What Are Your Highs and Lows as a Writer?

Insecure Writers Want to Know

There are highs and lows in any profession, I’m sure. As writers, the highs are easy. Our stories are flowing. We actually finish writing them. They are selling. Someone is waiting to read them. This is difficult work. Make no mistake about that. We need to learn how to make our stories resonate with our readers, make the stories matter in today’s world.

Then we need to learn how to pitch our stories to agents or publishers. Or we need to learn how to self-publish our books. Either way, we need to learn how to market ourselves as writers. We need to learn how to sell our books.

For me, the choice between pitching or self-publishing my college memoir is the difficult part. Creating a proposal would be a difficult part. Marketing myself and finding markets for my book are the difficult parts. These are the lows in writing for me. They can feel very isolating.

This is where Insecure Writers Support Group comes in handy. As a group of writers, we are not alone. We have others to ask advice from or share experience with.

A few of you offered your publishing experience with small publishers last month. Some of you offered marketing tips. Thank you so much! Truly appreciated.

As for self-publishing, Lori L. MacLaughlin said she used IngramSpark to print and distribute her self-published books. Lori said IngramSpark made her books available everywhere. She said they handle both print-on-demand and e-book distribution. I’d like to know more how she did this.

Has anyone else tried self-publishing? Did you take a how-to course first to discover all the options available, or just research how to self-publish online? We need ISBN numbers for each version of our book, right? I’m seriously considering self-publishing this college memoir. And I want e-book and hard copy format at this time.

I still need to learn how to make a solid marketing plan. Probably BEFORE I publish the memoir. Do you recommend any book-marketing courses or systems that have worked for you? Once again, I’m extremely tech-challenged. There are no wrong answers here, only different methods to the same end—knowledge about publishing and marketing our books.  

*Please feel free to offer any insight you may have about self-publishing and how you got your books out into the world and how you marketed them. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. * 

It will be interesting to see how you’ve tackled this month’s question. It’s wonderful having a topic to share our thoughts on each month. I am extremely thankful for all of you for being my sounding board and advisors in this writing and publishing journey.

Thanks for stopping by my little spot on the web. Please come again!

This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. I’d like to thank our co-hosts for May: Kim Elliott, Melissa Maygrove, Chemist Ken, Lee Lowery, and Nancy Gideon! Please visit them if you can.

Our group posts on the first Wednesday of every month. To join us, or learn more about the group, click HERE

28 thoughts on “What Are Your Highs and Lows as a Writer?”

  1. I totally agreeing that writing and trying to be an author is hard work. Sorry I can’t answer your questions on self-publishing. But there’s lots of members in the group that can help and the IWSG website might have some resources for you.

    • Hi Natalie! Yes, I’m hoping to get some feedback on self-publishing experiences here. Never thought of looking at IWSG website. Thanks for the tip.

      It’s always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks for your comment. Have a beautiful day!

  2. Plan and start marketing months before the book comes out. Check with other authors in the group. You can even ask my publisher – Diane Wolfe is the senior editor and an IWSG Admin.

    • Thank you so much for this, Alex! Yes, I’ve heard maybe even a year before publishing the book. But possibly that’s for building up my social network channels. And yes, I’ll check with Diane Wolfe to be sure.

      Thank you again for sharing this advice at Adventures in Writing. All best to you, sir!

  3. Marketing is hard for everyone. Reach out to reviewers. See if others will host you for a blog tour. As Alex says, it’s important to start in advance. Unfortunately it can be hard to tell what approaches yield the best results, so try a range of things. Good luck!

    • Thank you, Nick. Sometimes I think marketing and gathering followers on social media is more difficult than writing a book.

      The thing I’m not really sure about is to get quotes to appear on the jacket cover before the book is even out. Maybe that is only for traditional publishing. You say reach out to reviewers, but that’s after the book is published, right?

      So much to learn. Thank you so much for sharing your insight at Adventures in Writing. All best to you, sir!

      • I’m back because I couldn’t remember whether I commented – but yes, you can certainly reach out to reviewers with an ARC before the book is out. It doesn’t have to be the final perfected/formatted product, but hopefully it will get you a few juicy quotes to use. Some publish their reviews on the day of release. Good luck!

        • Nick, I can’t tell you how much your insight means to me. Thank you so much!

          I need to consider who I ask for reviews. Memoirists or writers who write about the same topics covered in my memoir. I’ve heard I can send a PDF or ARC copies of the memoir to get blurbs.

          Again, I truly appreciate your input in this regard. Have a beautiful weekend!

  4. I love self-publishing. I was forced into it because my niche is small–agents weren’t interested–but it has worked out well. There are lots of helpful posts online to give you info and many on my own blog. Best of luck with it!

