From C. J. – I’m happy as hell to welcome Sue Collier, co-author of The Fifth Edition of The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, as the resident expert on equipping you to become a published author. In addition to writing and publishing, Sue will speaking to other areas such as entrepreneurship, marketing, building your own platform through social media, and much more. I’m honored to have her expertise on this web site. Be sure to connect with her after reading this short article at her contact info below. You can also watch the first of my three-part interview with Sue at the bottom of this article.
I Want to Help You Make the Right Decision on Publishing Your Book
I was thrilled when I spoke with my favorite motivator—metal or otherwise—at the end of the winter break about the prospect of joining forces. As a self-publishing expert, my posts here will cover this ever-changing industry from an insider’s perspective. I’ve been working in some aspect of publishing—both the traditional and the self-publishing sides—for decades. Frankly, there is a lot of crap out there; I’ll help you sidestep the landmines.
So here it is—my first post to CJ’s site Market-Head: Helping You Get Your Shit Together. (I refuse to asterisk four-letter words!)
I thought a good start might be to provide you with a bit of background about me and my experience. For those of you who don’t know me, my area of expertise is publishing—specifically, self-publishing. I started my career way back in the glam rock days of the mid-1980s when I worked as an editor for a pathologist association in Chicago. Although I grew up in the Chicago metro area—just over the Wisconsin state line in a town called Kenosha—I am a diehard Green Bay Packers fan. Chicago became just a bit too much after the Bears won Super Bowl XX, and I was forced to listen to the (do any of you remember that???) one too many times, so moved to Milwaukee to work for another association, this time for quality control engineers. (Okay, I’m actually kidding about my motivation for switching jobs, but really, I was so over the Fridge, Sweetness, LA Mike, and the rest of them.)
In 1991, a (rather unfortunate) boyfriend and I decided we were tired of grey skies, so we picked up and moved to sunny Denver (where, incidentally, we are not snowed in nine months a year as my father warned in an effort to discourage me from relocating). I’ve long since dumped the boyfriend, but I have made a life for myself here ever since.
I initially worked for a trade publisher in Golden, which specialized in books on travel, gardening, natural Super Bowl Shuffle history, and so on (a welcome change after my two somewhat duller positions prior—remember? Pathology?! Quality control?!). I became restless again in the mid-1990s, though, and went off on my own to start a freelance editing business.
Shifting Into My Expertise
Eventually, I started working with self-publishing expert Marilyn Ross and went on to take over her business Self-Publishing Resources back in 2007 when she retired. In addition to blogging about issues facing authors and publishers, SPR offers book packaging services to authors who want to self-publish, and we also provide marketing and consulting services.
A lot has changed in the publishing industry since 2007. (In my life too, actually, since that is the same year I gave birth to my first and only child. Go ahead, do the math: I’m an *older* first-time mom.) I have seen more change in the industry in the past five years (months?!) than in the entire first twenty I worked in it. It’s an exciting time to be an author—but it’s also a confusing time because there are a lot of options available (some good, some bad) and there is a lot of information out there (some wrong, some right).
We’re metal heads; we like it loud. But not when it comes to making the right decisions on publishing our work. I hope I can help lessen the overwhelming amount of noise you have likely been hearing.
Metal up, my friends.