A few years ago, my wife Pamela and I were faced with a whole lot of personal adversity. The list of problems was very long and included jobs, finances, and family issues. We also had a goal. A goal of getting to a place that to us represented peace, stability, and safety. We knew where we wanted to get to but if we looked at it from the perspective of where we were then, it looked like Mount Everest, with a narrow winding trail on the edge of a cliff, and we were wearing 100-pound backpacks.

It took a lot of work, and there were days when it took tremendous effort and will to keep moving forward, but eventually we prevailed. The only way we were able to succeed was to force ourselves to focus on our feet, putting one in front of the other, slowly, methodically and without looking up (or behind us to where we started). We did not allow ourselves to be discouraged by how tall the mountain was, or how steep the cliff was if we happened to wander off that path.

In a lot of ways the experience of getting Pamela’s works published feels similar. The path is long and twisting, the choices complex. There are obstacles and pitfalls all along the way (and the bodies of a lot of authors who have given up littering the trail).

The point in all of this is that for an author to climb this mountain to the peak of indie publishing, you need to break it down into steps, the smallest possible steps that you can. List them out, map your progress, cross things off when you finish them so you have the satisfaction of seeing that progress. Celebrate every step along the way. And, don’t be in a hurry. That book you are trying to publish has probably been floating around in your head for 20 years. If it takes another 20 weeks (or months) to get it out there in a form that you can be truly proud of, that’s nothing. Why not do it right?

Pamela and I have learned a ton as we’ve climbed this mountain and published her first few books. The purpose of the blog portion of this site will be to share what we have learned with other indie authors, so that maybe we can make the trail a little shorter and a little less steep. Or we may just inspire you to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

So look for my posts once or twice a month on SkipJack’s Indie Publishing blog. I look forward to providing you with common sense solutions to your indie publishing challenges, and helping you up that mountain.


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5 Responses to You climb a mountain one step at a time.

  1. Pamela says:

    Amen! 🙂

  2. Eric says:

    What I did not mention is we are still kinda at the base camp, and even though the view is great we still have a long way to go. However, I could not ask for a better climbing partner.

  3. Danny Johnson says:

    Well said Eric; I’ll keep your words of experience and wisdom in mind (and will pick Pamela’s creative, business acumended brain) when I’m ready to start on my Coast Guard Memoirs….funny you mention how “That book you are trying to publish has probably been floating around in your head for 20 years”…how true meh son! I have an idea for a book in mind (designed for a limited/targeted audience), I just need to put pen to paper! I even have a couple of titles battling my thinking; Guarding Our Coasts for Democracy (A Coast Guardsman’s Memoir with Historical Significance); or a bit tongue in cheek title that some may “get” along the lines of what a Marine wrote in his autobiography “Jarhead”, mine would be simply “Puddle Pirates”!….sooooo a lot to contemplate. Kinda tough for me right now with a family business, might be my retirement project, who knows???? Anyhow, it’s good to see you and Pamela focused and turning your lives around for the better; you guys are awesome! Stay in touch! Cheers, Danny

  4. Eric Hutchins says:

    Seriously Danny, I am sure you have a ton of amazing experiences and it might be a fun project for you at some point to try to write it. One big advantage that you have is you have a built-in network of potential readers that would “get it”. I love that you said “designed for a limited and targeted audience”.

    Peoples expectations are often not realistic. There simply cannot be 100,000 Stephen Kings or Nicholas Sparkss, but that does NOT mean you don’t have something to say or there is not an audience out there for you. If you write it well and if is interesting, there likely IS an audience, you just have to find it and market to it. ANYWAY. Thanks for dropping by and for all of your awesome support of Pamela.

    Take care my friend.

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