Being an Indie author sometimes means you're a one man (or in my case, woman) show. With minor exception, the Indie is the beginning, middle, and end to a project. You write, edit, edit, edit, edit, edit, and then write some more, then edit a few hundred more times before you're basically happy with it. Once you think you got a good piece, you take the great leap of faith and ask someone to read it- praying that it's well received. Beta readers (and friends) are some of your best assets when it comes to field testing a manuscript.
Once you get your work back from the beta readers, look at their suggestions and decide if they will improve your story. Many are well-read and know a good story when they see one, and can help you make yours just that much better. After much contemplation, you make some changes and continue. Then you run into more editing. Nothing beats a second set of eyes. Paid copy editors are worth their weight in gold. I have one, and I love her to bits, but sometimes, the budget just doesn't allow. Or, in this case, I'm putting out a "free" ebook, and wanted to invest as little as possible in the whole venture.
How do you put out a good book without much invested? Friends. Friends are your best help in getting a book together. They are your sounding board, your wealth of knowledge, and your critics. Do they like the story? Do they like the cover? The back copy? What can be fixed before it goes to press? The more eyes you have for catching things, the better.
Making a flashy cover is helpful- especially if you want folks to read it. I use a combination of PhotoShop Elements 9 and Book Cover Pro to put mine together. Don't forget to field test your cover to anyone you can. I post mine up on my Facebook pages and send it out to my friends to critique.
Now you're ready to release your book. Don't forget to thank everyone who was a part. Send them a personalized, autographed book; or make a special point to mention them in a post or blog. Which is precisely what I am going to do now.
Thank you to:
Jessica Betancourt- for being my best friend and toughest critic. You push me to higher levels in my writing.
Blaze McRob- master horror author, and the one who dared me to step out of my comfort zone and write sci-fi. And he dared me to write a trilogy! So two books down, one to go.
Joyce Gilmour- my editor. Although she didn't have a part in this book, she did indirectly. I hope I've learned enough from her to avoid many mistakes as I have made in the past. I have enough editing projects lined up for her, so she'll be busy with more Dragonslayers books, and many others.
Erika Brown- who is creating Dar for an appearance on the back of book 2- Space Junk. Although I have a cozy little spot on the bottom of the back cover for Space Crazy, I may see if she'll do up a head shot. Hmmm, maybe...
Michael Hicks- author of the "In Her Name" series- whom suggested I put out a free ebook, and stir some interest in my other books. Hope it works! I'd like to quit my day job too, but being a farmer, that's kinda tough. But I won't argue the extra income.
William Shore- for giving me some help with the cover- hard to photograph your own hand! And his brother, Chance, for his input as well.
To my peers in all the Facebook groups, who have shown me support, even when things weren't going to swell.
And lastly, I want to thank my husband, Scott. Who has tolerated all my hundreds of hours working on books and trying my best to make a career (and a paying one) out of it.
I hope this book will be well received by everyone that reads it. It has become a labor of love, and I've created characters which have a special place in my heart. Space Crazy will be released Christmas day on Smashwords for free. A print copy will be available on Amazon as well- unfortunately not free, but it will be as inexpensive as possible.
As always, I appreciate feedback and reviews. Have a Merry Christmas!
Until next time my creatively obsessed friends,
You can meet Dar here on the 25th: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/sturgeoncreekpublishing