Pure Indie Author, What Does It Require?
As many of you know, I'm pure Indie. It's a one-woman, err... tiger, show. I write my stories. I build my covers. (That's why they don't look like airbrushed masterpieces and don't get me started on that topic.) Yours truly formatted the stories and edited them. I paid for character art, but the videos are all mine.
Are you curious? How did I do it all? First, I want to tell you; it has taken me years to get to this point. It will probably be many more years before I'm satisfied with the Draoithe Saga experience, if I ever am. But that's a different topic.
It's easy, yet difficult, to do what I've done. Younger people don't have to think about technology. They were born into a world where technology was a normal part of everyday life. I'm gen-x, and I straddle the fence on the subject. I can live without it or use it, but I have to think it through. That makes it slow for me. That's okay. Old school is good and slow is methodical.
Through trial and error, I created a list of the essential things I used to create the stories and enhance the saga. So, in keeping with my promise to tell the truth about my author's journey, I wanted to share the list I used to build the dream so readers can see how it's done. If you're going to create and publish your own stories, you might consider these items in your research. Just be sure you know how you would use it. Owning shiny things is alluring, but can be wasteful if you don't have a plan.
Sure, you can write your story with a pen and paper, but if you want to self-publish it, or market it, you're going to need a computer, tablet, or smartphone. You need a digital copy to upload, even if you want to create a paperback or hardcover.
You can pick your poison about what writing program you use. I use Google Docs because it's free and portable, even on my phone. There are many other programs with different options and at different price points. Choose one that works easily for you. Writing is the heart of world-building and indeed it will be at the heart of any creative endeavor in storytelling in modern times.
Beyond the writing are things dealing with a polished finished product such as formatting, editing, covers, videos, etc. If all you do is publish written words on a blog, you could get away with just a phone, but you may need to outsource many things or be patient and talented (which I'm not) if you choose a phone only. If you plan to publish books, create covers, produce trailers, etc., you will probably need more than a phone.
What do I routinely use?
A. Asus Gaming Tower - Heavy hitter programs like Corel and Publisher Rocket, which require memory, work well on a computer with a large storage capacity.
B. Asus Chromebook - It's lightweight and offers easy access to Google Docs/Drive/Drawings and social media.
C. Samsung Note 8 - My hotspot is essential for the laptop and easy, on-the-go Google Docs/Drive access makes it perfect for when I'm bored in the waiting place and want to write.
Software and Apps
Owning the right programs and apps can make the work much easier. I purchased the programs (A-E) and use free ones (F-H) as I lack funds for subscriptions. I avoided buying anything until I researched it first. Never purchasing things you don't understand is excellent advice for large cash purchases.
As I write/create all the time, these programs are worth their weight in gold to me. You don't need them to get started, but if you love to write and choose to self-publish, these are worth looking into, in my opinion.
What programs and apps do I use for what purposes? (In no logical order because my brain doesn't work that way.)
A. Atticus - Formatting
B. Corel Studio - Video Production
C. Speechelo - AI Audio
D. Publisher Rocket - Keyword and Market Research
E. ProWritingAid - Editing
F. Google Drawings - Cover Art
G. Google Docs - Writing
H. Google Drive - Online Storage
Shameless Self Promotion
The paperbacks are available online at Walmart. I discovered them and learned that Amazon put them there, as strange as that seems. I found the books online at Books-A-Million, too. When I first started publishing, I looked into placing the books in Books-A-Million, only to learn that self-publishers couldn't directly post them there.
It seems silly, but for a woman who was once a kid who often bought a book to read at the grocery store and picked the largest one so the story would last longer, finding my books available, even if it's only online, with the largest retailer in the world and one of the larger bookstores in America means something. I may be an obscure author, but my reach has gotten a little wider. Someday, people who enjoy urban fiction and the paranormal, who have a taste for fantasy and romance, and for whom magic has never ceased to enchant, may find my unique little world and step into the dream with me. I know the only way that happens is if I keep writing, creating, publishing, and promoting.
Meet the Main Characters
Leland Mystic Shade was turned into a vampire with magic and set adrift in an immortal world. Because he didn’t live by the code of Volos, other vampires seeking glory and fame in the vampiric enclaves considered him a rogue outlaw to be hunted and destroyed. Leland made his way as a lone vampire for most of his two hundred and eighty-five years. In 2016, he lived alone in the major metropolitan city of Chicago and routinely dined on the homeless, stray immortal shifters, and the occasional large animal on the farms outside of the city. He avoided any enclave in the countryside while still occasionally defending himself from their hunters.
Years of studying magic and immortality in the dark allowed him to step out of the night, but even pursuing everything he found interesting hadn't stopped his slow walk into oblivion. Life became monotonous, and he often danced on the edge of suicide as the fade crept up.
Ironically, he also ran the largest solar energy company in the dream and held enough stocks to sit on the boards of several companies heavily invested in studying the effects of the sun on humans. It was all an effort to stave off the inevitable.
He was missing valuable information about who he was, and his life lacked true companionship. Leland hadn’t fully realized that until Evelyn Dark Moon stepped into his life.
Evelyn Dark Moon was fresh out of university, alone, and desperate. Answering the ad for a personal assistant landed her a job with Solar Enterprises and offered her a haven, the chance to leave her cheating boyfriend behind, and the opportunity to carry out her mission.
Her unexpected, intense attraction to her new, sexier-than-sin boss had no place in her life. The last thing she wanted was to get tangled in a relationship that could easily cost her both the job and the sanctuary it provided, but avoiding the powerful allure of a vampire is hard for a mortal to accomplish even if he's not actively pursuing her.
With her magic rising and a prophecy to fulfill, Evelyn doesn’t have time for the heavy attraction building between her and Leland, and finds herself both relieved and disenchanted when he distances himself after one scorchingly hot kiss they both agreed never happened.
She was the last magi of her guild and Evelyn had a mission to right the balance of magic and bring back the king of the devils. If Leland Mystic Shade wanted to be more than just her sexy boss, she needed to know about him as much as he did. Would he help her? Or ruin her and the dream?
I hope you like the inspirational images and the character art by WeStudio Design @GogaRose_. These two are starring in Lunar Dark, the first part of the Mystic Dark Trilogy. I'm excited about this tale. Part one is a finished rough manuscript, and I've begun work on part two already. I'll try to introduce the main characters for the next part soon.
I still want to use this story as a reader magnet and give it away. This story may also become a new style of video book. I'm experimenting with creating one where the words appear on the screen. I may put the character introductions up as a teaser first and see how it goes.
I set up the Ko-Fi and am publishing slowly there as well. If you want to donate or subscribe and read in the dream, I'm using the money to fund a BookFunnel to deliver the reader magnet, and I want to give my newsletter and Ko-Fi subscribers all the good stuff first. The dream experience is still building. I hope you'll stick around to see how this crazy business turns out.
I have to run away. Real-world responsibilities are calling me out of the dream as usual. When you read, remember to please be kind and leave your review. Support an author when you can. It costs nothing extra and means more than you know to creative minds.
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