Navigating Self-Publishing Or What Two Successful Business Women Call Indieworld – Forbes
“If you want something done right, do it yourself.”
â€œA funny thing happened on the way to my retirementâ€¦â€ Itâ€™s the first sentence in Julie A. Gerberâ€™s and Carole P. Romanâ€™s book, â€œNavigating Indieworld: A Beginnerâ€™s Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing Your Book.â€
Roman goes on to say in the book’s introduction that â€œIndieworldâ€â€”a term she coined to describe the world of independent- or self-published writersâ€”is â€œa vast entity filled with a universe of people driven to do the same thingâ€¦A different breed of people live there, yet we all have the same agenda. Itâ€™s an amazing place â€“ we donâ€™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.â€
She said people in Indieworld are seeking what she calls the three Fâ€™s: Fame, Fortune and Fulfillment on their way to a dream of â€œFifty Shades of Grayâ€ status â€œwithout getting screwed.â€
The â€œFifty Shades of Gray,â€ 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 â€œShades,â€ as itâ€™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 â€œfell through the rabbit hole of independent publishingâ€ in 2012 when her oldest son encouraged her to attempt to write a bookâ€”a new direction to take in life that might ease the pain of her motherâ€™s death.
Since then, Roman has written and published more than 35 childrenâ€™s books and won over 100 book awards. Her first bookâ€”â€œCaptain No Beard: AnÂ Imaginary Tale of a Pirateâ€™s Lifeâ€â€”which was named Kirkus Reviewsâ€™ Best of 2012, received the Star of Exceptional Merit and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. Â Romanâ€™s 22-book series, â€œIf You Were Me and Lived Inâ€¦â€ was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound.
Roman and Gerber met when through Createspace. It was a match made in publishing Heaven. â€œI was using a media kit from Createspace,â€ Roman said. â€œI bought the package and asked her to review â€˜Captain No Beard.â€™ 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.Â She found outlets for us to publicize through. Once I saw what she did, I started doing more on my own.â€
The book came about almost by accident between the two women. â€œI 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.â€
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