As a writer whose works have been traditionally published for years I have to admit I was spoiled. All I had to do was write a story good enough to be accepted. Now I know I make it sound simple. The truth is, writing is hard work. It involves painting a picture, but rather than using colors the author uses words. Not an easy task. 

The written language does not easily convey nuances, innuendos or emotions.  Dialogues must often be explained.  The meaning of one word can be interpreted so many ways. Take stop. Is it an order? Was it yelled or whispered. Perhaps it was a plea. Writers must make it clear to the reader their intent.

Then there is narration. Is it too detailed or very lackluster? Readers interests quickly turns to boredom if the writer can't draw them into the story. Characters and settings need to be visual images, not just physical descriptions. How a reader relates to each ultimately determines the success of the story.

Authors today have the luxury of self-publication rather than suffer the angst of waiting for weeks or months for the acceptance or rejection letter from the traditional publishers. Being an Indie, though, comes with a price beyond the monetary investment. I learned this first hand. Recently I started my own publishing company, Novel Ideas Publishing, LLC. My very first release, Odyssey of the Butterfly, is an anthology of five short stories with a central theme. When I made the decision to self-publish I knew it wasn't going to be easy but never realized how much I didn't know about the publishing side of the business. As I said, I was spoiled. Fortunately there are other authors willing to share their experience and expertise. I have found a community rich in knowledge and generous with their time.

Still, being an Indie is a one-hundred percent hands on experience that requires dedication, hard work, research, and a willingness to work with others whose expertise is necessary to produce a quality product. Copy editing, an appealing cover, proofing, etc. cannot be overlooked in the rush to publish. Success comes with patience. It's better to be the tortoise, slow and steady, than the hare, fast and reckless.  Everyone knows how the story ends but only those who have gone Indie can really appreciate the journey and the obstacles that need to be overcome.

If you are an author and want to be published, consider the choices carefully. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. If you do decide to self-publish, fasten your seat belt, hold on to your hat and prepare yourself for an interesting ride. No one can guarantee your success. You may not even make it to the finish line, but if you do…Congratulations! You've just made it through the quarter-finals. Next comes 'promotions' and after that the race is on.

Fran Heckrotte, Author/Publisher
Winner of the 2011 Alice B. Readers Award
The Illusionist Series
Solaria Series
Odyssey of the Butterfly


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