Thursday, January 8, 2015

Mark Twain's Advice Works For Me

I like this quote. I like it a lot! So many writing projects we have in mind end up overwhelming us to the point that we never do more than think about the project. It's too big to actually begin working on whatever it is--a novel, your memoir of decades of your life, a series of books for young adults. 

For me, the big project I'd like to tackle this year is to publish an ebook. Maybe two! I've been thinking about it for a long time and I've looked into several 'how-to' articles. I've learned a few things. Even so, the whole task feels like it is of gigantic proportions. Possibly because there is still much I do not know. I worry that the old saying A little knowledge is a dangerous thing might apply here. 

Last week, I started reading more about publishing ebooks on your own. I decided that I needed to start somewhere, so I set myself the little task of getting the five stories that I am hoping to put into book form all in the same font, same size. In other words, the five stories now follow the same style along with the short intro and table of contents. It looked good to me when I finished and I felt like I'd accomplished something. 

My next task is a singular one but important and needing some more research. I need to create a book cover for the book. The title is going to be either Five Brave Girls or Five Strong Girls. The five stories are meant for 8-12 year olds. Each one has a strong girl as the protagonist. I'm leaning toward the second title because of the character of each of the girls. Each story has been published somewhere but I still hold the copyright so can use them again. 

Task number 3 is to decide on a selling price. Price it too high and there will be few sales. Too low and I make little to nothing. But money is not the prime purpose of publishing this book. I'd like to do it for my own satisfaction and to give children in this age group some examples of how young girls can be strong and/or brave. 

Task number 4 is to learn the ins and outs of publishing through Amazon. They make it sound so simple at first but, like so many things, I'd better read the fine print carefully and follow guidelines step by step. 

Task number 5 is to put it altogether and publish my ebook. I'm looking forward to that day.

Task number 6 will be to market the book which will be an ongoing process. 

Dividing that one huge job into smaller ones that I can accomplish one at a time takes away the feeling of it being an impossible task. We can do this with all our big projects. You can even do it with a 1200 word personal essay. Break it into sections and work on one at time. 

Thanks to Mark Twain for a great suggestion for me and for you!


  1. In 2013 I self-published an eBook on Amazon. They have one of the easier platforms to work with and it is, by far, my favorite. There's so much out there you can do in the self-publishing industry, but one of the biggest things I would suggest is to do some research about marketing. It's one thing to publish a book; people do it all the time. It's another to get it into the hands of your target audience. I'd say the 8-12 set has more access to the internet these days than you would initially think, but they don't have traditional social media due to age requirements and therefore when it comes to marketing you have to think beyond the usual routes when it comes to getting your book into the hands of those you want to read it.

    Good luck on your goals for this year. It's a big undertaking to self-publish, but you are more than capable of doing it. :) I look forward to hearing about your journey through the ePub waters.

    1. Many thanks for the encouragement, Jessica. Hoping to see you at wac very soon.

  2. I love this quote by Mark Twain. Good list for you! If you have any questions about ebook formatting or cover design, feel free to give me a shout. I know nothing about marketing to 8-12 year girls!

    1. I will be most happy to take you up on the offer of help, especially on the cover. Thanks Tracy.