How I Began My Author Life
The idea for my first novel flashed in my mind sometime in middle school. In those awkward teen years, I began to exclude myself from others. While I was alone I fell into fantasy tales and made up stories provided by fictional novels. Then an idea popped into my head about a witch and her oncoming doom. It was outrageous how many times I starting typing up the tale only to erase it because it wasn’t good enough. Soon I gave up and walked away from the idea. I convinced myself there was no chance my novel would be made real. Who would buy it anyway? My name wasn’t known to anyone other than the people I knew. So I let it go.
High school came and went in what felt like a flash. As I started college I realized I did not fully let go of my dreams to publish a novel. I planned to go through college in the English department so I could learn more about writing. I would become an English teacher at some high school and then work on my writing whenever I had free time. Of course, that’s assuming teachers have as much free time as I once believed. Honestly, I don’t know if my original dream was logical. Teachers? Opinions?
Anyway, I was going to college with a general plan to hopefully take on my dream. But a tragic, car accident happened (details: https://shelbystbi.wordpress.com/2015/11/02/what-is-tbi/). After the accident I became a whole new person. College was a thing I tried but it didn’t work. Even holding a job was suddenly a struggle. It seemed like staying home and doing nothing from day to day was going to be my life. But in a twisted way, this car accident was a gift.
I once again began writing my novel. At first, this was a way to allow myself to feel more productive in my slow life. It took no time with the constant support from my friends and family for me to finish writing my first book!
It was hard to believe I had done it. All I had left to do was send it off to a publisher to make it available for others to read. The problem was it would cost around $400-600 for someone to read it. It made sense because there was a chance I could become famous and a couple hundred dollars would mean nothing. But let’s be honest, the dream wasn’t guaranteed. Who knew if I would become famous with my first published piece?
Therefore, I continued to sit around on my dream novel for some more time until I met a very kind woman. She gave me a bit of information on how to self-publish my novel. Self-publishing is a method becoming more and more popular with authors. It almost guarantees your words are published exactly as you wrote them, you don’t have to lose hundreds of dollars, and you are in control how things get done. My first piece was finally available!
Curse Under The Moon Book 1 – Sally Newton was unlike any goth woman walking down the street. Yes, she wore tight, black clothes and covered her eyes in heavy make-up. But the fine difference was hidden deep inside. She was a witch carrying a curse meant only to kill. Her mother passed away during Sally’s birth and her father followed only 20 years after. The curse was brought on from a woman over 200 years prior to the date. Sally knew there was only one way to reach the cure. She needed to die alone and end future suffering. All of her plans were simple to complete. Only an odd twist of fate could change her plans. Too bad fate was such an odd thing for her to predict.
Photography by Kimball Jay Photography
Yay! It was done! It didn’t take long for some people to ask if there would be more in the story. Their encouraging words gave me the push to add more to the Lyall Pack tale and self-publish a couple more books in the series.
Jump Over The Sun Book 2 – Angelica Morgan loved her best friend, Shawn. The greatest factor in their love was knowing he was her Mind Mate. The most terrifying factor was the idea of telling him all of her family’s secrets. Would he welcome a spell-casting witch into his life or would he run away from her forever?
Anthony Morgan was done with the crazy idea of love. He chased after the dream of finding his Mind Mate for many years with no signs of succeeding. All he really needed in life was to work hard and keep his family happy. What more could he really want? Angelica was about to answer the question for him.
Hidden In The Stars Book 3 – Paul Lyall was happy to lead a strong group of men and women in his pack. The history of the Lyall Pack told them all the peace they lived in was not meant to last. It was only a matter of time before chaos reached them.
Chaos was given to them in the form of a woman and her son. Jessica knew little about the life of a present day werewolf. In order to save her son it was time to learn. Paul knew his Mind Mate wouldn’t come without a challenge.
Do I think self-publishing is the best idea? No, I don’t think it’s a good idea if you don’t go in prepared. There’s a lot you can lose by doing it all yourself and there’s a lot of pressure when you take on this challenge. I get by day to day wondering if I’ll ever sell another book. At the current date, sales have almost stopped entirely and I don’t know what more I can do. But the truth is this; no matter where you publish your novel the responsibility will always be your own to spread the word. It is your job to make the book known!
My personal tips:
- Have your family and friends talk about your book to other people they know. Some of my sales were made simply because other people spoke about my book to someone and that person took interest.
- Create pages to feature yourself and your books. Facebook (facebook.com/AuthorShelbyB), Twitter (www.twitter.com/Shelby_Author) or create your own blog!
- Business cards are an easy way to spread your name. Give a handful to people you know and they can hand more out for you. Talk about yourself to someone you just met and when they continue to ask details hand over your card. I made my business cards through Vistaprint (vistaprint.com). A great site and I highly recommend it!
- Get involved with local fairs or festivities. (I haven’t actually acted on this task myself). My sister-in-law told me it would be a great way to market my novels. The hardest part is probably finding open venues and getting out there and doing it.
These tasks are only simple things I have done or heard about. I think a lot of self-publishing authors have many tips on where to go, how to do it, and what worked for them. I hope this blog has given you a bit of motivation to get your own projects going! Keep following me so I can let you know how new tasks proceed and you can be with me as my career moves forward!
Follow me on this site or connect to one of my links through Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorShelbyB) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/Shelby_Author). I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes me! Time to get to work!
Please note; coffee is a great motivator!! 😉