from one writer to another.
Self-published author Celeste Jones is my guest for WWoW! this week. She's sharing with us Words of Wisdom about her first two months as a Self-Published Author. Since I'm published through an agency, her perspective will be unique and one I couldn't share with you myself so I'm excited to hear what advice she has. Who knows? Someday I might decide to self-pub too!
Thanks for having me. I self-published my first book in August, 2012. Before that I had three books produced by a publisher, but I like being in charge so I decided to give self-publishing a try.
The first thing I learned: I like self-publishing.
I know it’s not for everyone, but it suits me quite well. For those of you who might be toying with the idea, Here are a few things that I have learned along the way:
- It’s easy to become obsessed with checking your sales. My husband can attest to this. I now check my sales every morning and write down my sales on a calendar so I have a quick reference and it’s easy to flip back to compare to the month before. Okay…I check throughout the day too, but I’m getting better about it.
- People actually return ebooks. Yikes! The first time a book was returned I totally freaked out. I steeled myself for a scathing review from a disgruntled reader. Someone hated my book so much they wanted their money back! Turns out, the scathing review never happened. I did a bit of research and the common wisdom is that because it’s so easy for people to click and buy a book, most returns are the result of unintended purchases.
- Making a cover is easier than you think. I’d say that for most people the idea of cover design is what intimidates them the most about self-publishing. I’m sure there is an art to cover design, but I’ve made two covers so far and it’s not nearly as tricky as others might want you to think. I buy my images from an online source and then tinker with them using Microsoft Publisher.
- When it’s easy to publish, it’s tempting to put a book out before it’s ready. Without an editor or publisher to rein you in, you might be tempted to publish prematurely. I nearly did that last month. My WIP was going great and I envisioned more sales numbers in my columns with an additional book. Fortunately I have a brave critique partner who told me it wasn’t ready. She was right. I’ll be dragging that manuscript out soon for an overhaul.
- On the flip side, seeing the sales each day is great motivation. “People actually bought my book yesterday? I need to write another one for them to buy!”
I love to talk shop, so please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about self-publishing. I’m no expert, but I’m an excellent cheerleader.
Celeste writes spanking and domestic discipline books with a bit of humor in them. She describes them as a cross between Chick Lit and Domestic Discipline... check out two of her latest books...
Genre: Contemporary Domestic Discipline
Daisy is very successful at work. At home, however, she has trouble remembering to follow the rules. Reece loves his wife and wants to guide her to better behavior and takes his duties as Head of Household seriously. When spanking doesn't get the point across, he declares a day of Underwear Probation for Daisy. Daisy learns that getting through the day without underwear isn't nearly as hard as learning to trust her husband and his leadership as the Head of Household.
"Maybe we need to up the ante a little bit so that your attention doesn't wander."
Alarm thundered through Daisy. "Up the ante?"
"Ah, my pet," Reece slanted his eyes at his wife. "Tomorrow you will be on underwear
"No, Reece, please."
"You said yourself that if you'd been paying attention, you would have behaved better. I want the feel of your clothes on your bare ass to remind you all day long that I expect you to live up to my expectations of you and to behave like a lady."
Daisy grabbed the edge of the dresser and bent herself over. "Just go ahead and spank me now. You can even use a spatula or wooden spoon. Just get it over with."
The sly smile that crossed Reece's face made Daisy's stomach do strange things. "Oh no," he said. "I'm starting to like this idea."
The Birthday Wish
Genre: Contemporary Domestic Discipline
Divorced, alone, and jabbing a candle into a frozen cupcake was not Mimi's idea of a perfect 40th birthday. Heck, it wasn't her idea of ANY birthday. She hated her body, hated her life, and most especially hated her non-existent sex life. And she was absolutely certain that she’d never fulfill her secret desire to be spanked. Until she closed her eyes, blew out the candle, and made a wish...
“Perhaps you’d like to see the patio? The stars are particularly beautiful tonight.”She stared at his proffered arm. “What are you talking about? Do women just magically appear in your living room on a regular basis and then you hand them champagne and give them a tour? How did I get here?”“No. You are the first to ‘magically appear. ’---- That’s the power of a good wish.” He offered her his arm again and she laid her hand on it tentatively, wondering if he might vanish with her touch.“Who are you?”“Please call me Paolo.”“Well, Paolo, you have a lovely home. Thank you for the champagne, but I think I should probably get back to reality-ville so if you’ll just snap your fingers or whatever you need to do to send me home, I’d appreciate it.”“It is not so simple, Mimi.” Her name on his lips made her insides turn to warm goo, even warmer and gooier than the insides of a fresh from the oven cookie. “A sincere and heartfelt birthday wish cannot be left unfulfilled.”His emphasis on the word ‘unfulfilled’ sent a pulse through her. He didn’t really mean what she thought he meant, did he? No. Of course not. No way.She’d never told anyone. She’d barely been able to acknowledge it to herself. Her deepest desire was to experience a spanking. A spanking from a real man who turned her over his knee and swatted her bottom. A man who not only demanded her submission, but had earned it.A man she could trust with her desires and her vulnerability.One night she’d gotten up her nerve and typed “spanking” into the search engine on her computer. After she’d sorted through all the articles about corporal punishment of children, she found something she never expected to exist---an entire community of people who shared her desire to have a man who cared about her enough to spank her when she needed it. And sometimes just when she wanted it.She’d stayed up half the night reading the posts and the comments. In a moment of sheer recklessness, she’d created an account and a username so she could participate.A whole new world opened up to her: people who shared her dreams, some of whom were living those dreams. They made her feel welcome and reassured her that there nothing was wrong with her.And maybe she’d find the type of man she was looking for. Was Paolo that man? Or was he only imaginary?Now give yourself a break and read one of Celeste's books. Then be sure to keep writing!
who write this weekly feature for their blog each Wednesday.
While we don't claim to be experts, the goal is to impart what we've learned about
writing, editing, getting published, book promotion, and more along the way.