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The (Self-Publishing) Story So Far

This week the website Just.Be.Enough is running an “Inspired by Purple Leaves, Red Cherries” week. I am honored and view it as a milestone.

I’ve come a long way with my publishing project – and I’m just getting started! I thought it would be a good time to recap on the story so far:

February 2009 – I’m a stay-at-home mom with three kids. My youngest is eight months old. She is at home with me when I have an idea to create an inspiring gift for new mothers. (The gift would become the book Purple Leaves, Red Cherries). I start talking about the idea with other moms and the concept of the book matures in my mind. I discover the world of self-publishing.

August 2009 – My close friend, Andrea Katzman, moves to the city where I live for 11 months. I let her and her family get settled in and then seize the window of opportunity. I want her to be my co-author. She agrees!

October 2009 – We start meeting up one evening a week to work on the project.

June 2010 – The manuscript is complete and we approve the design concept.

July 2010 – Andrea returns to her former life and I move on with publishing the book.

September 2010 – My youngest child starts preschool leaving me with my mornings and late nights free to concentrate on the project.

December 2010 – The design is complete (yes, it is beautiful and complex – check it out) and the ARCs are printed. In hindsight, the ARCs were not a good return on investment since my marketing has concentrated more on social media and less on traditional press.

February 2011 – The book design has been tweaked, the final typos caught and the long and complex offset print commences.

March 2011 – I launch the book’s online channels including an IndieGoGo crowd funding campaign. I didn’t make my crowd funding target but I learned a lesson to share: unless you have an established and large fan base, don’t be tempted to set the “average” funding target as your target. Happily, IndieGoGo allows you to keep all money raised and it turns out that crowd funding was a great way for those who love the project to pre-order the book, offering welcome financial support in the early days. In this month, I also sign a partnership deal with aerbook for the development of the eBooks.

April 2011 – I have the hardback books in hand and send them off to my distributors who will send them to Amazon.

May 2011 – I start selling the books on Amazon and step up my marketing efforts.

July 2011 – I start blogging regularly and force myself to start using Twitter. I realize I have a lot to learn about social media. I experiment with pitching bloggers and offering giveaways. The reviews start trickling in. There are readers who love our book!

Fast forward to December 2011 – The first “Inspired by Purple Leaves, Red Cherries” week is taking place this week on the website Just.Be.Enough. Seven months after launching my book, I know that in the traditional publishing world, I would already be old news. But my market is renewing itself every day and I feel very much at the start of my journey!

If you have any questions about self-publishing that you feel I could help out with, please feel free to ask them in the comments section or contact me directly.

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