I am so pleased to welcome a new guest today, Misti Rainwater-Lites. We’re talking writing, self-publishing, novels, and cookbooks. Does it get any better than that?!?
So, no more stalling, get ready to enjoy today’s guest post……
I started self-publishing in 2005 when I took a couple of poetry manuscripts and cover art into a Kinko’s in Albuquerque, New Mexico and published two poetry chapbooks. I’ll never forget the exhilaration I felt after a poetry reading when people lined up to buy signed copies of my chapbooks for five dollars each. That night I treated my husband to tacos and beer.
Later in 2005 I signed up for the National Novel Writing Month competition in which you are expected to write a novel in thirty days or less. I’ve never been a fan of any particular genre. Most of the people I met at the one NaNoWriMo meeting I attended were fans of horror, fantasy or science fiction. I think when you’re a hardcore fan of a particular genre it makes it easier to come up with ideas. There are clear blueprints to follow. I had no idea what I wanted to write about. I just knew I wanted to write a novel. Then one morning I woke up and my first novel, Nova’s Gone Potty, came to me. I decided to model the protagonist, Nova, after myself. Like me, Nova is a socially awkward loner with the heart of a romantic. I completed the novel in less than a month. As a reward to entrants who completed the competition the NaNoWriMo administrators offered a free copy of their novels at lulu.com, a print on demand service. It was the first I’d ever heard of print on demand. I could publish my own books for free?! I was immediately hooked. I didn’t have a clue about formatting, the uploading process or cover art. It was all trial and error. I have published numerous versions of Nova’s Gone Potty over the years. I finally published a version that I was proud of in 2011.
Since that first project in November of 2005 I have maintained a storefront at lulu.com. I’ve published books for myself and my peers, mostly poetry collections, novels and art books. In 2010 I self-published the novel I am most proud of, Bullshit Rodeo. My novel caught a lot of attention in the small press. Three different small presses expressed interest. Bullshit Rodeo was on a small Australian press for about a year. Then I decided to give my novel to a small Canadian press, Epic Rites Press. The second printing of my novel has been available at amazon since last September. I just glanced at the ranking and it’s abysmal. This has nothing to do with the quality of my book and everything to do with my ignorance of how to successfully market books.
I only learned recently about the importance of SEO and how to publish ebooks at Kindle Direct Prime. I’ve published four erotica ebooks at KDP using a pseudonym. I’m still scribbling notes fast and furious. I’ve created a new blog, www.youareauthorized.com. I am determined to crack the code, finally, and sell the books that I happily slave over. Self-publishing has been the most challenging and rewarding experience of my professional life. I’m currently compiling recipes and plan to publish a cookbook this fall.
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More about Misti:
I’m here to make money with my writing. I have over a decade of experience as a writer, editor and proofreader. My print on demand storefront at lulu.com is eBuLLieNCe PReSs. I’m exploring freelance writing opportunities and learning more daily about content marketing. In 2016 I received my Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where I made the dean’s list twice and was a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success. I’m passionate about educating and empowering women to find redemption and create better lives for themselves via the written word and all forms of art.
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Until next time………………………………Love & Blessings!!!