Getting Started

The first question anyone who finds this site and blog will ask is why? What’s unique and different about you and your site? Aren’t there many other bloggers out there who write about self-publishing (or, as I prefer to call it, independent publishing), some of whom have hundreds, even thousands of readers and followers?

It’s absolutely true that there are numerous websites and blogs offering free advice and guidance to aspiring independent authors. Some are written by professionals in the field — experts in topics ranging from how to plot out the storyline for a novel to which fonts to use in a hardcopy book to how to market your finished product. Some also offer consulting services to help you achieve your publishing goals.

Many other sites are written by people very much like me — folks who have published a book, even multiple books, using an independent publishing service and want to share with others what that experience was like.

I have two goals in launching this blog. The first one falls in the category of shameless self-promotion: I’d like to broaden awareness of my book, Handy Guide to Virginia Wineries, which was published earlier this year. While the book is selling modestly well, it never hurts to use every avenue possible to market one’s product, and blogs certainly are part of that strategy.

My second goal is to share my experiences so that, ideally, others can learn from and avoid some of the pitfalls that are often part of that process. Since I’ve now been well and truly bitten by the independent publishing bug, the topics you’ll see in this blog will not be solely observations in hindsight but also ongoing challenges or “ah ha” moments related to literally all aspects of the publishing process. I’m still very much engaged in marketing the Handy Guide and plan to post comments on what it has been like to write, publish, and now market that book. In addition, I’m in the early stages of writing another book — a mystery that I hope to complete and publish sometime over the next year — and will be posting observations on that challenge as the draft progresses.

So, stay tuned! I hope you’ll find this blog interesting, informative, and even entertaining. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments, particularly on your own experiences in the independent publishing arena.

I’d also welcome your ideas for improving this site, which is still in its infancy at the moment. I’m learning more about WordPress and its features using an online course offered by Lynda.com (a fabulous resource, by the way) and will be modifying the appearance and content of this site as I go along. Your suggestions and ideas about what would be helpful to you to include on these pages would be most valuable.

Thank you for reading!

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