Dear Indie Annie,

I’m a new author about to publish my first book. I’m so excited, but I’m also a little overwhelmed! What advice do you have for someone in my shoes?

Fresh-Faced in Franklin

Ah, welcome, my dear Fresh-Faced,

I just want to mush your cute little cheeks together. I am so proud of you!

Oh, to return to those innocent, carefree days when I was a younger author. Everyone remembers their first time. Gossamer wings beating against the stomach lining, eyes closed, breath taken, you hit the “Publish” button and send forth your carefully crafted baby into the world. 

It should be a beautiful moment, but it is one that many of us fear. 

There is so much to fear, from zero sales to scathing reviews. Your precious book is now a terrifying reality. Maybe for years you have told friends and family you are writing a novel, and now it is out there for everyone to see. You are no longer a dreamer; you are a doer. You’ve done it!

And yes, my darling one, it is overwhelming. 

But have you planned how you are going to celebrate? Because celebrate you must. 

Many people talk about writing a book. Some of them may even have bits of old manuscripts cluttering up their desk drawers or their cloud storage. But few will send queries to literary agents and/or decide to take the plunge and publish for themselves.

Published indie authors are a rare breed because they have decided to go it alone. For those of us who have never had the validation of being traditionally published, this step can be even more daunting. How will you know if your book is any good? Will anyone buy it? Will they read it? And if they do, will they like it, rate it, and tell their friends? 

My advice to you, my dear, is not to worry about all that. It is easy, particularly when you read about the business of indie publishing (yes, even in this glorious tome), to become stressed out about all the things you need to do: picking the perfect cover, establishing a social media presence, editing, advertising, building an ARC team, etc. But forget all that for now.

Take a few moments to sit back with the tipple of your choice, and give yourself a huge pat on the back. You deserve it.

How long have you dreamt of writing a book? For many of us, it’s a dream we have courted since childhood. So wine it, dine it, and show it some love. You wouldn’t hook up with your childhood crush after thirty-plus years of longing only to sneak a quick kiss behind the toilets, would you? That would be deeply unsatisfying.

On the day of your release, make some special plans. Go to the spa, watch a game, or book a table at your favorite restaurant. If money is an issue, go for a walk, visit friends, or dig out your best party clothes and dance around your kitchen with wild abandon. 

Whatever you choose to do, make sure it is something so compelling it helps you forget how frightened you are. Mark the day on your calendar, and have fun!

You are a superstar. Don’t forget it!

Happy writing,

Indie Annie

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Indie Annie

Have questions about your own writing and publishing? Ask Indie Annie, our take on the advice column, penned by an irreverent and sassy avatar with a flair for fashionable scarves and a tipple in her teacup.

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