The life of a self-published independent author isn’t easy, it’s hard work

12175_604543342905256_717300288_n“One cannot self-edit. It is impossible.  Self-publishing is a slippery slope.” This was a comment by Jennifer Jilks in a recent review of The Dark Tides. The reviewer liked so parts of my book, but not as a whole. I appreciate all feedback, even bad reviews. Without it, how can I grow as an independent author.

That got me thinking about this blog post. It is VERY hard to be a self-published, independent author. You’re putting more money out, at times, than what you have coming in from royalties. You try to edit your work as best as you can, but you do miss things from time-to-time. You spend more time typing on a keyboard than you do snuggling with your significant other.

So the question is why be an independent author? Why write at all? For some of us, it’s not just an addiction; rather it’s written in our DNA. I can’t stop writing. I have all these stories in my head, bursting to get out. The only way I know how to do that is to write.

I wish I had perfect grammer along with perfect editing skills to catch every mistep and mistake. In reality, I don’t. I have to trod along like everyone else, rely on spell check to catch some mistakes, and rely on others to help you with your book.

When I published my first book, Forever Avalon, I was extatic. I sent the first copies of my book out to family and friends. You know what I got in return? A two page email from my mother listing all the grammer and spelling errors I missed. I immediately got with my publisher to make those corrections, but I’m sure there are probably still some in the book.

I wish I had the money and the time to devote to perfectly editing my books before their released, but for the independent author, that’s not always possible.I know it sounds like I’m making excuses, but I’m not. I’m just trying to show the reality of the situation.

Spell check has, in part, made all of us a little lazy when it comes to writing and editing. Whenever I talk to students, I warn them … “Spell check is not the be all and end all!” Many of us rely on auto-correct to make writing easy for us, and truthfully, it does. We have to be better than that, but unfortunately, time doesn’t allow it.

I went almost five years between publishing my first book and my second book. It took me twice as long to write and edit The Dark Tides. I had a lot of help from the great people at iUniverse in editing part of my novel, but I still did most of it on my own. We really stick to that word INDEPENDENT when you look at the daily routine of an independent author.

You take the good reviews with the bad reviews, but in my eye, it’s still a review. It means someone is reading my book and, whatever criticism they have, will help me grow as an independent author. I can see the improvements in my writing skills from my first book to my second.

Here’s hoping my third book will be a blockbuster!

The Dark Tides is now available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iUniverse.

2 thoughts on “The life of a self-published independent author isn’t easy, it’s hard work

  1. Ashwin Jr says:

    Well Mark, I must say that’s such an immaculate observation you share about writing and editing in particular. Editing is indeed such a daunting and consuming task yet, it still may not be just what you wanted it to be. And as for writing, it has got to be in the DNA; is intensely addictive. However, I am not quite as much a professional author as are you, yet sharing my thoughts on my blog is something that makes me feel good:
    Do feel free to have a look at it whenever you choose. And I wish you all the very best for your upcoming book. I’ll make sure to read it.


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