Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Writing Wednesday - On Pseudonyms and Publishing

Last April I began the journey that has culminated, so far, in a book about 106,000 words long. As I envision it, this is the first book in a (likely) five book romance series set in the town of Highland Falls, Illinois. Emma and Max are the main characters of this novel, childhood friends who reunite and, of course, work towards their own HEA (happily ever after.)

While I don’t know how good it is, it was a whole lot of fun to write. Two friends have read it and given me their thoughts. Another has it to read but hasn’t had a chance yet.

That was scary.

If you’ve written something, you know what that’s like, sharing your writing. It made my heart race, made the doubt I typically feel magnify beyond imaging.

Luckily, they were kind. They also gave me suggestion as to how to make it better. This process will be repeated time and time again until it’s ready. Local friends, being beyond supportive, have asked me what’s next, when can they read it.

Well, my friends, it is a process.

My plan is to write three books, then Indie publish them. (Another term for self-publishing.) I will have them go up a few weeks apart online. No idea if I will have print copies. No idea if I will release beyond Amazon. I’m devouring podcasts and articles trying to learn about this side of the publishing industry.

There is a lot to learn.

So while I know I need to hire someone to copy edit, another editor for developmental plot, another person to create the cover, I cannot look at that yet. I’m pushing ahead, writing book two, before returning to make another pass at book one. I’m guessing I might get to publishing in 2020.

I’m overwhelmed.

At the same time, I am loving the work. I love the characters and town that has been created in my mind. I love seeing what unfolds on the page when I write. And I am excited to see what comes next.

It has been a journey.

Back at the start of 2019 I wrote HERE about my conflicted feelings regarding a pseudonym. In some ways I wanted to have my name on my book. In other ways, in terms of marketing, I understood shortening it. But here’s where I get concerned. Many people have told me that I need to link my accounts, I already have a social media presence and it is crazy to start from scratch. Others say to keep them separate. Some say to mention in my bio on my personal accounts that “I publish books under xxx” and use the pen name.

I have no idea. But stories like THIS from 2011 give me pause. Seriously? Are people going to freak out because I’m a teacher, but write romance books for adults and they have romantic scenes? I mean, it isn’t as if teaching doesn’t have enough headaches. Ugh.

So I keep thinking about it. I have selected a pen name, created a Pinterest account (not much there yet) and Instagram account for it. If you’d like to follow it, message me and I’ll share the account with you. For now, I’m attempting to keep it on the down low as I figure out what to do.

And so, the journey continues. Tonight I’ll head to my first RWA local chapter meeting. I’ll share five pages of my writing with members there to critique. And I’ll try hard not to pass out from nerves.

And I’ll continue to move forward. Thanks for taking this journey with me.