triple goals of getting published by a traditional publisher, by a small press, and through independent publishing.

Control - From content formatting to cover art, I wanted to experience creating a whole book and making my own decisions over everything. Not every piece went the way I thought it would for my first project, but I leaned a great deal through each part of the process.


I applaud and admire your motivation. I know it's no easy task! What were the biggest hurdles of the process?


Cathy:  The stigma of being self-published was a difficult hurdle for me personally. I've always been a people pleaser and my decision upset and distanced some of my writing friends. Plus it's a TON of work. In addition to writing the story, you're responsible for editing, formatting, book cover, marketing, etc. Get ready for loooooooong days.



Tyrean: A back up system that backfired took me by surprise, and I tried to push my way through to my self-appointed release date. This caused some problems, since the first 40 or so copies had some serious errors in them. I thought, even though I had lost my copy edited version just two weeks prior to my release date, that I had fixed everything in a second copy edited version. I was very wrong, and a bit embarrassed by that. My backup system had been dismantled because my computer underwent some repairs and the backup system wasn’t put back into place, and then my computer crashed and my most current files were fragmented. My solution now: new backup system, check on the backup system every week, and e-mailing myself and my husband current work. Plus, I learned that I need to hold off on setting a release date until I’m in the formatting stages of my book. My second project, a collection of fantasy short stories and poetry called Dragonfold and Other Adventures, didn’t get a set release date until I had my proof copy in front of me.


How did you publish your book, through a publishing service or other means?


Cathy: Printer. I cannot recommend going through a publishing service. Many companies out there are quick to take your money and give you nothing in return. My advice? Do your research!!!



Tyrean: I went through Create Space, which is Amazon’s self-publishing service, and Kindle. I also used Smashwords, Kobo, and PubIt for Nook originally, but currently my projects are only available in e-book format through Kindle Select. I’ve heard some great things about Lightning Source for print publications, so I’m peeking into that for potential future projects. 


What advice do you have for writers who are interested in self publishing their work?


Cathy: Study the market, read lots of novels, research all the ins and outs of self-publishing.
Tyrean: Triple back up your work! Set your release date after you are either involved in formatting, or you have your proof in front of you. Do plenty of research into self-publishing options, and look beyond your first project to your next one – it keeps your writing habits healthy, and keeps you sane when doing final copy edits and formatting.


Great advice! Thank you both for sharing your experience with us!
 

Here's more info on these wonderful authors:


Cathy:  Cathy’s desire is to write heart-stirring stories about God’s life-changing grace. Her first novel, Texas Roads, was a 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers’ Genesis finalist. Her second novel, A Path Less Traveled, was published in 2010.  



The Way of Grace, the third book in the Miller’s Creek novels was released in 2012, and Pilgrimage of Promise was released in 2013. A native Texan, Cathy recently moved from the beautiful Ozark mountains of northwest Arkansas to the Sangre de Cristos of northern New Mexico. 

You can find out more about Cathy and her popular Miller's Creek novels at www.catbryant.com.





 
Tyrean: Tyrean Martinson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest, encouraged by her multitalented husband and daughters. She likes to write, read, teach, ski, bicycle, and walk. Using her degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in English, Tyrean homeschools her two daughters and teaches writing and literature classes at Harbor Christian Homeschool Co-operative.  


Tyrean has been published in print anthologies as well as e-zines like Every Day Poets, Every Day Fiction and Mindflights.  


Champion in the Darkness is a YA Christian Fantasy about Clara, who is ready to become a master swordswoman. She goes to meet with longtime mentor Dantor and is told she's destined to become the Champion, a fabled hero who arises in a time of need. Confused by this claim, Clara isn't sure she's ready to be a Champion. Whether she is ready or not, an evil threatens their land and Clara and her mentor Stelia must find the strength to overcome the darkness.  Champion in the Darkness is the first book in the Champion Trilogy. 

Visit Tyrean at tyreanswritingspot.blogspot.com.


What do you think about self publishing? Do you think it's for you? Do you have any questions for Cathy and Tyrean?

Happy writing,

Karen


27 comments :

  1. You had so many setbacks Tyrean, but it all worked out in the end!

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  2. Self pubbing is a brave thing to do, and best done with lots of research. So glad they could share their paths with us!

