Monday, May 2, 2016

{Guest Post} Would Be Self-Publishers—Beware! by Kory M. Shrum

About Kory M. Shrum
Kory M. Shrum lives in Michigan with her partner and a ferocious guard pug. She has dabbled in everything from fortune telling to martial arts and when not reading or writing, she can be found teaching, traveling, or wearing a gi. 

She is author of four contemporary/dark humor fantasy novels in the Jesse Sullivan series. She also co-edited a fabulous charity anthology (Badass and the Beast) with fellow fantasy author Angela Roquet. She's an active member of both SFWA and HWA.

Her new book, Worth Dying For, releases today May 2!

Guest Post by Kory M. Shrum

As with anything, what is good for someone may be terrible for someone else. The same is true of self-publishing. Whether you already have an agent and want to break up, or you are simply reading to jump right into the self-publishing waters, there are three major considerations that you should ask yourself before you take the plunge.   

I might be a great fit for self-publishing if: 

1. I’m a hard worker. 
It requires a lot of work to produce your own book. Publishing houses have departments with little minions that handle one aspect individually to bring a book to completion. Sure, you can outsource much of it (i.e. hire freelancers), but if you are not made of money (as I am not), you will find yourself doing much of the work yourself.  So the best way to initially approach this is from the understanding that it will take a lot of time, patience (and some money) to do this right. 

2. I’m also willing to ask for help. 
Take an honest assessment of your own abilities (and of your nearest and dearest) before undertaking the self-publishing endeavor. If you need to freelance some tasks 
(from that growing to-do list of yours—and it will grow), then it is good to know about it upfront so you can incorporate it into your budget. After all, nothing will ruin your chances of success more than a poorly produced book.  

If you’re going to do this, commit to doing it right. This means if you can’t edit worth a damn, you’ll need an editor. If you can’t format a book or create ebook files then you’ll either have to learn how to do this yourself or be prepared to hire someone. 

After all, I assume that you are self-publishing because you want people to read your work and enjoy it enough that they keep reading you. This will only happen if you ensure that you create a pleasurable reading experience for them. 

3. I’ve got a great balancing act. 
There will come a point when you find yourself doing a lot more book work than actual writing. It may start as a simple imbalance during the day until months in you look up and realize you haven’t been writing for…wait…how long has it been? You will have to find a way to get back to the writing. 

It may take you longer that you’d like to do even relatively simple tasks. When this happens, and you find yourself frustrated and on the verge of going homicidal, (because killing people will definitely increase your chances of becoming an instant sensation)—just breathe. Don’t hurt anyone (including yourself). Eat a cookie. Drink a good cup of tea or coffee. Take a walk. Whatever works for you. Take a step back, take a break, and then return to your book with refreshed determination.  

And I don’t know about you but some days it is difficult for me just to get past all of my mental apprehensions and get down to the business of writing.  

If you don’t think you can strike this balance between marketing and writing, then self-publishing isn’t for you. Find a traditional publisher and make them (and your agent) handle all the business while you stick to making art. 

If after all of this, you find yourself thinking, yes! Yes!  I am a good fit for self-publishing. Then good news! There are numerous resources to help you get started on your way. I recommend Let’s Get Digital and Let’s Get Visual by David Gaughran. These two books handle much of the necessary nuts and bolts of self-publishing. 

And a final bit of advice—have fun! You should be writing because you love to do it and publishing because you love to write for people. Sure, it’s a challenge and a commitment. But when you get your first piece of fan mail praising your hard work, you’ll know it was worth it. 

Get Dying for a Living free on Kindle!

On the morning before her 67th death, it is business as usual for Jesse Sullivan: meet with the mortician, counsel soon-to-be-dead clients, and have coffee while reading the latest regeneration theory. Jesse dies for a living, literally. 

As a Necronite, she is one of the population's rare 2% who  can serve as a death replacement agent, dying so others don't have to. Although each death is different, the result is the same: a life is saved, and Jesse resurrects days later with sore muscles, new scars, and another hole in her memory. 

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