Navigating Self-Publishing Or What Two Successful Business Women Call Indieworld – Forbes

“If you want something done right, do it yourself.”

~Charles-Guillaume Etienne

“A funny thing happened on the way to my retirement…” It’s the first sentence in Julie A. Gerber’s and Carole P. Roman’s book, “Navigating Indieworld: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book.”

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Roman goes on to say in the book’s introduction that “Indieworld”—a term she coined to describe the world of independent- or self-published writers—is “a vast entity filled with a universe of people driven to do the same thing…A different breed of people live there, yet we all have the same agenda. It’s an amazing place – we don’t see our differences. We are color, age and gender blind. We only want to tell our story and have it be appreciated. Oh yes, and make a small fortune in the process.”

She said people in Indieworld are seeking what she calls the three F’s: Fame, Fortune and Fulfillment on their way to a dream of “Fifty Shades of Gray” status “without getting screwed.”

The “Fifty Shades of Gray,” trilogy was that once-in-a-lifetime self-publishing phenomenon of 2011 that has sold more than 125 million copies in 52 languages worldwide, with two movies to its credit so far. Though “Shades,” as it’s often referred to by followers, was originally self-published as an eBook and a Print On Demand (POD), Vintage Books acquired the publishing rights in 2012.

Roman said she “fell through the rabbit hole of independent publishing” in 2012 when her oldest son encouraged her to attempt to write a book—a new direction to take in life that might ease the pain of her mother’s death.

Since then, Roman has written and published more than 35 children’s books and won over 100 book awards. Her first book—“Captain No Beard: An  Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life”—which was named Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012, received the Star of Exceptional Merit and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012.  Roman’s 22-book series, “If You Were Me and Lived In…” was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound.

Carole P. Roman. (Photo courtesy of Eric Okon)

Carole P. Roman. (Photo courtesy of Eric Okon)

Roman and Gerber met when through Createspace. It was a match made in publishing Heaven. “I was using a media kit from Createspace,” Roman said. “I bought the package and asked her to review ‘Captain No Beard.’ When I started I never knew anything about social media. I didn’t even have a Facebook page. Julie offered to help me navigate social media. She created my profiles on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter, Pinterest and my blog. She did giveaways and stirred up interest. I am proactive and would watch then imitate her. We had a lot of product to promote. She found outlets for us to publicize through. Once I saw what she did, I started doing more on my own.”

The book came about almost by accident between the two women. “I was writing many articles about how to promote your book. I contacted Julie one night and we started trading chapters on Google Docs. We had such a ball. We had the finished book in a week, sent it to a beta reader and then reworked it again. Within a month, we had a solid little book that was easy to read for the rookies, although many seasoned indies say the book continues to help.”

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