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  3. Alex,
    I am glad it worked out for her too. I think both writers show a lot of courage! :)

    Lydia,
    I agree, they are brave! I self pubbed a small booklet for homeschool parents and even that took a LOT of work. :) Can't even imagine a full length book like theirs!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  4. I tried using iUniverse way back when and.tthey were the only ones who made any money. Its so easy to go it alone today. And you can keep a more if not all of.the profits.

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  5. Appreciate the insights on Cathy and Tyrean's journeys into the self-publishing world. Thanks, Karen. All information gathered will help in the event I decide to go that route. Still in the "research" phase of it all :-) Wishing both great successes!

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  6. Interesting reasons for self publishing. More and more people seem to be doing it every day.

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  7. Stephen,
    Yes, you have experience with this, don't you? And much success as well! Thanks for your input!

    Kenda,
    I know, it is something to think on, isn't it? Cheering you on in the journey! :)

    Theresa,
    It does seem that way, doesn't it? I think it is a good option for some. Interesting times we are in, right? :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  8. Alex - yes, I made it through!

    Karen - Thanks for having me here!!! I really appreciate it!

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  9. Lightning Source is a good option, Tyrean.

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  10. Self-pubbing is a lot of work, but it is also very rewarding if done well. Control is one big aspect.

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  11. Thanks for the interviews, Karen. I've thought about self-publishing but it seems so daunting to me that it scares the wits out of me. Susan

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  12. Diane,
    This is good to know! :) Thanks for your input!

    Damyanti,
    That's one common thread I've been hearing - about control. Glad you could stop by! :)

    Susan,
    I hear you! It is a lot of work, that's for sure. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  13. Great insights in the self publishing enigma!

    Congrats and all the best!

    Nas

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  14. Thanks for sharing! Self-publishing is not a simple or easy route so it's always nice to hear how other authors approached it.

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  15. Just coming from a writer's conference I can say with confidence that indie publishing is hugely popular. Authors love having control over their own work, as well as better royalties.

    I'm always interested in posts like these, to hear about it all from authors who have already taken the plunge.

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  16. Self-publishing has really come into it's own and I'm thrilled it is becoming a viable option for authors. It is refreshing to hear the tale of those who have blazed the trail. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Nas,
    I agree, I thought their insight was helpful. Wishing them all the best as well. :)

    Jennifer,
    No, it isn't, and I too, admire their courage! :)

    Lisa,
    It really does make you think, doesn't it? It's nice to hear from others who have paved the way. :)

    Sally,
    "Blazed the trail" is right! I am glad Cathy and Tyrean shared their journey with us. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  18. Thanks for sharing ladies. Great info here.
    It's good to hear first hand from authors who have chosen the self-pub option, because it is educational, and helps others who have-yet-to-be-published, to make more of an informed choice.
    Tyrean sounds like she had quite a few setbacks. But in the end, it all came together.
    Writer In Transit

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  19. Thanks for sharing ladies. Great info here.
    It's good to hear first hand from authors who have chosen the self-pub option, because it is educational, and helps others who have-yet-to-be-published, to make more of an informed choice.
    Tyrean sounds like she had quite a few setbacks. But in the end, it all came together.
    Writer In Transit

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing ladies. Great info here.
    It's good to hear first hand from authors who have chosen the self-pub option, because it is educational, and helps others who have-yet-to-be-published, to make more of an informed choice.
    Tyrean sounds like she had quite a few setbacks. But in the end, it all came together.
    Writer In Transit

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  21. Michelle,
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, Tyrean did have her challenges. Glad it all worked out in the end. :)
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  22. I'm so glad everything worked out for Tyrean. So far, I've only self-published reprints of my short stories via KDP, and it's been a great experience. Plenty of readers out there willing to pay 99 cents for a previously published story!

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  23. Milo,
    It's great to meet you! So glad you stopped by. I'm glad too, that things went well for these wonderful authors!
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  24. Wonderfull post, If you are looking one of our more talented, creative female entrepreneurs. than stop here Jaylen Grace is a freelance writer, author of childrens’ and adult self-help books, and an international life coach.

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  25. Thanks for the info, Sharon. Have a good weekend!

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  26. Good info. to know. It seems intimidating to me to self-publish, but so does finding a publisher! I'm not there yet, but I'm always reading what I can about both approaches. Thank you for this.

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  27. Mare,
    I am glad this was helpful! I enjoy hearing authors' stories. You're right; we can learn so much.
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!