I know many of you are waiting to hear about the Celebration I had after the half marathon, but quite frankly I am STILL exhausted. It has become a mental fatigue from the busy summer I have had. Luckily, I have blogger back up! One of my most favorite bloggers, (as in the top 2) recently became a published author! I was so excited for him, I wanted to spread the word! I invited Mark Petruska, from Mark My Words to share his journey from writer to published author. Mark took the initiative to self publish his book because he believed so strongly in it and himself. This garners huge respect from me. I think we are entering an era where self-publishing will be the new norm given technology and social media are currently a powerful tool. I have several friends and blogger friends who dream of becoming writers. Who are we kidding, most writers dream of seeing their name on a book on a shelf in their favorite bookstore and Mark made his dream come true. I invite you to read about how this happened for Mark and then run out and buy his book. When he is wins a Pulitzer Prize you can say “you knew him when”.
Hello, ET readers! R was kind enough to invite me to guest blog today. I recently self-published a novel called No Time For Kings, the culmination of a lifelong dream. R was interested in hearing all about the process and wants to help me get the word out, so without further ado – here goes!
All my life I wanted to be a writer.
(That’s my requisite dramatic entrance. It’s not entirely true – at one point a firefighter sounded like a good career path – but it has been a goal for most of my life, anyway).
My first stab at creative writing took place when I was thirteen years old. I entered a short story contest and, to my surprise, won first place for my age group! I was hooked ever since. Over the years I’d written a few novels, nothing that I was proud of – until No Time For Kings. It’s the story of a radical group of eco-terrorists who resort to murder to further their agenda, and the plucky female news reporter who makes it her mission to bring them down when things turn personal. The novel has action, suspense, and drama. There are explosions for the guys and a love story for the girls. I believe in it with my whole heart, and so when I finished writing it in December of 2009 I sent out query letters to literary agents (because that’s what you’re supposed to do) in an attempt at getting it published. I probably contacted 50 agents over the next year, to no avail. They all politely declined for various reasons without even reading it, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and self-publish my book.
A few years ago, I balked at the notion. I thought of self-publishing as nothing more than a vanity project for people who wanted to see their name on the cover of a book. But the publishing industry has been undergoing a change and more and more people are taking control of their work and publishing it themselves these days – even big-name authors. It has, in short, lost much of its stigma. So, game on!
The first step was figuring out which company to go with. There are a lot of big names out there – Lulu, Xlibris, iUniverse, and CreateSpace, among others – but I chose one of the smaller guys, Booklocker. They are selective, nurture their authors, and have competitive pricing. Once they approved my manuscript, the fun began. I got to choose a size and format for the book (paperback or hardcover), picked the paper, and – best of all – worked with their in-house graphics designer to come up with a cover. I explained my vision to him, and he delivered a finished product that I was extremely pleased with. Within a week, I had a hard copy in my hands for approval, and there is nothing about my book that sets it apart from one that was traditionally published – it’s as “real” as it gets!
Within a few days of final approval, my book was up for sale. It’s available through Booklocker as well as all the major online retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, and Chapters Indigo in Canada. Because it’s POD (Print On Demand), I don’t have to buy a thousand copies and store them in my closet – a new book is printed every time somebody orders one. That alone saves any self-published author a ton of money and makes the whole process quite feasible. There’s still an upfront cost, and it isn’t exactly “cheap,” but I figure this was an investment in my future and a chance to see my biggest dream become a reality. I don’t expect to become rich or famous from my novel, but maybe – just maybe – people will like it and recommend it to their friends. Who knows what could happen next.
If you’re interested in checking out No Time For Kings, you can read a free excerpt on my blog, where I’ve also posted links for ordering. Go to http://markmywordssite.com/buy-my-book/ for more information!