Reinventing Rita - a Midlife Moxie Novel
Is fifty too old to start over and reinvent yourself? That’s what Rita has to decide, and with the help of two friends—Donna, her employer, and Karen, her ex-husband’s second wife—she’s about to find out as she pursues a long-ago dream.
Why did you decide to self-publish? Did you have any doubts?
I had already self-published two nonfiction books--Rut-Busting Book For Writers and Rut-Busting Book For Authors—so the idea wasn’t totally new to me. (I also have three books—two short story collections and one motivational book traditionally published.)
Initially I wanted to go the traditional route, especially since I was moving into writing novels. But I’m not a patient person (!) and the time it took to 1) find an agent, 2) wait for a response, and 3) assuming the agent wanted to rep me, wait even longer for an acceptance or rejection from a publisher, and then even longer to get on the publishing schedule soon dissuaded me.
Also many successful authors had moved from trad publishing to self-publishing, so I made up my mind that I’d go that route as well. Besides, I’ve been self-employed nearly my entire adult life. This is just another way to be my own boss!
What did you like best?
I think it was the ability to set a timeline for publication. My debut novel, Reinventing Rita, is the first in my Midlife Moxie series, and my plan is to release one novel per year.
By self-pubbing, I could control those release dates and plan ahead. (I can be a bit of a control freak…)
What was the hardest part?
Finding the right company to handle the backend: the formatting, cover design, fulfillment, etc. I didn’t want to do any of that. I figured I had my hands full writing the books and marketing/promoting them!
I did a lot of research, looking at what the self-publishing services companies offered, their rates, and examples of covers they had done and BookBaby won hands-down. It didn’t hurt that a few authors I knew who had used them sung their praises, too!
Would you do it again?
Absolutely, and I am currently in the editing stage for the next one (due out June 2024) and the writing phase for the one due out in June 2025.
What advice do you have for authors just starting?
Use beta readers to get a sense if your story even hangs together well and is interesting. Then use at least one professional editor to review the manuscript.
You may think it’s ready to go but trust me, it probably isn’t.
I had two editors, and both were invaluable when it came to spotting issues with plot and character development, as well as those niggling grammar and punctuation errors.
Nancy Christie has been making up stories since she learned how to write, and she plans to continue as long as her fingers can work the keyboard. Reinventing Rita is her sixth book and first novel. Nancy is the host of the Living the Writing Life podcast and founder of the annual "Celebrate Short Fiction" Day. She's a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Women's Fiction Writers Association, and the Florida Writers Association. For more about Nancy and links to her social media profiles, visit her website at www.nancychristie.com.
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