Tiptoeing into Indie Author Land

I mentioned months ago that I planned on starting my indie author journey this year. Not my writing journey. That has been going on since…well, since I can remember. But this year I am making that leap into new territory: the life of a published fiction author.

And it got real this week. My first story came back from the proofreader, and I entered her corrections. And then a voice inside me spoke: You know you cannot change this story anymore. This is it. This is the version.


I also contacted a graphic designer to get some covers for my first two books, two novelettes in a series I’m calling Into the Faerie Forest.

And then it dawned on me, how much I have to learn. I’m already playing with learning how to format a file for Kindle, which isn’t super difficult (so far—knock wood), just a little tedious at times, and I want to make sure that I don’t  mess it up and leave readers frustrated with the reading experience. But that’s why I’m giving myself plenty of time between now and release day—so that the reader’s experience of the story, whether the words themselves, the cover that hints at them, or the formatting of the text, is a positive one.

I still have to learn about keywords and categories and a bunch of other stuff I haven’t even thought of yet. There’s probably a lot I don’t even know that I don’t know.

But you know what? What I’m feeling isn’t the fear I would’ve expected.

It’s excitement.

Here it goes…

Lastly, a Sunday ROW80 check-in…

Writing: In terms of word count, this past week wasn’t stellar. I wrote 6,138 words, below my target of 10K/week, but still not bad. Most of that was in Red in the Woods, a novelette-length retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. I did a lot of other little stuff too. Mainly I received corrections back from my proofreader, entered her changes, and began the process of learning how to format a book for publication, including how to create a table of contents. I’ve also been working with a graphic designer on some cover design for my stories.

Reading: It was a busy reading week. I read Reflected Desire by Kendra Leigh Castle, a short, steamy story about the Man in the Mirror from Snow White. I also dug into a couple of books on writing—Writing into the Dark by Dean Wesley Smith, which, if I can follow his process, could allow me to avoid the massive rewrites I end up doing even when I outline; and Self-Publishing Attack! by James Scott Bell, which was helpful, although a lot of it repeated info I already knew. Still, it was a good refresher. I am on track to meet my goal of reading 65 books this year, according to Goodreads.

Goals for the upcoming week:

  • Finish a first draft of Red in the Woods—and come up with a better title. (Any suggestions?)
  • Read-through The Faerie Key, edit, and prep for proofreader.
  • Edit Spirits of Embers and send to beta reader.

A Round of Words is the writing challenge that knows you have a life. Click here to cheer on fellow participants.

What about you? How are your writing goals coming along? What has surprised you on your writing and publishing journey?

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Fantasy & paranormal romance author. Witch. Tarot reader. Possibly a woodland sprite. Debut release TANGLED ROOTS now available. Magic awaits at www.denisedyoungbooks.com.

8 thoughts on “Tiptoeing into Indie Author Land

  1. My writing goals have not been going so well. I haven’t done any writing on my novel, which may be going back to the drawing board. I scrapped one goal because I didn’t have a good feeling about it. Some are still in the works.

    I think the biggest surprise in my writing journey is how many ideas I have. People I knew would always quote the phrase, “write what you know.” I got so upset over it because I felt my life was not worthy of writing. But someone brought something to my attention. Writing what you know is more than just the events in your life, but also what you’ve seen and felt and heard from others as well as myself. And the more I thought about it, the more ideas began to sprout. Right now, I’m keeping them in check until I finish this one project. Then, I’ll sift through these ideas and see which ones have traction.

    1. Yes. I’ve found that on my writing journey, ideas are never in short supply. If only I had enough time and energy to put them all onto the page and send them out into the world! I think your idea of focusing in on one project is a good one. The others will be waiting for you when you’re ready. Good luck!

  2. Hi, Denise! Wow… what an exciting journey you are taking there. And your approach seems not only well thought out, but it feels “right”.

    Kind of like that little inner voice you were referring to. It’s on track to keep you moving forward step by step without feeling too overwhelmed with possibilities. Go, you!

  3. One of the reasons (even when I’m not able to read what everyone posts each week) that I do appreciate ROW80 is the glimpse into the writer’s life. Here, you leap into indie-land, well prepared with tenacity and perseverance — and a willingness not to rush the process. I’m already looking forward to your official launch! And I appreciate how you list what you’re writing (helpful word counts) and reading. Your goals remain clear and achievable. Have a good week!

    1. Thanks, Beth! I’m learning a lot on my indie author journey and I hope my posts provide some sort of helpful information to those considering taking the leap into indie publishing. Enjoy the rest of your week! 🙂

  4. Hey girl! I find it so interesting that you just knew when to say when. That she’s done, cooked and basted. I am so happy for you. This year is it! And the next thing you know you’ll have several novels published! Congrats Denise! ((Hugs))

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