All I'm Asking - Dedicated teacher Naomi loses sight of her family & risks her job due to hyper-involvement w/her students. When she joins a candy-loving, online book club, they’ll help show Naomi how to save her job & transform her soured family relationships back into sweet ones.
Why did you decide to self-publish? Did you have any doubts?
I queried four different manuscripts over the course of about ten years. One of them (the second manuscript) did lead to an agent, but we were unable to sell the book and her interest in my next book was not enough to stay with her. After the fourth manuscript--one I loved and thought definitely had market appeal—didn’t lead to where I originally hoped, I paused to evaluate my goals.
My goal had never been to become a bestselling author. My primary goal was that I simply wanted people to read my words. When I landed on that, I realized that self-publishing was worth the effort and I left all doubts behind at that point. Once I was in, I was all in.
What did you like best?
Self-publishing is not easy and involves a lot of different decisions. One of the aspects I love best is the total control over the process. Cover-content-where to sell-price-release date…I get to choose all of it!
I truly enjoyed the learning process, too. It can be intimidating, but wow, I’ve learned so much about publishing and it’s truly valuable knowledge.
What was the hardest part?
My debut is an epistolary—it’s written entirely in emails, text messages, forum posts, etc. The hardest part was formatting the book to accommodate the myriad structures of modern-day communications. Formatting the interior pages of a book is something one can hire out, but it can also be another expense and expenses can add up quickly when you’re doing it all yourself. Once again, though, it was worth the effort to learn a lot of the ins and outs of this part of publishing.
Would you do it again?
I absolutely will.
What advice do you have for authors just starting?
Honestly, the first and most important bit of advice I’d offer is ensuring you know why you want to self-publish. I think many authors consider it a “fallback” option to not getting an agent and I think that’s totally okay, but then look at your goals so that you can make a plan to achieve those goals. Otherwise, the result might be a lot of money spent and a lot of disappointment.
Next, do the research. A great source that I often recommend and also gave me a nice Big Picture look at how to move forward is Jane Friedman’s “Start Here: How to Self-Publish Your Book”
J. Marie Rundquist believes a day isn’t complete without time spent reading. Stories she loves best–to read and to write– feature characters from all walks of life who learn from one another. When she isn’t writing, you’ll find J. Marie exploring all the K-12 public education world has to offer through teaching, learning, and supporting others in their educational roles.
In spite of trying to live in other parts of the U.S., J. Marie accepted her fate and now embraces six-month winters in Minnesota, showing off photos of hiking in sub-zero temperatures. She lives in the Twin Cities with her family, two cats, and a never-ending supply of Dr. Pepper.
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