The Writing Desk

ARTICLES & RESOURCES FOR AUTHORS

 

 

 

 

My Story

After sending dozens of query letters to literary agents and then slowly accumulating rejection letters, I started to question whether I really wanted to publish traditionally. The idea of signing away the creative rights to my work and potentially losing any control over my cover design left a pit in my stomach. As an artist as well as a writer, these were important points for me to consider. I also realized that while I was patient and willing to wait however many years it took to connect with an agent, life wasn't quite as patient. I had loved ones I wanted to hold my book and go on this journey with me rather than being an "in loving memory of" dedication.

In 2018, after a lot of research and a decision to change course, I published my debut novel independently through Barnes & Noble Press. It was a rocky experience, and I made some rookie mistakes along the way. I transferred my titles to IngramSpark in early 2019 after repeated and unnecessary issues with B&N Press, and in 2020, I published the series sequel through IngramSpark as well. Both books won the Literary Titan Gold Book Award in 2020.

I remember the frustration of scouring the web for answers to my self-publishing questions, and I remember all too well the pitfalls I fell into that could have been avoided. This is why I'm open about the blunders I made and willing to share my experiences and resources with fellow indie authors walking a similar path. I've connected with inspiring upcoming authors and lent my advice and cautions based on my own journey. What worked for me may not work for every author, but I hope you find some helpful information on this website.

Below, you'll find resources that I have used and recommend. If you contact any of the references I've listed, I would appreciate if you would mention that you found them through my recommendation. I do not earn any commission or royalties from referrals, but I do enjoy making sure people know that I was happy with their work and gladly recommend their services to others.

 

 

 

 

P.S. I've had people kindly ask if they could pay me for my time in exchange for advice. I don't accept money from fellow authors; I'm happy to simply pay it forward in gratitude to the authors who helped me start my journey, and I'm certainly no expert, just someone sharing my story as I go so others can learn from my successes and failures. If you find valuable information on this website and wish to show support, I invite you to consider ordering a copy of my book either for yourself or as a gift, but there's no obligation. Every copy that finds its way out into the world is a small victory. Links to my books and other merchandise are on my shop page. Thank you all... and best of luck to you on your publishing journey.

LINE EDITOR

Pros:

• Thorough and professional

• Up to date on current traditional publishing standards

• Different pricing tiers depending on work stage, including blurb and query letter critiques, beta reading, proofreading, and copy editing

• Flexible to work out a payment plan if needed

 

Cons:

• Nothing significant to list at this point in time. I've used Nikki's services for both of my novels after her services were highly recommended to me by another author I met at a writing conference.

PRINTER & DISTRIBUTOR

Pros:

• Print books are higher quality

• Trusted global distribution network used by bookstores and libraries

• Allows you to sell on major online platforms, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart, etc.

• Books can be returnable, which makes vendors more willing to place an order

• One dashboard across multiple selling platforms, keeping everything together in one place with only one set of ISBNs

 

Cons:

• Higher quality book = higher print cost

• Registration fee (unless you have a promo code)

• Revision fees (again... codes are usually available if you hunt for them)

• Setting up the title can be a little confusing if you don't know what you're doing, but there are a lot of articles available to help you

• Ebook royalties are slightly lower than they would be if you registered/uploaded directly on every platform

• During the pandemic, CX Team was very difficult to reach, and print times were unreasonably long for authors, although this did not seem to affect the front-end printing for customers who ordered your book... hopefully these issues will be resolved

 

* Learn more about my experience, plus some tips and tricks, in my blog post

 

EBOOK FORMATTER

Pros:

• Ebooks are formatted by hand, not by running it through a software that may miss hidden bugs and weird layout glitches in the manuscript

• Limited ability to customize the ebook (they worked with me to make my chapter headings a unique font)

• Willing to make small tweaks and fix typos at any time without an extra charge (unless major changes are being made)

• Small operation, so you get personalized attention and correspond with the same person

• Pricing was comfortably in the middle of other services I researched, so I felt like I wasn't overpaying but also not cutting corners by picking the cheapest option

 

Cons:

• Located in Australia (I'm in the US), so the time difference meant communication was slow

• A few issues with my emails ending up in a spam folder, prompting me to reach out via Facebook when I didn't receive replies

• The small operation perk can also be a negative if they're very busy 

 

* Polgarus Studio also offers editing services. I have not used this service and cannot personally attest to the quality of the editors associated with this company.

NETGALLEY CO-OP

Pros:

• Option to purchase an annual slot and swap multiple titles in and out of NetGalley

• Option to list your title on NetGalley for one month (going through NetGalley itself would require a minimum of 6 months)

• Economic if you're on a budget (paying for one month is obviously much more affordable than paying for six)

• Co-op administrator corresponds with NetGalley on your behalf, reducing the learning curve and the hassle about addressing any technical issues

• Detailed, step-by-step instructions are provided to you so you can update your title after the administrator has done the initial upload

• Responsive and helpful if you have any questions or concerns

 

Cons:

• I personally had a mixed experience, but this was a reflection on NetGalley, not the quality of the co-op... check out my blog post to learn more

 

* Victory Editing also offers editing services. I have not used this service and cannot personally attest to the quality of the editors associated with this company.

 

Chill Out

Among my art and writing passions also dwells a love for photography. When I'm writing and editing, I often choose music that's either in a foreign language or ambient instrumental music so I'm not distracted by lyrics. I started creating my own YouTube videos as an outlet to showcase my photography and also make playlists to help me focus. Please consider subscribing if you enjoy these videos!

 

 

My goal is to share only original artwork, photography, and writing unless otherwise cited. I ask for the same courtesy; you are welcome to use my work, but please give credit where it is due. Thank you. Please note: comments on the blog are welcome, but positive feedback and/or constructive criticism only. This is a troll-free zone. All comments are approved by the moderator, and no spam or malicious content will be allowed.