Hello Everyone, I know many self published authors out there get asked the questions "How did you start?", "Was it hard?" and although this is not a question, it is my favorite "Oh, I always wanted to write a book". Well many people have asked so I decided to put what I did in writing - this is what I did, I am not saying this is the right or wrong way to do things it is just what got me to the finished product of Simon Says Share. I am going to break this into different segments and going to start with the basics so please don't take offense.
Get organized - get your office supplies, notebooks, computer, printer ink, pens, pencils and a quiet place to work. If you are lucky enough to have a home office get a file cabinet and mark your folders for your every need. The dollar store sells office supplies, you don't have to break the bank going to Staples, or Office Max. If you are working out of a small area in your home buy a travel size file cabinet, they have great stylish ones at Job Lot or Wal-Mart. You notice I said get organized, staying organized is another subject all together but just know when you initially set up your space it will be easy to put back into place because everything is already labeled. My desk is a mess but once I week I go through everything and put it where is belongs just so I can start over again.
Take your time - research the steps you want to take for your book, print on demand or a traditional publisher either way both take research, and there are a lot of sites out there. Use more than one URL to conduct your search Google is great but it's not the only one. I typically will use Yahoo, MSN and others and Google last, type your search the same way each time. I created folders in my bookmarks for those I find interesting and I want to look into a little more. I must warn you, this process is long or as long as you want it to be and will have you spending less and less time with family and friends so monitor the time you spend researching. If you are only getting negative feedback from what you are attempting to do, you know what to do. Not everyone will understand what you want to accomplish and not everyone will believe what you are doing is important. Negativity is not your friend so stay away from it. I have lost people I considered friends because of what I want to accomplish but guess what when my first book was released they reappeared (SURPRISE). So let me make myself clear - I am NOT saying get rid of your family and friends, I am just saying stay away from the negativity. Go to the library and check out books, you can buy them from Barnes and Noble, Amazon and other online book stores but if you want to save money check them out of the library. I photo copy the pages I find interesting and filed them away in my labeled folder. If you must buy the book, check out Amazon's used books before you buy new. Many of these books have minor markings in them and your just going to do the same thing. If you no longer need the book, put it back on Amazon and sell it, why not make a little money in the process.
Network - although you are in the beginning stages, you want to begin to establish some networks. I placed the networks I belong to the right of this post for you to look at. Many are great but remember only sign up for as many as you can handle. I found an illustrator for my second book "Lillie Walks With An Angel" on one of my networking sites and he is great. Start with one, my favorite is Book Marketing Network everyone has something positive to say and much advice. Join networking groups I find many on Meet ups, you can use this site to search by genre and your town.