Monday, May 21, 2012

Self-publishing and learning new skills

I’ve been jumping into the self-publishing pond over the past six months. At first it was just short stories that I was giving away for free if I could (Amazon make you set a price and so I’ve set 99c for them). Then I decided to get into it a bit more, to create some deadlines for myself, and my most recent publications was a novella.

‘The Right Connection’ is a 40k fantasy romance that I wrote way back in 2002 and was just LOOKING for the right thing to do with it.

I don’t see self-publishing and traditional publishing as an either/or proposition. I think that the modern author is going to be able to use both to build their audience and career.

Certainly, you need to be careful of things such as competing publications clauses in traditional publishing contracts, but I see self-publishing as being able to help your bricks-and-mortar books by spreading the word and building your name.

A thing I really like about self-publishing is the new skills that you have to develop. For starters, if you’re not going to pay for an editor to polish your work, then you need to learn to edit your own work. I do that, although I use beta readers to help me identify the strengths and weaknesses of the work.

Then there’s the cover art. Again, you can pay for it, or you can find some talented friends willing to do it for you or you can learn to do yourself. I’ve been slowly and surely getting better at the covers and I have to say I’m really proud of the cover I created for ‘The Right Connection’.

You have to learn to typeset work. You have to learn how to write your own blurbs. You have to learn to devise and enact promotional plans.

I strongly believe that challenging yourself to step outside what you are good at and learn something knew is important in terms of your creativity and becoming a better writer.

For all you Supernatural Undergrounders, you can read my new self-publication, fantasy romance novella 'The Right Connection' for free. Go to Smashwords, type in the voucher code QL55F and you can get whatever electronic version of the book you want for free.


Time after time, the missions to retrieve the stolen children have failed. This time, rules will be broken in a last-ditch attempt.

Taylor Wilson is a respected soldier in the Land Corps with a terrible past that has scarred her. When she’s offered the opportunity to work on the mission to save the children taken by the socolapede, Taylor’s ready to jump at the chance until she finds it means she has to connect with a man.

At first, Roden is everything she feared—brash, overbearing, uncompromising. But as she comes to learn of his honour and strength, Taylor not only loses the fight against connection, she loses her heart too.

Can she form a connection with Roden strong enough to save the children? And if they succeed, do the two of them have a future together?


Patricia Lynne said...

I agree, an either/or mentality isn't needed. Both ways can work and a smart author realizes that. Plus, there are enough good writers out there to make use of both options. Good luck with your story. It's on my wishlist now.

Nicole Murphy said...

Thanks Patricia. And you're right - either/or isn't going to help anyone and it keeps you from some really cool options.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your positive words. I'm doing the same thing! Good Luck! :)

AA Bell said...

Wow, that IS a great cover Nicole. So much white is usually avoided by traditional publishers because of the return rate on damaged white covers, because they're so easily marked.

But ebooks don't share that disadvantage... and I love that the shadow is different to the person making it... very intriguing! :)