Secrets of a Self-Published Author
by Rosemary Augustine
Often I hear “how do you do all that you do?” well, the trick is there is only one thing I do everyday, and everything else waits. And that one thing is WRITE! I write daily! My writing takes on various forms from a Blog to Email Blasts, Book Chapters, Business Ideas, Marketing and PR for book promotion and of course journaling.
My day starts anywhere between 6 AM – 12 Noon (depends on when I went to bed (often after midnight) – and depends on how long my next day will be especially if I’m speaking or teaching a class that evening. I live alone so I only have the morning cries of my two feisty felines wanting their food. They can be quite demanding in the morning. While drinking my morning hot beverage – of tea or coffee, I spend 20 minutes and write my morning pages – I journal my thoughts, my ideas, my list for the day, my concerns, worries, fear, disappointments, conversations with my inner thoughts, God or an imaginary person! I write to get whatever off my chest and in the process I write some pretty interesting stuff – sometimes I use it as part of my Blog, article or even something for the book. Other times it’s not worth the ink it’s written with but it has to be written in those daily morning pages. It is in these moments that GEMS are born – writing gems that later take on a life and become a story. This article/speech was one that was created in my 20 minutes of morning pages. I write and I write rough – rough drafts are meant to be rough. Later when I scheduled time to edit and/or type up for distribution is when I spend the time to add, enhance, develop more, polish or decide to trash. When I trash it, it still stays in the journal! It just doesn’t get to the electronic file marked “writings.” It may be days or weeks before I go back and use what I wrote, so I write on top of the Page – For Blog or Speech etc. and highlight it so I can refer back to it later.
When I wrote my first book, FCIE, many chapters were articles that were published in a syndicated column I wrote for every two weeks. Those articles were expanded into chapter of the book. And those articles started out as morning pages – journal dumping and later polished for newspaper column and later the book. So if you’re not already journaling, consider journaling in the morning – 1st thing before the distractions of the day take hold and taint your mind. I am a huge believer that writing long hand for those 20 minutes makes all the difference in your life – even though later you may type it up and/or even spend the next 8 hours working on the computer. There is more and more proof that journaling reaches a cellular level for healing, growth, creativity, and higher consciousness that is tapped when journaling. The insight, wisdom, awareness, and more can never be attained doing it via a keyboard. There are different sides of the brain that are used therefore, different information that is released.
When I journal, I don’t re-read what I just wrote… I often never re-read it. I just keep writing til my 20 minutes are up or my thoughts have emptied and I go on to writing affirmations or a prayer or my to do list. But I write for 20 minutes!. 3 pages in a composition notebook takes about 15 – 20 minutes. I have sped through and done it in less time (totally illegible) , so it’s either 3 pages or 20 minutes whichever I complete first. By doing my 20 minutes it stretches my mind for later writing in creative activities and yes! More writing.
Writing my book 365 Days of Creative Writing started about 3 years ago.
Writing comes easily for some… journaling however, can be a challenge for many. As a writer, struggled with journaling for a long time – some days not knowing what to write. My writing started as poetry and short stories as a teenager and then I began journaling around age 30. For the next three decades, my daily writings would flow like water from an open facet. Then there would be skipped days, weeks even months. When something was bothering me, I’d pick up my journal and write about it. Then I would go back to skipped days, weeks and months. “I was very much like many other women, who found the daily challenge of journaling hard to stick with and often with blank stares at an empty page not knowing what to write.”
Rosemary is not exactly sure when, but she started offering journal prompts to her clients in the 1990s who were struggling with career transition. As their Career Coach, she found herself listening to many tales of woe and would suggest “why don’t you journal on that” with the response being “I wouldn’t know what to write.” When she would suggest a particular word or phrase, a light bulb would go off with their response of “what a great idea.” Those suggestions eventually turned into an idea for a book and now many years later a book just released titled: 365 Days of Creative Writing.
365 Days of Creative Writing by Rosemary Augustine offers journal prompts and creative ideas for everyday of the year. Rosemary wrote the book for those of us who want to journal daily but find it hard in the chaos of life to carve out even 5 minutes. However, in the bigger scheme of things it is important to not only find the time, 15 – 20 minutes at least on a daily basis, but to make the time – everyday. As Rosemary points out in the introduction of the book, it is vitally important to your mental well being, physical health and spirit’s survival to find the time to write. The prompts can also be used for creative writing ideas, helping one write a memoir, breakthrough writer’s block and for writers to hone their writing skills.
Rosemary says… “It never occurred to me to consider a NY publisher! In 1991 I had purchased a book by Dan Poynter called: The Self Publishing Manual and while driving to Los Angeles I stopped in the desert to take a break and started reading his book and said that’s it! I want to write and publish books… Well, I took the next 6 weeks in Los Angeles with my brother (he was recouperating from a heart attack and I was seeing my 8 month old niece for the first time) and read the book and got very clear about writing and publishing.”
Publishing in the early 1990s was VERY different than today. The process took about a year from writing/editing/book cover design / interior layout and production (with blue lines for review). Although I did send an electronic file for printing I still review “Blue Lines” before the final printing. I was fortunate to belong to a group called : Colorado Independent Publishers Association (I later became President of the organization). And I attended every monthly meeting and annual conference where I actually met Dan Poynter. All my books were short runs (100 printed copies). And reprints were 100 as well. The cost… for the first book was probably close to $5000. Just to get to print.
My second book was a lot less cost and a lot quicker to get to print. After 18 months of writing it / editing/ book cover design and interior layout / we were printed in less than 4 weeks. Again I printed short runs of 100 copies. I used Morris Publishing in Nebraska for the reprint of the 1st book and printing the 2nd book.
After looking at all the online options for publishing I chose CreateSpace for my 3rd book with a total investment outlay of $18. I did it all as I wanted to prove a point that self publishing can be done on a shoestring – if you are willing to take advantage of the tools and have the time. You don’t need to be creative, as CreateSpace provides you will all the tools you need – it’s really the time investment.
Self Publishing for Writers Meet Up
In 2012, I started a meet up group called Self Publishing for Writers. In that group we had at least 50% of the people who attended publish their work in 2012 alone! There is no better time than now to get published. Create Space and Smash Words offer you opportunities for print on demand and e-publishing formats for any type of reading format.
Don’t take too long to think about it… finish that manuscript and get published.