Your favorite Author and Contrarian here with the first blog post, and I thought it best to post about my debut novel, The Crown of Amiriel, and what it's been like after self-publishing. For those of you who do not know me, I have been writing this book on and off for the past 7 years. I started working on it my Senior year of high school at 17 and finished a little before I turned 24. I know what you're thinking, that's a long time to be working on a project let alone a book because who likes writing, but let's just say, I was determined to finish and the characters were begging to be heard and seen by the world. I guess being in my head wasn't good enough for them and I couldn't agree more.
Growing up, I've always had a love for reading and writing. By the time I hit 5th grade, I was reading books like Homers' Iliad and the Odyssey, which is no small feat, and books by Alexander Dumas and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. However, it wasn't until middle school that I fell in love with Science Fiction and Fantasy. I started reading Tamora Pierce and her series The Circle of Magic, C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia series, and every book I could find by J. R. R. Tolkien. If you haven't already guessed, I was a bit enamored by Tolkien's work and how he wrote a world that was not only believable but easy to lose yourself in. His work inspired me and has led me to where I am now, self-published and writing YA Fantasy.
My book, The Crown of Amiriel, is the first book of a series. The book tells the story of two teens, Princess Raynin and Prince Riley, born of the once thought destroyed Royal Line of the Ancient Ones, who are thrust into a war for power after their true lineage is revealed and Raynin is named heir to the coveted Crown of Amiriel. The story is set in a fictional world where there are multiple realms, planets, races, and creatures that make an appearance. The book has sort of an archaic feel what with the characters using sais, bow and arrows, and swords but it is also modern-like since, depending on what realm the characters are in, there are motorcycles, guns and other high tech.
If you're into fantasy, this would be a great book to check out and immerse yourself in. The world is believable and the characters are relatable which I think is important when writing a work of fiction. And before you think it or say anything, I know this to be true about my own work because my beta readers haven't complained and have said so. Point is, buy a copy and check it out for yourself. Whether you like it or not, let me know what you think. I'm always looking for feedback, good or bad, which brings me back to self-publishing.
First, let me just say that as a new indie author, I'm finding out that self-publishing is quite a bit of work and not for the faint of heart. I mean, who knew marketing and all that that entails would be so hard and time consuming. I'm having to advertise and be present on social media and now I'm even blogging. And all of this is to build a readership and garner an audience who will write reviews so that my work can be seen and enjoyed by the masses. But, despite the time consuming part of self-publishing, when everything is said and done, I think all of this work is worth it.
For example, so far from my marketing and being present on social media, I've connected with other indie authors and writers and have learned about their different writing styles and techniques that they use. I have even been taken on as a beta reader for an author that writes romance which has been pretty cool. Besides all of this, the most important thing I have learned about self-publishing from other indie authors is to not be discouraged and to keep writing. Starting from a readership of 0 and trying to get others to read your work is challenging and going to take time. And because it takes time, that doesn't make your work any less valuable or not good. I have had to tell myself that multiple times over the last couple of weeks to keep from stressing and for the most part it's worked.
So, after self publishing earlier this month, it's been nothing but nonstop self marketing and networking. Of course I've also been hard at work on Book 2 in the series and have managed to start work on two other books that are completely unrelated. On top of that, I've also been sketching pictures of the worlds and characters (these will appear at some point on the Bonus Content page, of course). Yes, I have been a busy bee, and you know what, you have to be in this industry. Once your work is out there, there's no such thing as resting. You have readers who are waiting for the next book and having it done and out in a year's time is sometime seen as too long of a wait. There are several indie authors I read on iBooks and they put out new books in their series every 6 months. That right there is dedication and my goal with my own books. Therefore, since publishing, I have been hard at work writing Book 2 so that my readers aren't waiting too long. But, as I stated earlier, all of this is worth it.
Anyways, that's the end of my blog post. Authors, writers, creative peeps and all those who are just reading my posts for the hell of it, comment below and let me know about your experiences with self-publishing, putting your work out there, and/or marketing. Or, just drop a comment letting me know what you think. Alright, guys. I'll see y'all next week on Wednesday, which is the day I'll normally post on, for the next blog. And since this is the first week, come back this Wednesday for my second blog post, "Do You Have Your Ish Together?".
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A contrarian at heart. I prefer The Lord of the Rings over Harry Potter and Narnia. I love Country Music and John Hughes movies and am the worst at singing the correct lyrics.