    • Thank you, Jacqui! I’ll comb your website first. The biggest thing for me to learn is how you built your online presence to sell your books.

      Truly appreciate your insight here at Adventures in Writing. Have a beautiful day!

  5. I’m sorry that I can’t offer any information, Victoria, because I haven’t published any book yet. But I’ll be looking at publishing a memoir too. Happy creating in May!

    • No worries, Louise. I haven’t published a book yet either.

      It’s always a pleasure seeing you here at Adventures in Writing. Thanks for your note. Have a beautiful day!

  6. Definitely investigate all the details before you publish. You’ll need your own ISBN if you want expanded distribution. There are also content restrictions (the word ‘Amazon’ in print or code) for the book files if you want to ‘go wide.’

    • So much I need to learn, Melissa. So I’ve heard that you need an ISBN for each version of the book you publish. E-book. Paperback. Audio book. I’ve never heard of “content restrictions” or what you mean by the word Amazon in print or code. Could you explain this to me?

      Thanks for sharing your insight here at Adventures in Writing. I appreciate your comment. Have a beautiful day!

  7. Self-publishing on Amazon is (relatively) very easy. At the very simplest version, you can upload a Word file for your manuscript and design your cover right on their website.

    If you want something a little more polished and you can’t or don’t want to do it yourself, you can also find places online that can prepare your files for your. Cost varies tremendously. Fiverr.com can charge as little as $5 to $10 for an “fine” cover, while a quality professional artist can run into the thousands.

    Ingramsparks is a fair bit more complicated to setup, as well as having upfront costs, but yes, they do have a broader distribution. You can even get them into regular bookstores.

    Self-publishing is great, but it does take some work and research to make sure you’re getting the right options for you.

    • Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing, CD! So glad to have you here.

      This is solid information here. Thank you. Gosh! I have so much to learn. And drat! I’m not tech-savvy. Well, I have a lot to think about before publishing this college memoir.

      Thank you again for sharing this insight with us. All best to you!

    • Hello and welcome to Adventures in Writing to you, too! I’m so glad you are here.

      Don’t worry, Helen. We are learning together. That’s what IWSG is all about. Have a beautiful day!

  8. Definitely look at all options. Self-publishing in the truest sense involves a few more steps than just publishing through Amazon Kindle or Ingram Spark. There will be things like getting your own Library of Congress number and creating a publishing company. Make sure you understand what every option involves. Good luck!

    • Oh. My. Gosh! Sherry, do I need to create a whole publishing company? I thought I could just use my name as publisher. I wouldn’t be publishing anyone else’s books. Yikes! I’ve got to think this through and learn so many things.

      Thank you so much for sharing this knowledge with me, Sherry. Have a beautiful day!

  9. I bet there are a lot of people here who can help you learn what you need to know. Keep reading posts and here and reach out. I’m sure you’ll find support. Not self-published (or published at all) so I can only offer encouragement, but I’m sending it along!

    • Thank you for your encouragement, Liza. I certainly need it. Yes! I’m seeking out any support I can find. IWSG is very generous in helping fellow writers. I need to see who I can address specific questions to.

      Thanks again for your comment, Liza. Have a wonderful day!

  10. I knew nothing when I started, so I approached my first trilogy like a learning experience. To keep things simple, I self-published my first book on Amazon and opted for KDP select, which allows me to offer a sale once per term and appear on Kindle Unlimited, as long as I keep my ebook exclusive to Amazon. I can opt out in the future if I wish. Amazon took care of the ISBN for me. I learned a lot about self-publishing and marketing from kindlepreneur.com, so that site might be worth a look.

    • You’ve got the right idea, Kim. This is definitely a “learning experience” for me. Yes, I’ve heard of Kindle Unlimited. That’s for e-books only, I think, right? So much for me to know. Thanks for the link. I’ll check this all out for sure.

      Thank you for sharing this insight here at Adventures in Writing. All best to you!

  11. I agree the marketing and putting together the social media pieces is both daunting and isolating. I have some writerly friends that absolutely love Ingram Sparks. I believe Ingram has a bunch of “how to” videos, also, that might help you. There is also nothing wrong with querying, then going the self-pub route if the first doesn’t pan out. (Can you tell I’m a libra? I always try to balance these kinds of things out!)Good luck with your journey!

    • Of course you are right, Miffie. Nothing wrong at all to query first and if nothing comes of it, then try self, or indie, publishing.

      I have so much to learn and consider before making this big decision for indie publishing. Nice to know there are “how to” videos on Ingram Spark. Have a beautiful day!


Leave a Comment