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Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Trials of an Indie Author

The more I try to become a successful Indie Author, the more I realize just how difficult it is. And not because I'm not getting there.

Having spent the best part of this year doing my own writing, editing, cover generation, synopsis writing, blog posting, marketing, email writing, review requesting, correspondence, and a million other things, you start to get an idea of the amount of work that is actually involved. During the months of February until May I was fortunate enough to have been based at home, without a 'day job.' I managed to get a lot done. Since May, however, it's been a different story. Most of the marketing efforts I started have fallen by the wayside, as I've tried to juggle working 9 hours a day, traveling, writing, editing, and some blog writing. There just aren't enough hours in the day any more to do the marketing stuff. It's at times like these you begin to understand why Indie Authors like Amanda Hocking opted to go the traditional route.

But, I mustn't complain. I just have to regroup and re-prioritize. I'm going to have to realign my priorities over the next few months to spend more time on social networking sites, do more marketing, get more books out for review, and communicate more with the big wide world. The writing will have to take a back seat for a few months. I still have several books to edit, a couple of launches to do, but at least the majority of the writing has already been completed for the year.

And it's not been too shabby of a year, either. I've written two major novels, two reference books, and edited and launched four other ebooks. If I kept up that pace over the next few years, my back catalog would be substantial (I'd probably also be totally gray and lose most of my hair).

So, with that said, today is list-making day. I need to get a lot of review requests out and get back to communicating (conversation) with people again.

And as I do so, why not take a look at my staple book; the one that launched my writing career. First written in 2003, re-edited this year and launched as an ebook, Xannu - The Prophecy is book one in an epic fantasy series aimed at Young Adults. And don't be put off by that. Most of my readers have been adults! Check it out and head over to Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords and pick up a copy. It's only $0.99!

For fans of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Narnia Chronicles, the first installment in a thrilling epic fantasy series…

Would you wake up in a hot sweat if you lived your night’s dreams as a soldier battling un-earthly creatures, witnessing powerful magic and fighting to save your own life on a daily basis?

English schoolboy Terry West does. Frequently. After digging up some rune coins near a roman road, he has been living in another world inhabited by warlocks, seductresses, priests and prophecy. There Terry is a soldier, Teern Truthbringer, who has been tasked with finding the Xannu - 'he who will lead the people into deliverance.'

If only it wasn’t real; but it is. Very real. When it all began it was even enjoyable, but now Terry’s life is getting very complicated. Somehow he involved his best friend Joe and although it had seemed a good idea at the time, the consequences had been dire. Then there is Susan, the leggy sister of klutzy school-friend Brian. Why does she keep sending him messages?

Terry is struggling to balance the two lives he leads and every day he is losing his grip on reality just a little bit more. He’s been forced to kill enemies; his companion, the magical woman Maria, is scaring him half to death with her abilities; and his parents are on his back about his school work.

How will he balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!


  1. That's an impressive-sounding year. I'll have to buy your book. How are sales?
    I'm planning to launch my novel next month. I am planning to start with a short story as a way of drumming up a little publicity first. I intended to do it today, but realized I made a mistake with the cover image, so it will have to wait a little.
    I'd like to hear more about your experiences. How successful have your efforts been? YOu certain have a lot of presence on the web, but does that necessarily translate into selling books?

  2. I never complained about there not being enough time in the day until I decided to launch my writing career. Now I wish I had about six extra hours. I am fortunate enough to be able to stay home while I work on this, thanks to a very understanding husband (who wants his own dream of restaurant ownership in a few years, ha); I can't imagine holding down a full-time job with travel. You should be proud, Mr. Dorset. You've been really productive this year!

    Xannu - The Prophecy is on my to-read list. I will let you know when I finish it. :)

  3. @Scott, @Ellie - Thanks for the kind words. We all do what we can to realize our dreams - If we are serious about them.

    Good luck to you both.

    Scott - Can I retire from my full-time job yet? No. Do I earn good 'pin' money? Yes. I just need something to push me over the edge to the next level. :-)

    Ellie - Let me know when you're done with the book!

  4. I hear ya! in fact I wrote a blog similar just last night as I was thinking about all this .... work.

    Anyway, great post. The travelling is a big deal for me too. just in the last 2 months, I've somehow acquired a 1.25 hour drive each way to work. It's wearing me thin.

    Do keep it up.

  5. I'm currently on a one week 1/2 term break from school (I'm a teacher) so I've had some time to catch up with FB, Twitter etc, but there is no way I'll be able to continue once I go back to work next week. Promoting a book is a full-time job (which I guess is why publishing houses employ people full-time to do it!) I have no idea how you manage to fit in writing more books as well!

  6. This was a great post, Paul. It really is a tough gig. I was talking with a friend yesterday about the promotional aspect, and how it takes a lot of time away from the creative aspect. They say the best promotion is the next book, and the next book after that, but a gal's gotta eat between books. I just picked up a copy of your book. It sounds like a good read. Thanks for sharing your trials!