Tuesday, July 20, 2010

An Indie Rebel: Michelle Gregory

When Lisa asked me to blog about the aftermath of self-publishing, I couldn’t help but think of the events I usually associate with the word aftermath: Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Hurricanes.

Oddly enough, the aftermath of self-publishing has been a bit like each of these. It’s shaken me up, swept away my orderly life, and brought a flood of new opportunities. I’ve had to deal with readers, criticism, promotion, and my own self-confidence. Beyond all that, I’ve learned a lot about the publishing world and myself.

Since I like random lists, I thought I’d be random here. In no particular order, here are the things I’ve learned because I wrote and self-published a novel:

*I’m a rebel in a rule follower’s body. I’ve always followed the rules, but I enjoy bucking the publishing system and I love being part of the self-publishing/indie author movement. I’m going to be that rock in the stream of publishing, even if it’s just to remind people that if you only write for yourself, it’s enough.

*Despite the fact that being in charge also means I’m the typesetter and proofreader and editor, I enjoy the control I have over my content and cover art too much to ever try to sell my stories to an editor or publishing house.

*I’ll never get rich from self-publishing, but since that was never my intent, I’m happy to get what little I can. I gave away at least half of the 100 or so copies out there anyway.

*Although I’ve set up an author website, started a blog for my novel, and talked about my novel every chance I get on my blog, almost all my sales come because someone personally told someone else about my book.

*I’m horrible at telling people about my book. My kids and friends do a better job. Frankly, my mom does a better job. I don’t like drawing attention to myself, and I don’t like the thought of rejection if someone decides (after my impassioned description) to not buy it. (When I had a chance to try to sell it at a recent writers’ retreat, I couldn’t make myself do it. Thank goodness, my writing buddy bought 4 copies for gifts or I would have gone home with all 14 copies.)

*Online marketing is much easier. I feel like I don’t face as much rejection that way. I could do a lot more of it, but I’d rather just write.

*According to people who’ve read Eldala, I know how to tell a good story. It still surprises me when readers say they can’t put it down. Some readers have even said that the characters inspired them to be courageous. Those kinds of comments keep me writing when I want to quit.

*I love to talk about writing.

*I love to encourage others to write.

*If it didn’t mean taking time away from writing, I wish I had the money to help struggling mom and teen writers get their stuff out there.

*I love to write novellas for myself and whatever I write is almost always fantasy.

*I love the first draft and hate to edit.

*I’ve never had problems being a self-starter, but I almost always have trouble finishing. Now that I finished something as huge as writing a novel, I know I can apply that to other projects in life.

*I’m still horrible about managing my time as a mom, homemaker, homeschooler, and writer.

*When I don’t write, I’m miserable.

Eldala on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Eldala-Michelle-Gregory/dp/0615148182/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1279150209&sr=8-1

Eldala on Lulu (e-books): http://www.lulu.com/product/file-download/eldala/1674912?productTrackingContext=search_results/search_shelf/center/1

Website for Eldala: http://www.eldala.blogspot.com/

My website: http://www.michelledgregory.com/

My blog: http://michellegregory.blogspot.com/

Thank you, Michelle.


Michelle Gregory said...

you are *so* welcome. thanks for the chance to talk about my passion.

Lisa Yarde said...

Michelle, thank you for your humor and your warm-hearted openess. I've met many writers over the years and have learned that while not everyone is a generous, giving soul, there are a few like you who are always willing to pay it forward. I hope the affinity we've found as indie authors continues.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

This is really exciting! Michelle, I enjoyed reading this post! I'm getting ready for the release of my first self-published book, and it's frightening and unnerving, but knowing others have gone before me and had such success and do it because of the love of the art, I'm moving boldly forward! Thanks for sharing with us!

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