3 S.R. Johannes: Indie Guest Post with Danyelle Leafty (Catspell)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Indie Guest Post with Danyelle Leafty (Catspell)

Danyelle has dropped in to give us some insight into her publishing experience. 
Her book Catspell is available on Amazon.

Sixteen-year-old Breena never thought anything could be worse than being forced to leave the faerie realm. Then she got stuck with a fairy godmother. But if she has to choose between the two, she’d leave the Faerie Realm over getting bossed about by a faerie with a pointed stick any day. Unfortunately, her attempt to evade her fairy godmother gives her growing pains in the form of fur, whiskers, and a tail.

Turning into a cat is the least of her worries, though. The potion wasn’t meant to bring out her inner feline, it was meant to put her to sleep. Forever. If Breena wants to make it to her Happily Ever After, she’ll have to accept that sometimes a fairy godmother really does come in handy, after all.


Thanks for having me, Shelli. I’ve enjoyed your blog for the last couple of years, and it’s an honor to be here. J

Why Self-Publish?

In January of this year, if you had asked me if I would ever consider self-publishing, I would have said no.

Like most writers out there, I just want to write. I didn’t want to have to worry about cover design, formatting, and marketing. I wanted my career to consist of the story, my computer, and me. I’d get the story down, edit and polish it, and then hand it off for someone else to take care of while I tackled the next story.

Then I attended a weeklong writing seminar that focused solely on rewriting and editing. Strangely enough, it was at this seminar that I started to see writing as an act of business. Writing can be an art, but the most beautifully crafted and brilliantly written book in the world misses its potential if no one reads it.

For a book to truly live, it must be read.

With this in mind, I went from wanting to be published to wanting to be read. I don’t think those two desires are necessarily exclusive of one another—especially as being read depends on being published in one form or another. But it did change my perception as well as my strategy.

Because of this, I came up with my five-year plan. (When I had focused solely on publishing commercially, I focused most of my attention on my current WIP, rather than my career over a longer period of time.)

I created a spreadsheet in Word and had a heading for each series I was writing or planned on writing. Then I listed each book in the series and projected a date for when it would be written, revised, and the year I hoped to have it published. Then I went through and color-coded the cells according to the series they were in and what level of completion they were at. The darker the color, the more work I needed to do on it. I also specified how I planned on having the book published.

It really helped me to have my goals written down, because it changed them from a nebulous idea into a concrete plan.

Looking at writing as a business also gave me the idea of diversifying. I don’t really have strong feelings about which way is the right way to publish, because I don’t think publishing has to be all or nothing. All that matters to me is getting the story to my readers.

So I decided to self-publish my Fairy Godmother Dilemma Series while querying the first book of a different series to agents. I have another series I’m aiming at the enhanced e-book market. Publishing is going through some major transitions at the moment, and this could end up being very good for both authors and readers in the future. But with everything being shaky and publishers cutting back, I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one publishing basket.

Changing the way I looked at the writing business and publishing also helped me crystallize how I wanted my career to look over the long-term. Helped me define what things I’d be willing to compromise on, and what things are important enough to me to warrant walking away from a contract. Shifting my perception has been one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done, because I’m taking deliberate charge of my career rather than waiting for it to happen.

All in all, now is one of the most exciting times to be an author. There are so many choices and options available. Is it hard to become an established author? Yes. But it’s always been hard. Are there challenges? Definitely. But now, more than ever, so much more is possible. And that’s what I’m aiming for.

Other ways to find Danyelle:



Anonymous said...

AWESOME post!!!!!!!

Congrats, Danyelle, and best of luck to you. I certainly enjoy you're writing and wish you the best of successes!!!!!!!!!

Jennie Englund said...

EXACTLY what I needed to hear!

Angie said...

You're plan is amazing and so are you! I just know you are going to be a huge success!

amberargyle said...

Remember me when your famous. :)

Unknown said...

So well said. I love how focused you are and how your taking charge of your career, Danyelle! You rock!

Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban said...

Well said Danyelle. I couldn't agree more. I have a book published the traditional way and I'm also considering self-publishing the second one.
Best of luck.

Danyelle L. said...

Thanks, Laura! Best of luck to you too! :D

Yay! Good luck, Jennie. :o)

Thanks, Angie. :) I can't wait until we're both celebrating our successes!

*grin* You too, Amber. :) (Loved WITCHSONG!)

Thanks, Elle! :D

Thanks, Carmen, and best of luck! :)

Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban said...

"For a book to truly live, it must be read."

I love this sentence. Would you mind if I tweet it?
With your name of course.