I have a new author crush :)

I published my very first book in 2012 and I cannot believe that it’s been four years since my journey began. In that time, I wish I could say that I’ve made great strides toward bestseller status, but truth be told, it feels like I’m still only a few steps away from the starting line.

Ugh! What the poop have you been doing all these years, you might ask?

Well, I haven’t been completely holed up in a proverbial cave — only somewhat 🙂 Let me explain.

  • I have an incredibly stressful day job. I used to enjoy this job a very long time ago. Today, having this job is a necessity to support my household. I’m not going to belabor my agonies about my day job because that’s not the point. The thing is that at the end of the day, I’m wiped.
  • While I read books and buy self-publishing and marketing courses, I can’t seem to implement the lessons successfully. (I actually consider myself a pretty smart person, but this… this makes me feel like a complete idiot!)
  • Admittedly and with some embarrassment, I confess I have “shiny ball syndrome.” You know when the latest and greatest becomes your new toy and you forget about the old one? That’s me. I’m like this fat little bee going from flower to flower to collect what I need. But unlike the bumblebee who will actually do something useful with the pollen she collects, I just keep fluttering about until I’m so exhausted I just drop out of the sky, land in mud, and die.
  • In all my past endeavors, whether that be school or the jobs I’ve had, I’ve always achieved success. I was the good student, the good worker. I knew exactly, what I had to do. There was a path and I just had to follow it. I got A’s and I got the promotions and pay increases. School and work came very easily for me. I was successful with very little effort. This same level of achievement has not been happening for me in self-publishing. It’s been incredibly frustrating and makes me want to quit all the time.
  • I am afraid. Since self-publishing, I’ve realized that I’m fearful of everything — success, failure, criticism… When you fear everything, it becomes easier to be unknown. Being unknown is “safe.”
  • I could go on and on, but what it all comes down to is that I HAVE BEEN MY OWN WORST ENEMY! I’ve “failed” because of me. Have I been duped? Sure. I’ve spent good money on stupid products. I was upset about it then, but when I look back… I’m grateful for the consequence. Why? Because, I wouldn’t have fallen prey, if I hadn’t been looking for an easy way. I was an easy target. (So, buyer beware out there.)

Being an Indie and a self-published author is NOT EASY. It takes work, dedication, and patience. Since dipping my toes in self-publishing, I have taken the greatest journey of my life. While I feel like Sisyphus and his giant boulder right now, I have a feeling things are about to change.

If you are thinking about going into self-publishing, be prepared to work. There will be many days you will want to cry, pull your hair out, or make the next pint of ice-cream your new best friend. Be prepared that your passion for words will keep you up at night. Be prepared that self-publishing is a journey and there are no short-cuts. Finally, be prepared, that each time you write a book, you change for the better as a person.

Hang with me, I’m almost done… hahaha!

Why the post title? Because I have been re-evaluating why I’m doing this.

In my four years of chasing the shiny-ball and getting in my own way, I have forgotten and have completely gotten away from why I went into self-publishing in the first place.

In the last few years, the only time when self-publishing has been fun is when I’m actually writing or when I’m getting ideas and I start thinking about how far I could take a story or a concept. But because of my other responsibilities, there has been little time for the craft itself and I’ve been sad about that…

Then today, I came across an old podcast between Tom Corson-Knowles and Hugh Howey and I literally had to stop what I was doing and just listen. The interview was awesome and it reminded me of why I went into self-publishing! I love writing. Bottom line, our success as writers and authors lies within the pages we craft.

Maybe I haven’t been a complete failure. I have been writing in these four years and the fact that my books are not known now, doesn’t mean they’ll stay that way forever.

HUGH HOWEY, you are officially my new author crush. You have brought things in perspective for me when I needed it most. 

 

Publishing-Profits-Podcast-Cover-Image1If you want to listen to the interview with Hugh Howey, click here. I recommend you listen 🙂 it’s so good and it may give you a new perspective like it did with me.

I’ve only been able to listen to a few of the Publishing Profits podcasts, and Hugh Howey’s was one of the firsts, but for the ones I’ve heard, they’ve all been great and I’ve learned something valuable from each of them.

FYI–I’m not an affiliate of Publishing Profits. I just like sharing great content when I find it.

 

Starting over

12_Angels_Publishing_1These last few months, I’ve been doing a lot, a lot of thinking. You see I got into self-publishing about three years ago in the fall of 2012. This November will mark my third year.

I wish I could say that I’ve experienced great success and I am but a breath away from reaching my goals of doing this full time. But sadly, the reality is, I’m no where close to that dream.

Yes, I am further than where I started, but my path has taken twists and turns that have  often left me confused and discouraged. At times, I’ve even felt taken advantage of. While there are many great people out there, unfortunately there are also a lot of bad ones and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in these three years is that I cannot be so trusting. Not everyone means what they say. Essentially, the saying “buyer beware!” is the golden rule to follow on the internet.

I am not posting this to feel sorry for myself. But rather, because I need to be honest with myself.

