Monday 10 June 2024

The Trials Of An Indie Author: Making Sure You're On Target


One thing that a lot of people might not realise when it comes to being indie, is just how much of the onus is on you to get things done. I'm talking everything from writing the book, to getting editors, and doing edits, to finding the perfect cover designer and getting that done, and then all the hype that leads up to actually publishing the book. It's an arduous task and not one to be taken on lightly.

So how do you get yourself in the right head-space for that? How do you prepare knowing that you have several mountains to climb to be able to get to that point where your books releases and does so right? A lot of it for me is about making sure that I have goals and targets that I meet. I like lists. I like checking things off. I like being organised, it soothes my anxious brain. So when it comes to approaching a release, like I am right now, I like to know that I'm on the right track and will get to the finish line with something approaching success.

I say the last part like that simply because while I have done this over twenty times before, I am still very much a small fish when it comes to success and publishing. I reach the right readers, and I am a full time author, but that's more because of other factors in my life rather than me pulling in enough royalties and the like to pay for me to live full time doing this. I like to include that because transparency is a good thing when it comes to the people you're looking to for advice.

So how do I make sure that I'm on target? How could you make sure that you don't end up skipping a step and falling flat on your face? Glad you asked, because I'm gonna give you some of my own tips. I will add the caveat that not everything will work for everyone, and also I'm giving these tips under the assumption that they are not your only research. So with that said, let's jump into it.

I have, over the years, devised a number of ways for me to know that I'm on the right track, and they usually involve a whole lot of lists. I have ones for audiobook stages, ones for all the publishing stages, and one for things like what to do after a cover reveal and all of that. I have lists and more lists, but like I said above, that's one of the ways that I soothe my anxiety. For you, that might not work, but if they do, then making a list of every single stage, every single deadline, can help put things in perspective.

They also allow you to see, at a glance, just where you are in that publishing time line. The only thing I don't include on my list is drafting because I pretty much have that down in other ways. My lists include when to start revisions, and when to book the editor, and all of that. I have things that need to be done in advance, like booking the cover designer and the deadline for that. I have bits and pieces that I need to do before the cover reveal. I could go on, but you get my point. There's something to be said for good lists that help you keep track of what needs to be done and when.


I know not everyone tracks their time, or plans their month. I know not everyone does any kind of goals, and that's all perfectly fine and valid, but if you are someone who tracks, in whatever capacity that may be, using the lists above might help you work out when to slot things into your busy schedule. Like I know when I need to start revising, because of my lists. I also know that when it comes to making plans for the month ahead, what I should be planning to do. It's a good way to keep yourself on track, and also know if things are going to take longer than you originally thought they would.

Like I know that I can, generally, revise a draft in a month. I also know that sometimes that can mean hours long sessions, or it can mean a shorter period. So I know that trying to put one of those hours long sessions on a day when I'm also trying to draft a chapter, or do this or that, is not a good idea. It's better for me to put those sessions on days when I only have to focus on one thing writing wise. So they, usually, go on my recording days. It works for me, and allows all my focus to be on the revision itself rather than anything else writing related. It's just about finding what works for you.


I wanted to include this last one because in over twenty books released, I don't think I've ever had a release that was smooth from start to finish. Things will go wrong, people will miss deadlines, hell you might miss deadlines, and you need to be able to have some fail-safe in your plan that allows for that, because otherwise you are going to end up super stressed and no one wants that!

Just like you need to plan for some downtime, which in my mind is not negotiable, you also need to plan for those times when edits take longer, or a cover takes a bit longer to get to you. Whatever works, plan it in. That way when and if things go wrong, you're not scrambling around because missing one deadline had a knock on effect and made you miss a whole load more. Plan for chaos, releasing a book is steeped in it!

So there we go, those are my three ways of making sure I stay on target when it comes to publishing. Like I said I'm in the midst of the last month of developmental edits and will then be moving onto the next stage. Next month I should even have the cover reveal for my upcoming book, and I cannot wait for you all to see it!

Remember to stay calm, to breathe, and you will get through to release day in one piece!

Any questions? Lemme know in the comments below!

Follow Joey here on her blog, or on Facebook or Tumblr to be kept up to date with the latest news regarding Joey and her books.   


No comments:

Post a Comment