With the Completion of My Third Book…

This past year has been the busiest year of my life. As I look back on the past 18 months, I’m determined to grow in all areas over the next year. Here’s a few major things I’ve been able to accomplish since the beginning of 2013:

February 2013: Finished writing The Earth Bleeds Red (2nd book, 1st novel)

April 2013: Signed my first publishing deal

July 2013: Moved from Oregon to Georgia with 4 kids, an overpacked minivan, and a one-eyed pug

September 2013: Launched a business: Name Brand Thrift

October 2013: The Earth Bleeds Red was released

August 2014: Finished writing The Lights Will Never Fade

As I look back at this timeline of accomplishments/major life events, I’m both joyful and troubled. I’m happy that I was able to achieve several goals, but disappointed that it took me so long to finish writing my next novel. If I had kept writing at my regular pace, I would have finished writing it in September 2013, and finished the next book that I’m only beginning now. It feels as though I’ve lost a year of writing.

It wasn’t because of laziness, however. I’ve been finishing up school at Oregon State and growing the business I started last year. I couldn’t believe how quickly it took off and absolutely love working from home and doing something that brings me joy.

Now that the business is where it is, I’m able to devote regular time to reading and writing again. It feels like my life has more of a balance.

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I’m trying to decide if I want to go through the query process again of trying to find a lit agent or publishing company, or if I want to self-publish and avoid the long waits and frustrations of traditional publishing.

Publishing with Priya Kanaparti

Today, we have a very special guest blogger and author joining us. Priya Kanaparti, author of Dracian Legacy, has stopped by to share some advice on self-publishing. Many people think that self-publishing is of lesser quality but having read through the first half of her book this past week, that couldn’t be further from the truth! I can’t wait to finish and will be writing a review of her intriguing novel.

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Dracian Legacy Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dracian-Legacy-ebook/dp/B00BFECT1I
Dracian Legacy, #1 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16007175-dracian-legacy
Dracian Origins #2 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17302634-dracian-origins
Dracian Sacrifice #2.5 Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17930788-dracian-sacrifice


Let’s Do Something Crazy and Self-Publish your first book!

Publishing a Book.

It is as mind-blowing as it is gut wrecking experience to have your book publish.  Now there are many misconceptions that only a book published through publishing houses are the real publishers.  I beg to differ.  There are many great authors that have self-published their books and made it to amazon’s top 100 list or into NY bestsellers.  Some of these authors were acquired by publishing houses after the fact and some others even ventured into movie deals.

Over the past year, I had learned a few valuable lessons in how tedious this whole process can be.  I wished there was one place that I could find my answers on how to get started.

But before I go any further, I would like to thank Jackson Baer for giving me the opportunity to do a guest post on his blog.  Thank you Jackson!

Without further ado, here are the four steps to become a successful self-published author.


Step 1:  Finish writing your book.

It sounds simple right?  Not necessarily.  Writing a book, is possibly the most painful process even for a seasoned writer.  You don’t believe me?  Ask any of your favorite Authors.

It takes time.

It takes commitment.

It takes creativity to put the story that only lived in your mind onto a piece of paper…and make it believable.

Mine took seven drafts and over three hundred hours of hard labor, hungry husband, and unkempt home before I was satisfied enough to let someone else look at it.  But DON’T give up.  Finish what you started.

Step 2:  Find your support team

I can’t stress this enough!  Finding a support team that works with you and provides you with constructive feedback is of utmost crucial piece of this process. Your support team should include Critique partners (CP) and/or Beta readers, Professional Editor, Cover designer, and a mentor.

Critique Partners (CP) are those that read through your terrible work of carefully articulated masterpiece and provide you with constructive feedback on character development, plot holes, plot development, grammar and spelling mistakes with more than a critical eye.  These wonderful partners invest time and thought into helping you create a beautiful masterpiece.

Finding that person that you can work with is difficult to find.  I went through a dozen different sample Manuscripts before I my final CP team came together.  I chose them based on their individual strengths,  genre’s we had in common, writing and critique style.

With some time and effort, you too can put together that team of exceptional individuals that will improve your writing overall.  Here are few websites where you can find your dream team:

http://www.ladieswhocritique.com  This was where I met all of my Critique partners.




Professional Editor can take the work that you and your CPs have completed and take it to the next level. Do your research.  I started by going through the books of my favorite authors and found information on editors that they had worked with and contacted them.  Then I requested each of them to provide me with a 5-10 editing sample and a quote for my full length Manuscript.  At the end, I tallied each editor and selected the one that best fit my budget and expectations for the editor.

Cover designer can help in branding your story specifically for you.  You don’t have to spend a ton of money on having a beautiful book design completed.  There are many designers out there can do this as low as $50 per cover.  Just remember that book presentation is in direct correlation to the number of books you sell.

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Mentor can help you learn the ins and outs of the self-publishing world.  When you have a question or are in need of an input, this is the person you want to go to.

Step 3:  Marketing and Prep work.


Get the word out.

Get on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook and talk about your work and experiences.

To gain more fan base, get involved in the writing community.  There are plenty of bloggers out there that would love to have you do guest posts, interviews, and giveaways.  In addition, go to other blogs and respond to their post.  This will get your noticed, plus allows you to know and get involved in your writing community.

Step 4:  The Anchor

So you’ve completed your novel, gone through your group of support team, prepped the world of your arrival, now what?

Get yourself published!

A simple way is to go to a DIY publisher like Createspace.  They provide you with tools to help you get started and even provide your ebook and paperbacks with free ISBN.  Smashwords is another website that is similar to createspace and also provides free ISBN for the books published through them!

Well, that’s it!  Four simple steps to getting yourself published.  I hope the information provided has given you enough guidance to get help you get started with your venture to becoming a self-published author.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I’ll respond to them to the best of my knowledge.