Originally published 6/12/2019
Being an Independent Author means I wear all the hats that publishing a book requires. Sounds glamorous right? Not always. Even if we exclude the cost of three years of full-time study and associated strain on my health, household, and finances, I’ve then had to organize and finance; editing, book design, publishing, promoting and everything in between. Everything the big publishing houses do, I had to do. It’s no small task.
Each year of this journey has demanded more from myself and my family. The reward for this investment in my career will take years, many published books and endless hours of continuous hard work to show any real financial return (unless I strike it lucky-that can always happen right?). I have studied the publishing process from start to finish, researched every stage, and listened to many experienced authors sharing their knowledge. I’m doing my best to do it right. My readers can be assured that the book they buy from me has seen substantial development and editing from highly regarded professionals who know what they’re doing.
This year, getting Take Down published really pushed my limits. I feel permanently connected to my laptop or my phone. I’ve trialed multiple programs for all areas of book publication and researched even more. I cannot count how many accounts I have in various places of the writing world. Each important and plays a part, even if it’s learning what doesn’t work so well, and where I really need to learn more.
In the lead up to the launch, I needed to focus on promotion, and I had to embrace all opportunities, including a reporter for The Timaru Herald (which my mum’s promotion of my book is directly responsible for). Christmas is probably the worst time of year to spend money, so why did I decide to launch it in December? Right after an unexpected move and at the end of my study period for 2019?
Because launch date was my Mum’s birthday, and I owe her more than I can ever repay so I wanted to honor her with the launch of the book she’s been eagerly awaiting. But with Christmas looming, bills to pay, promotional costs are impossible to manage. Agh. I mean seriously, we’ve been living on next to nothing for what feels like months. The last thing I can afford is to run adverts in the hopes that a few people might buy my book and leave me a review or two.
But the past week, and especially the past twenty-four hours have felt like a win for me. Maybe I’m not rolling in cash, maybe it’s gonna take me years to produce my books, but the reviews have been coming in, slow yes, but there none the less. And this morning I even had an editorial review come in – I’ll share a bit more on that soon.
Yesterday, my son reminded me of the wonderful human beings I’m raising. I usually watch him walk home from the bus stop carrying his sister’s bag, yesterday he couldn’t because he held a huge box. Sticking out of his mouth was a lollypop his sister had happily shared just to be nice. And when we got back to the house, he presented me with my new nail polish/accessories box that he’d made after my last one got wet and fell apart. He built it bigger and designed it to last. A solid wooden box he designed from start to finish, and I couldn’t be prouder of him. My children make all this hard work worthwhile.
So, I’m not rolling in cash or earning a cozy living, but I am achieving my dreams. I have launched a full-length novel – a thriller nonetheless, and I’ve made Christmas happen for my children, I’m raising well-rounded young adults, and I’m working hard on preparing book three for the editor so it’ll be ready to go as soon as I have the money for it.
But this wasn’t a solo effort, none of this would have been possible without the incredible team of friends, family, and professionals around me. And launching a book in December may have been crazy, but launching the book on my mother’s birthday was definitely worth it. She is one of my personal heroines, she taught me how to survive the hard times and inspires me to continue even when I don’t think I can.
I owe my mum and stepfather, so much, and even now while she faces 6 weeks off work for more surgery due to a complication caused by her battle with bowel cancer last year, and my stepfather works hard to keep them afloat, they paid for an editorial review I couldn’t afford. They my book promotion and christmas for my children possible. I’m so glad I can hold up that review now, even if it’s not one of the big names in editorial reviews, and show them that I made that cost worth their while.
That is why I dedicated the book to two of the biggest heroes in my life. They even own a limited edition of my book because they ordered two print copies before I had checked the formatting in the printed form or did my final read through. Coincidently they have a few errors like no page numbers, a couple of bonus scenes, etc.
So, thank you, Mum and Peter, I cannot buy you that house I promised to when I was a child, but I am working hard, and you never know, maybe one day I’ll manage to buy you that property. Or just a few plants to put on it when you finally achieve that dream of owning your own place again. Either way, I promise I’ll keep working towards my goals, one step at a time.
On that note, here is the editorial review that came in this morning from ILoveUniqueBooks.com, who read and rated my book with 4 out of 5 stars and put the book up on her website to promote with her review.
“Take Down is a fast paced thriller that commenced with violence and gore when Lily escaped from Richard and fought her way through the heavily guarded nightclub. It was a carefully laid out plan by their father for her to seduce Richard but she couldn’t stand him and ended up blowing their cover. However, there was going to be dire consequences for disobeying father. The old man was as ruthless as he was ambitious and not even Lily’s twin brother, Kyle, could talk him out of torturing Lily and forcing her to marry Richard. To him, it is only the end that justifies the means and anything could be sacrificed in order to achieve the desired result.
Jason was loved by all in his family, but an encounter he had with Lily when he visited their nightclub with his friend, Leon, culminated into a love affair that will ultimately bring him on a collision course with Lily’s dangerous family.
At 490 pages long, Take Down is quite voluminous but regardless of that, the book has a rich plot and well developed characters that makes the story very engaging to read. Take Down is thrilling with lots of action that makes it akin to watching a movie through the pages of a book.” — Official Review, ILoveUniqueBooks.com (4 out of 5 stars)
Until next time, keep dreaming people, keep working hard even if it feels impossible, you achieve more than you realize if you just keep moving forward towards your goals.