In the past three years, can I really say that I’ve put forth true, committed effort? No, I can’t.

Admitting that kills me, but I need that cold douse of water thrown at my face to wake me up. I need that honestly to scream at me, get in my face, and slap me upside the head. It pains me to admit that I’m failing in this endeavor because of… me.

I’ve even told myself that maybe writing isn’t for me. That I got into writing because my friend did. That I was nothing, but a hack and a phony. That I had no talent, no skill, nothing worthy enough to read.

So why, in my darkest moment, do I go back to writing? Why, when I’m thinking about the future, writing is a part of it? Why do I cringe when I think about putting down my pen permanently? I love to write. I’ve finally found a love that multiples my soul in so many ways and it doesn’t ask for anything back, but for me to keep at it.

In all this time, I have not been able to get away from myself or to get away from the fears that have always held me back. Why? I’m sitting here shaking my head because I don’t have a good reason. Even in the face of disaster, when this book business could have been my safety net, and my salvation, I didn’t do what had to be done. Why? Cause I’m an idiot, that’s why!

In the meantime, I see so many people that I started with rise to greatness. I feel lost and pushed behind their wake of success. You know like that salmon swimming upstream, only to die at the end or be eaten by a bear? That’s what it’s been feeling like.

Well, I’ve had enough. I’m done being afraid. Life is passing too quickly.

I may be more of a tortoise than a hare when it comes to finding my book success, but I will find it. The time has come for me to start anew. I’m not a sparkly new penny anymore. I’ve been tossed around, scratched, and have landed in dirt more times than I care to admit, but I’m still here.

This journey is not over and there’s more in store for me.

I believe there’s more in store for all of us, and we will each find our success, and see our dreams materialize in the best ways.

Abundance and joy to you.

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Building a legit biz

businessOkay, so when I first dipped my big toe into self publishing, did anyone tell me that it’s actually a real business?  NO! For me, I was following a dream and all I was thinking of was writing and creating books.

It seems obvious now, but when you’re starting something new, obvious questions don’t come up, cause you don’t know what those questions are, let alone ask ’em.

So, here’s my advice for those of you going into self-publishing… Self-publishing is a legitimate, for real business and you have to treat it like one.

Eventually, hopefully sooner than later you will make money through self-publishing.  When you start making money, now you’re a “paid professional.” It doesn’t matter that behind the scenes, you’re still learning what to do and trying to figure things out.  One thing that you gotta remember is that when the money starts coming in, there is a matter of taxes that have to be accounted for.

So… my advice, make your self-publishing biz, legit from the start, rather than having to clean up later.  Get your business documents in order even if you’re only making a dollar a month.

My advice is going to be specific to the U.S. and more specifically — California residents. But the thing to remember is that no matter where you live, your local government will have rules and regulations as to how they want local businesses to conduct themselves and how they (meaning your local governmental agency) wants to get paid.  It all goes down to paying fees and taxes.

Okay, so for California and even this, may vary from County to County and City to City, so do some homework, but I’ll give you some buzzwords to ask about.

For the County, I live in, which happens to be San Joaquin County, these are the steps, I’ve had to take:

1.  I had to go to the County’s Recorder’s Office to apply for a fictitious business name and pay for the application fee.

2.  Once, I completed the application, I had to publicly post the business name through a local paper distributed in our County for thirty (30) days. I had to pay the local paper to post my business name.

3.  Once the 30 days of posting completed, I had to get a validation from the local paper and submit that to the Recorder’s Office.

4.  Once the Recorder’s Office had the validation, they registered my fictitious business name.

5.  Then, and I didn’t know this part… I got a notice from the local City’s financial department alerting me that it has come to their attention that I am running a business and therefore needed to obtain a license in order to comply with local City ordinance… blah, blah, blah.

6.  So, I go to my City’s (Lodi) financial department and apply for a license.  The license part wasn’t a big deal, but I had to complete an extra set of paperwork because I was running the business out of our home.  I had to sign paperwork that I would not post signs or do anything that would compromise the integrity of our neighborhood… blah, blah, blah. I had to pay extra fees to run the biz out of our home, but it’s good for as long as we live in the house.

7. At this point, I thought I was done.  I got my biz license, got an okay to run it out of the house, and my biz name was registered at the County government.  Oh no. I wasn’t done.

8.  I then got a notice from the County Assessor’s Office asking me to fill out a form that basically asks why I have a business license for my residence.  The form was short and even came with a self addressed/stamped envelope, but it was yet one more step that I wasn’t told about.  So, I went to the Assessor’s Office and turned in my form. No fees for that form, just a quick, “it’s a-ok” from the rep.

9. This is the latest. I have finally worked up enough courage to participate at a local event, where I have the opportunity to show and sell my books.  I had to fill out more forms, okay no big deal. I’m used to forms by now,  but the event organizers were asking for a biz license — okay got that one, but they also wanted a seller’s permit. WHAT?! What’s that? Isn’t that my license?

