Going it Alone part 4: NR Walker on self-publishing

Title: Going it Alone

I’d like to welcome N.R. Walker to my blog today for another instalment of my series on authors who self-publish.

N.R. Walker has published 22 books to date, including her free-reads and short stories. Eight are with a traditional online publisher, and 14 are self-published.

Why did you decide to self publish?

In 2012, I was with a publisher who didn’t hold up their end of the contractual agreements we had. So when I received the rights to my five books, I sought out a new (and honest and credible) home for them. But, knowing it was going to be up to a year before those books were back on the market for sale, I kept two of them (Blind Faith and Through These Eyes*) and jumped right in to getting them back online myself.

*To clarify, Blind Faith had been released, Through These Eyes had been submitted and accepted for publication, contracts signed, but never released.

I went into self-publishing absolutely clueless. Even though I’d been through the publishing process five times, I literally had NO idea what I was doing.  15 books later I still learn something new with every release.  But with the fabulous, generous and invaluable help from other authors in the m/m community, I muddled my way through it, crossed all my fingers and toes, and hit submit.

The response was amazing. I had immediate feedback on sales, royalties earned with clear and concise reports. And coming from a publisher that provided none of these things, it was incredibly enlightening.

I still do have eight books with a publisher (Totally Bound) and I’m happy for them to stay there.  I do think it helps to have both self-published and house-published books, not just for diversity and security, but also to keep me learning about the industry.

That being said, I will always use self-publishing as my first preference to have my work in the market.

What do you like about self-publishing?

Everything.

I love the freedom to write what I want and not be boxed into genres by a publishing house that may or may not like to publish your chosen field.

I love the immediate sales/royalties reports and information.

I love the control I have on edits, cover art and pricing.

I love the control and input I have in marketing. I can do as much or as little as I like. And with me, I acknowledge that marketing and self-promotion are not my forte, so I choose to use a third party like Pride Promotions to run book blasts and blog promotions.

I choose these things. Some/most people probably hate this much additional work, but I’ve also been in situations (with my previous publisher) where these choices were taken away from me and I disagreed with much of what was done. Now I truly appreciate the complete control, because if something is going out into the public market with my name on it, I want it to represent me. I should be proud of my work, not cringe inside because the final product is not what I wanted.

There’s also the personal sense of accomplishment. Setting professional and personal goals and achieving them is a wonderful thing.

Do you have any advice for other authors considering taking the plunge?

My first piece of advice would be, if you’ve never published before, to go with a publisher first. What you learn from the editing process alone is priceless, but the process as a whole is completely invaluable. If they’re a credible publisher, they will know what they’re doing, and you as a first timer (if you haven’t published anything before) don’t. Learn from them. Self-publishing is a very steep learning curve, even for experienced authors.

My second piece of advice is listen to all advice. LOL It might not all be relevant to you, but these people offer information from what they’ve learned by doing something you haven’t. Disregard what you will, use what suits, but listen, listen, listen.

Expect to make changes (some small, some huge) to your manuscript, as you would through a publisher.  You will need to be flexible, and you will need to be comfortable with putting yourself out there to some degree.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The m/m community, in particular, is FABULOUS, and full of very generous people who will LOVE to help you. And although you may think it’s a solitary venture, believe me, you will need a team behind you to self-publish. In January 2015, I wrote a blog post about what it takes to self-publish, titled My Village. You can read it HERE

And lastly, do it, do it, do it.  It’s rewarding, fun, stressful, awesome, eye-twitch-inducing, and fulfilling 🙂

cronin

My latest self-published release is a new genre for me (paranormal/supernatural/sci-fi/action/romance) and again, dipping toes—or stomping through—different genres is something else that self-publishing allows. Some publishers don’t allow for certain genres, and it’s rewarding to have the freedom to try new things.

Cronin’s Key Blurb:

NYPD Detective Alec MacAidan has always been good with weird. After all, his life has been a string of the unexplainable. But when an injured man gives him cryptic clues, then turns to dust in front of him, Alec’s view on weird is changed forever.

Cronin, a vampire Elder, has spent the last thousand years waiting for Alec. He’d been told his fated one would be a man wielding a shield, but he didn’t expect him to be human, and he certainly didn’t expect that shield to be a police badge.

Both men, strong-willed and stubborn, are still learning how to cope with the push and pull of being fated, when fate throws them another curveball.

Rumors have spread quickly of turmoil in Egypt. Covens are fleeing with news of a vampire who has a talent like no other, hell-bent on unleashing the wrath of Death.

Alec and Cronin are thrown into a world of weird Alec cannot imagine. What he learned in school of ancient pharaohs and Egyptian gods was far from the truth. Instead, he finds out firsthand that history isn’t always what it seems.

Amazon Buy link:  Cronin’s Key on Amazon

All Romance eBooks link:  Cronin’s Key on ARe

About:

N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.

She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since…

You can find N.R. Walker:

nrwalker.wordpress.com

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon

Email: nrwalker2103@gmail.com

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About Jay Northcote

Author of LGBT romance. Trans (he/him), Parent, cat herder, professional procrastinator.
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6 Responses to Going it Alone part 4: NR Walker on self-publishing

  1. Rj Scott says:

    Very interesting… hugs xxxxx

  2. bjwilliams26 says:

    Excellent insight into self publishing. Thankyou for this series Jay.

  3. Anna Lund says:

    I am really loving this series you are posting with the contributions from so many of your friends, Jay. Thank you. This one was enlightening. Especially the “Go with a publisher first” is probably the soundest advice I’ve heard in a long time. Excellent.

    • Thanks, Anna. I’m really glad you’re enjoying the series. It’s fun for me too.
      I’d echo the advice about going with a publisher first. I think you learn a lot from the experience even if you ultimately decide you’d rather go with exclusive self publishing. However next week I have an interview with an author who has never gone the trad publishing route – so watch out for that one. It’s good to get a different perspective!

  4. nrwalker says:

    Reblogged this on N.R. Walker and commented:
    Here’s my take on self-publishing, as posted on Jay Northcote’s blog 🙂

Comments are closed.