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.