Are we there yet?

karenwyld_whenrosacamehome_web_final

If Self-publishing is a Journey…..then today I’m feeling a bit car-sick.
I must toughen up, I have a long drive before I reach my destination.

Do you remember those family road-trips of old – the ones where, in between fighting with siblings and feeling a bit car-sick, you pestered your parents every 10 minutes with a whiny Are we there yet? 

Perhaps your more recent memories is from the point-of-view of those in the front seat, as you try to block out all that noise behind you. If you’re lucky, then the thought of car-trips brings up all those memorable get-aways with friends: trips to music festivals, camping adventures, holiday houses by the sea or long-haul journeys interstate.

Today, I’m feeling as if I’m in the driver’s seat, trying to keep an eye on the road while being distracted by all the squabbles and complaints coming from the back-seat.

A part of me would like to be a kid. I want to moan ‘Aren’t we there yet’, before succumbing to a tantrum. Ideally, I would like to be in a car full of friends, windows down, music up – as we escape the day-to-day life.

I shouldn’t complain, not really. At least I have a ‘ice cream’ to keep my temper in check – in the form of the very stunning front cover that you see before you.

‘Front cover?’ you ask. Oh, I forgot to tell you – I wrote a book! And I published it. I called it When Rosa Came Home.

Almost at my destination…..

After approximately two years of blood, sweat and tears, my first novel has been sent out into the world. To begin with, its available now on Amazon as an e-book (check out my author profile). And after I conquer a few more challenges, it will be available from a range of distributors, including print versions.

Tonight, after a very long Monday (tired from doing writer-publisher stuff all weekend) I should be doing more formatting. I should be learning yet more skills. Nah. Not going to happen. Right now, this very minute, I’m feeling a bit over this rocky journey.

Where you’ve been is just as important

Perhaps I need to take a look in the rear view mirror, and acknowledge all the great places I have been lately. I wrote a book. Quite a good book, I think. When Rosa Came Home has engaging characters, interesting plot and is well-edited. Did I mention that the e-book version is available right now on Amazon?

This year, I also started a writer’s blog. Something I swore I would never ever do. And I got on Google+, Twitter and Facebook (author page). Only last year, I hardly knew anything about social media. There were some other types of social media that I tried out, but I think these four have long-term potential.

Mastering widgets, plug-ins, SEOs and do-dahs meant some pretty crazy driving, with lots of sharp curves, but I got back on the straight okay. Now I’ve set up author pages on Goodreads and Amazon, with more to come. I’m pretty sure that with a good map, I’ll get where I’m going. Its a weird feeling, being able to say the word ‘author’ when referring to myself. It will take a bit of getting used too.

What is also taking a while to master is book formatting to a professional standard I am happy with. Over the past few days, this has resulted in a few blown tires and overheated radiators. And I’m sure there will be more problems on the road. When that happens, I’ll pull over to the side of the road, breathe deeply, take in the scenery and then fix what I need to get back on the road.

I had a few really enjoyable side-trips, spending time with other writers (on-line) and learning from those that have travelled this road before me. More recently, I had a quick stop-over at the  proofreader’s place (You Can’t Handle The Proof) and the cover designer Scarlett Rugers Designs (original artwork by Natalia Moroz). Although I don’t have much money to spare, I thought my first novel deserved a nice suit and clean underwear before I sent it out into the world.

Aren’t we there yet!

Even with nice scenery flashing past my window, and all the good people I’ve met, this journey has been really exhausting. As many of you would know, it’s not easy doing a full-day at work, a long commute (2 hours a day for me), and then hours and hours of blogging, writing and editing. My job is nationally based, so I also spend a lot of time flying and staying in motels all around Australia. And somewhere in there, I need to find the time for friends, family, housework, health & well-being….and sleep. No wonder I’m exhausted. I should pull this car over before I fall asleep at the wheel.

Just for a moment, as I really need to keep on moving. Once I have my novel up on all the distributor sites I have researched and selected, and the print version is looking a bit more professional, then I need to put my foot on the accelerator  – its time to start promoting my novel. I did mention the novel, didn’t I? Its available now.

I can’t get too much done this week. I have my last work trip for the year. And then its the holiday season. I suppose I should think about making a gift list? Maybe even plan a menu and put up some decorations? Clean the house a bit? Living with a writer can’t be much fun!

Once the madness of food and present buying is done, everyone has been fed and the tinsel is swept up, I’ll have more time. Then I can hit the road again, and head off to my destination – becoming a  real writer.

Are you on the road to being a writer as well?

This year, I have appreciated support of others. Especially the ideas and hints from other writers and bloggers, such as the good folks at Indies Unlimited. I’ve even enjoyed the crazy antics of the G+ group I like to hang out in (Literary Agents Hate Kittens).

