After self-publishing my first book, I picked up a few easy lessons I thought would be useful to the many aspiring writers out there.
My first introduction to the publishing world was an old cramped and dank bookstore in Erie, Pennsylvania on Parade Street. At thirteen years old I was assigned the task of middleman and negotiator reselling my uncle’s used art and poetry books. The art books were always the heaviest books to carry twenty blocks through the busiest intersections. I vividly remember my fascination with information on each shelf in that bookstore.
Fast forward to the Information/Digital age, after reading every Harlem Renaissance marvel, every epic Slave Narrative, every Bible verse from Genesis to Revelations, every Toni Morrison novel and every biography that was worth reading (I didn’t include assigned reading), what l learned when I decided to write my book:
1. Passion about your subject is your chief motivator. It will fuel your desire to write while sitting in waiting rooms, in bed at night and even at your kid’s sporting events.
2. Google Drive, I Love you. From my cell phone to my laptop, you were there. Every typed character on Google Docs was saved and uploaded to the cloud. I took great joy in watching my editor edit real-time and chatting to question his approach in Google Docs. It didn’t go well.
3. It is 100% FREE to write and assign an ISBN to your creation. Don’t let ‘em tell you differently.
4. Goodreads is a great portal for authors and readers and it also sparked a conversation with someone I sat next to in Mrs. Davis’ class in the 3rd Grade, at Jefferson Elementary School.
5. Amazon KDP is a joy, I love the tool. The author’s copies take forever and a day, but since I get 1,000 copies at cost I am not complaining.
6. Google Play Books: I celebrated my book on this portal, it was the moment I really knew my book was available to the masses. I love reading my creation in your ebook format.
And thank you for allowing me to upload a FREE copy to anyone who has a Google email account. It’s like Amazon author copies, but even better since you can share with influential people immediately and again, for FREE.
7. I have to give Quora.com some love for allowing me to self-promote my work by simply being asked to answer questions presented by users.
8. I had a great conversation about sports in a Facebook Group called NFL’s Golden Era ‘64-’94. I was fascinated by Bob B. and Craig J’s knowledge of Professional Football. Meeting NFL fans online and at bars and pubs on game day has been a joy.
Calling into the Stephen A. Smith Radio Show was great:
9. The Twitter search, “NFL Rule Changes” has provided me with a great depth of knowledge on the degree to which Roger Goodell has upset a huge portion of the NFL fanbase.
10. IngramSpark provides authors with a distribution link to brick and mortar and the indie world that wants nothing to do with Amazon.com, very interesting to see my book appear in places I never imagined it would appear.