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What I’ve Learned about Self-Publishing - Corinne O'Flynn

I should subtitle this post, “Part 1 of 23 billionty” because that’s how going indie feels—in all the best ways.

It’s been almost a month since I made the decision to self-publish THE EXPATRIATES and I have to say, it’s been the most freeing experience of my writing life. Being able to make every decision has been empowering. But having to make every decision has been quite scary, as well.

For as long as I have been writing, publishing has been this enigmatic dream behind a great wooden door with a huge iron lock. The inner-workings were mysterious and fabulous, and all I wanted was for that door to be opened for me.

Well, suddenly, I find myself with the key.

To be honest, it feels like I’ve stolen it. But it’s totally legit and yet, having the key to that door isn’t enough. There’s an emotional piece that needs to fit and a great many mind-leaps have to happen, too. The biggest one for me, so far? Getting over the habit of needing to be told what to do.

What I’ve learned? It is much more complicated and yet easier than I imagined. I shared this way back two weeks ago on Facebook, about two weeks into my self-publishing journey:

You ever feel like the Universe has been sitting back just waiting for you to make a decision, and once it’s made, it starts throwing everything in your path to validate your choice and buffet you up on floaty fabulous wings? That’s exactly how I am feeling about publishing my book this fall. *tosses glittery confetti*


What I’ve learned: There is this huge wealth of information and support out there for you to use, learn, and benefit from. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel every time a new author decides to go indie. The community is there and the energy is collaborative, not competitive. It’s amazing, really. I’ve spent the last several years polishing up my novels and query letters, my 1, 3, and 5 page synopses, my elevator pitches, my blurbs, and my one-liners. I’ve educated myself on what works and what doesn’t in the writerly ways. I’ve learned the ropes as I learned the language of publishing. I’ve been following the advice of others—professionals who control access to the magical land of publishing that exists behind that door.

And then I decided to go indie and suddenly I’m in charge. That’s a huge shift. But one that every indie author has to face when they start out. Hiring an editor? *gulp* Finding a cover designer? Who, me? Planning a release schedule and marketing plan? Wha?  All this while writing the next book? O_o

I continue to marvel at the resources that have been shared with me via friends and others in the field who have gone before me.  I’d like to share a resource that prompted my Facebook post above. It helped me feel empowered and less overwhelmed by all there was in store for me. This book was totally written for me.

Susan Kaye Quinn’s Indie Author Survival Guide is a must-read. If you’re new to indie publishing, been at it a while, wondering if you’re crazy, or if you’ve been curious about the methods of one author whose success seems to be growing exponentially… you want to read this book.

For my part, I have no idea how this will all turn out. I have no idea what to expect from the publishing world that seems to be changing on a weekly basis. I only know one thing for certain:

What I’ve learned: It’s an exciting time to be an author.

My first book, THE EXPATRIATES comes out this fall! *eeeep!* You can stay in the loop by signing up for my spam-free newsletter.

About the Author Corinne

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  1. One thing I learned when I decided to go indie was some of the traditional stuff I had been polishing, like a query, was still useful. I still needed to know how to write an exciting book description to woo readers. Book descriptions and queries were near identical. So all that stuff you had learned might come in handy later. =D

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