Are you planning on being a writer, too? There is plenty of room on the road. If I get to the destination first, I’ll get the margaritas ready, put the deck chairs out in the sand, and wait for you all. If you get lost, I will send you a map. Company is always appreciated.

Please excuse me if I don’t sit and watch the sunset for too long, as I have to hit the road again – there are another three manuscripts waiting for me. Soon it will back to writing and editing for me. Then a new publishing and marketing cycle to get through. Perhaps this journey doesn’t have an end? That’s okay with me because, despite the ups and downs, it’s a pretty good road to be on.

Check out where I am now!

Well, its been quite a journey, but now I can say that I am a published author. And I won’t stop there; I have so many tales I want to share.

To keep up to date on my first novel, and future works, come back and visit my blog occasionally. I will update the Page titled ‘Books’ when When Rosa Came Home is available via other distributors. Once I have time, I’ll also start being active on my Goodreads author profile.

In the meantime, have a look at my author profile on Amazon. You can even have a look inside When Rosa Came Home, or order a sample for your e-reader (or PC, if you download a e-book program). Perhaps you would like to buy an e-book version right now? At the price of a coffee, it won’t hit your pocket too hard.

Addendum –
When Rosa Came Home is now available as a e-book on Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Diesel, Inktera and Amazon. (Soon on Apple, Sony and Kobo)
Its also just been released in print format on Lulu, Createspace  and Amazon.

Can’t stay and chat any more, I must be going. Until we meet again, here is the ‘blurb’ for When Rosa Came Home:

When Rosa Came Home – a novel by Karen Wyld

When they open the door for their wayward daughter, Rosa’s parents are not prepared for who else turns up at the Ambrosio family vineyard.

….the spirit of a poet, nurses who crochet magical rugs, a beautiful bearded lady, elephants from the dreamscape, a mĂ©decin sans medicine and his dancing python, a jealous stable-hand, acrobatic pirates of the dark web, a sleeping beauty with a secret or two, and a young girl who longs for a new sister….

Angelita Ambrosio narrates the stories of her secret sister’s time on the road, and yearns for adventures of her own. Amid precious tales, graciously shared by Rosa’s eclectic friends, a fractured family is reunited.

Not everyone is pleased to see Rosa return – peril lurks in dark places. Fear not: with a sprinkling of cosmic dust, a cloud of sawdust and a touch of magic, a new dawn will bloom – now that Rosa has come home.

Karen Wyld lives by the sea in South Australia and, from there, she can see the world. She has created a captivating first novel. Borrowing elements of literary fantasy, magic realism and vintage storytelling, this contemporary novel is unashamedly whimsical, allegorical, frivolous and thought-provoking.

8 thoughts on “Are we there yet?

  1. The road analogy and the line – are we there yet? – really resonates with me. I enjoyed this post. The road trip of self-publishing can certainly be an uphill slog at times (and I am given to understand that traditional publishing isn’t all that much easier) but as you say, you wrote a book! And that is a major accomplishment – no matter what else comes next.

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    • Thanks Barb. I’m happy to share whatever knowledge I gain. Learning the hard way seems to be my thing, and formatting for publishing isn’t as easy as what some people say. Perhaps its like child-birth….takes ages and hurts like hell. We swear we will never have another one, but then we see the end results and forget all about what we went through. We even talk others into having some. Well, the birthing pains of a book are not a bed of roses.
      Would I do it again? You bet!
      Don’t sit on your list for to long – jump right in – and soon you will have a cute offspring (book) to show the world.

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      • My 2014 goal. Get writing!! I think that I have to rethink how I will write my stories. Toying with some ideas. But I need a boot in the butt. Hellllllp! lol. Your analogy is perfect!!

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  2. Fabulous post Karen. So evocative. And congratulations on becoming published. Self-publishing is a never-ending journey so we certainly need to stop occasionally and celebrate arriving at each destination enroute.

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  3. Congratulations, Karen. The cover is gorgeous. Your journey looks much like mine, although i may always need to have someone else format for me. My brain just can’t seem to grasp that tech stuff. I am not a fan of social media either, though, out of necessity I am trying to embrace it – as are you. May I make one suggestion? I see you are on Kindle. Put it on Createspace as well for those who prefer paper do not have e-readers. It is fairly easy and costs nothing if you do it yourself. (hey I managed. lol)

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    • Thanks Yvonne. I appreciate your on-going support.I do plan to have it on CS soon and have some of the prep done. Just got held up with formatting for a different POD (which will remain nameless). I got through the Smashwords meatgrinder but am now waiting for a revised/improved version to be approved before I market that e-book version.

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