I’d like to welcome E.M. Leya to my blog today for another instalment of my series on authors who self-publish.

Emma has been writing and self-publishing for several years. She currently has over forty books out in several genres, but her passion is writing m/m romance and menage. She also helps to teach new authors how they can make the dream of being a published author come true without it costing them an arm and a leg.

Why did you decide to self-publish?
I am a single mother and I was working graveyards and coming home and napping off and on through the days as I took care of my infant. As she grew older, my sleep allowance got less and I knew I had to make a change. I either needed to bite the bullet and put her in daycare or come up with a way to work from home.
I’ve always been a writer, but I never dreamed I would be good enough to ever get anything published. I figured the best I’d ever do was have a bunch of stories laying around for my daughter to read when she got older. I was lucky enough to come across several friends on facebook who were self-publishing. I was intrigued, but still feared I wasn’t good enough. Yet again, I had choices to make. Face the fear and give it a try, or spend a lot more time away from my daughter than I wanted.  I had to try, so I started putting the stories I’d carried in my mind down on paper and prayed for a miracle.
What do you like about self-publishing?
I love self-publishing. Sure, at first it might have been a way to ignore the risk of rejection, but it was also that I didn’t have the time to wait for the process of submitting and waiting for a release with a publishing company. I needed to work fast.
I started learning more about how everything worked and I learned that it really was the way to go. Self-publishing gave me full control of my stories, from the writing, to the cover, to the format, and even the promotion and advertising. I didn’t have to wait for release dates, or deal with cover-art I wasn’t happy with, and most the time, I made more money than I would have if I’d gone with a publisher. I could release two books a month if I wanted, or wait four months to get the next one out.  I worked by my rules and with my own time limits.
Now that I have hold of my insecurity and know how to handle it— it never goes away— I still wouldn’t go with a publisher. Mistakes are my own, but so is my success. I’m responsible for all of it, good or bad, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
Do you have any advice for other authors considering taking the plunge?
Don’t let others tell you what is right or wrong. Self-publishing isn’t for everyone. It does take a lot of work, a lot of time, a lot of tears, and even more, at times it can take a lot of money.
You have to be willing to do the extra work to make your dreams come true if you self-publish. No matter what, don’t give up. Your dream is to write and share that writing with the world, and with enough support, you can do it. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. You will meet people who will try to tell you that you can’t do it, but I’m proof you can.
Even without a lot of money self-publishing is possible. I put out my first five books with zero out of pocket, working trades with other authors for edits, and doing my own cheap looking covers. I had/have friends who stand beside me and were willing to help me find a way to make my dream of being a published author come true.
Use the help offered to you, but also remember who was there to help you and repay the favor somehow. The self-publishing world is a friendly one for the most part. Most authors are willing to help you and pay it forward, just like someone probably did for them. Ask for help and information. Even more important, once you have this down, be there for those just starting. Publishing isn’t a competition. There are enough readers to go around and enough stories to keep them happy.
My biggest piece of advice for new authors is to just write. Shut off social media and just let the words out. If you stop worrying about the ‘how to’ and just get the story out, the rest will come easy. Don’t give up.
My newest release, Limelight is out on April 1, 2015
Some dream of fame and fortune, but it isn’t always everything one might think it will be. It doesn’t matter what entertainment industry you’re in, you have to sacrifice, and when it comes to love, well that brings on a million other issues.
Inside you’ll find three stories about men in the limelight. They worked hard to gain the fame they’ve found, but in doing so, they all have longed for one thing — Love. Some things might come easy for these men, but when it comes to sharing their hearts, things are never simple and either are the men they desire.

Emma Marie Leya aka E.M Leya lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her daughter, two dogs, a cat, and two birds. When she isn’t writing, she is an avid swimmer with a passion for the mountains, and often found playing outdoors.