05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Monday, November 26, 2012

Overheard at... Lake Tahoe

“I feel like a celebrity.”
As many of you may already know, my family and I spent the holiday week up at Lake Tahoe. While there, we were fortunate to be able to visit the Ritz Carlton hotel at Northstar (see my personal blog for my complete story on this visit:>)

It was the first time my eight year old daughter had ever experienced this level of service and she was wowed.
As Romancing the Genres heads into December we have a fantastic list of indie / self-published authors who will be visiting our blog and sharing their stories. So, in preparation, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it does take to manage our own publishing and to WOW our readers. More and more, whether traditionally published or not, authors have to consider themselves as their own little business. Having published both ways now I see that the tension in being self-published stems from going it alone. There was great relief recently when I worked with the editor at my Publisher, Soul Mate, and took in her expert recommendations. While I didn’t agree with all of them, the extra eye made me feel much more confident of the final work, than of my first, self-published book.

And here is where I think authors can learn from really fantastic service companies. Great service requires teamwork of a supreme level. One missed opportunity and the ship is sunk. And this type of teamwork demands a few things. First, solid communication is paramount. It is not only about quantity of communication, but also quality.
Second, someone must be in charge. This was referenced over and over during our visit to the Ritz.

Finally, service is a mentality that everyone on the team must share. It goes beyond something you teach and lives deep in a person’s psyche (sometimes to their own detriment if they are always a people pleaser). So too, the values that an author holds most dear must also be held by those they gather around as support.
Writing and publishing a book may feel like an independent process when the author self-publishes… but in fact, just like a company, it takes solid teamwork. I would hazard a guess to say that the truly great self and indie published books that we’ve read got that way with support from a bunch of players.

So, who is your team and how do you communicate with them? Are you in charge and do you know what values to look for when creating your team of support? I’d love to hear what’s worked for all of the authors out there, and what readers think of what it takes to self-publish. In truth, the goal of readers and authors is the same; to be treated like we are the most important person, with the most important story to tell, in the world.


deanne said...

I have another overhear... in my daughter's class this time. The teacher gives weekly writing prompts and this week it will be, Imagine you are looking at a gingerbread house and all of a sudden a light goes on inside. Describe what you see through the window. It's not really related to my post, but so much fun to think about.

Judith Ashley said...

Great questions, Deanne. I think it is next to impossible to write, edit, create a book cover, and publish a book of quality with no other input. Everyone who's been involved with my writing (and there are many already) has helped in some way. At best I've become clearly as to why I want a scene or character trait to remain and at best I've seen another way of doing it...definitely a win-win for me and my potential readers either way.

deanne said...

And one comment came to me directly from Ashlyn Matthews -
"Aside from the usual editors and cover designer/formatter (for self-pub), I'd have to say my friends, writers and non-writers. I think it's important to have supportive people, besides family, who understand my passion, drive, and obsession to get the voices out of my head and onto paper, lol. "

I couldn't agree more, Ashlyn. Thanks for finding a way to get me your comment. I appreciate it.

Diana Mcc. said...

From e-books I've purchased, e-pubbed or Indie, having a good editorial and publishing team behind one , makes the book shine. Those are the authors I go back and buy again and again. Some have had wonderful covers, but the editing, grammar and flow of the story wasn't present. Those are the ones I say darn, wasted my money, won't buy that author again! I feel it pays to invest in your story, especially when going the Indie route.