10. Today, I went online looked up information on seller’s permits and it lead me to the State of California Board of Equalization. Presto! Online registration available for Seller’s Permits. There is a regular seller’s permit and a temporary seller’s permit.  I got the regular one since I don’t want to have to keep re-applying every time I decide to participate in an event and besides, I don’t consider my little publishing biz — temporary. I hope to grow this baby!  The permit is good for one fiscal year and you have to re-register and definitely report taxes/income and all that stuff. The best part was that the Seller’s Permit was no cost and I was able to print up the permit as soon as the application process was done. WOOHOO! That was a bonus since I needed to have the permit to participate with the event!

So… and I’m learning this as I go and something else may come up, but for now 12_Angels_Publishing_2here’s what I’ve learned you’ll need.

1. Fictitious Business Name (registered with your local government).  You may have to do a public posting through a local paper, but this will depend on your local gov’s rules.

2. Business license. You typically have to get this through the City where you have your business located.  I work 12 Angels Publishing out of our kitchen, so I applied through our City.  If, like the City I live in, there are ordinances dictating how what you can or cannot do in a residential area, you might want to check if there’s any extra permits you have to get to work out of your house.

3. Once you have your business license, go ahead and apply for a Seller’s Permit. In California, this is required for any business engaged in selling in California.

If anything else comes up, I’ll definitely update this post. I’m learning by fire and during those times, I get a little too close to the heat, I’ll let you know so you can stay nice and cool!

Again, remember going into self-publishing is a true, bonafide business. You do this right and you’ll be living your dreams.  It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme whatsoever. You will have to work your butt and your heart out and you will have to be careful because there are a lot of gamers out there who will try to scam you out of your hard earned money.  Buyer beware is a good rule of thumb to adopt.

Anyways, take the time to do the research to see what your local government requires. It’s better to have this out of the way and know that your business is following all the rules from day one, rather than to find out the hard way and have to make up years of fees and taxes. Blech! Who wants to deal with that?

Happy publishing and I’m excited for your success!!

12 Angels Publishing

12_Angels_Publishing_2Wahoo!  I did it!  I did it!

About a month ago, I decided that I needed to get a publishing company name.  Why?

Because, as a newbie indie-author, it was and still is, really hard for me to think of myself as a business.

Why?

  • Because, I don’t have a customer base that I can see and talk to
  • Because, I’ve spent more money, than what I’ve made
  • Because, the internet is an invisible world

My ultimate goal is to be able to write full-time and no longer need a day job.  With that in mind, it began to sink into my stubborn head, that the only way for me to accomplish this IS to have my own business.

It became imperative that I find a way to separate myself–the part of me that just wants to write; from the business aspect of me–that wants writing to be my next career.

The answer for me was to formulate a company outside of me (even though it is me!)  By having a company name, I’m hoping to be able to separate and balance what I need to do to become a legitimate book writing/publishing machine!

Without further adieu, I proudly introduce:

12 Angels Publishing

I hope that this company will solidify my dream into reality and it is with the intent of moving forward as a business owner that I will steadily materialize my new career into reality.12_Angels_Publishing_1

Stay tuned as 12 Angels Publishing grows 🙂

 

Kindle Publishing

Magic bookI have one book published so far… and much to my dismay, it has taken much too long to follow up with a second book.  This is not to say, I don’t know what to write about because I certainly do.

It’s just I want to do things right the next time around.  I am learning so much since I first published Spirit 101 and there are some things I am definitely going to change when my follow up books are released.  I’m back at the drawing board–so to speak.

I’m not going for perfection–not yet, I’m going for better.  I figure each time I do this, it’s going to be better and more refined from my last efforts.  This is the great thing about Kindle Publishing, it is forgiving in the sense that the platform allows for do-overs.  How many other businesses allow for this type of growth and learning without too much loss?

Sure, it’s competitive, but at the same time the opportunities are so large that (in my humble opinion) there is plenty of room for everyone to experience evergreen success.

I want to build my book business not only to make my dreams a reality, but ultimately I would like to be able to help out other authors as well.  There is so much creativity out there and I think it is an incredible time when we authors have had tremendous doorways opened for all of us to succeed.  The kindle platform is probably by far the most ginormous doorway yet.

For those considering self-publishing, going through Amazon’s Kindle platform is a great way to go.  If you want to learn about how to put together your books and how to publish, here are a couple of free books (direct from Amazon) that tells you exactly how to do it.

Building Your Books For Kindle

Publish on Amazon with Kindle Direct Publishing

Other benefits of Kindle Publishing?

  • Most trusted marketplace in the world and growing.  This means built in consumers 🙂
  • Kindle is continually expanding
  • Amazon promotes you.  This isn’t an automatic, but if you do things right, you got the biggest book seller promoting your work.

If I can share any words of wisdom with you, I would say this… beware of gurus selling products that promise the world.  Do your research.  There are treasure troves of free information ready for the taking (like the manuals above)–you just have to be patient, sift through it all, and look with very discerning eyes.

Thanks for coming by!