The True Path to Self-Publishing is a Learning Experience for Emerging Romance Novelist Jessica Leigh
Online PR News – 27-June-2014 – Allentown/PA – In today’s digital marketplace, aspiring authors or other industry professionals have much broader options for publication. Discovery is no longer up completely to chance or a publisher’s whim – necessarily. “Indie Publishing” is a phenomenon that many artists or business leaders are embracing, but is it really that easy to self-publish and make money?
“I honestly did not know what to expect when I hit that keyboard button that said ‘upload and publish,’” recounts romance fiction novelist Jessica Leigh, of Kempton, PA. “It was an interesting moment when I read an article about self-publishing a few years back and thought…Wow. I can really do that? Should I try?”
Leigh recently released her third full length historical romance novel, entitled Savage Journey, to Kindle. It is the second book in a series that chronicles the path of a Lenni Lenape tribe of Native Americans and is set along the East Coast during the late 1600’s – a tumultuous time of immigration and conflict between many differing races.
“I love this time period,” states Leigh. “It is the perfect set up for individuals of completely differing backgrounds and cultures to come together, often with a bang. When tensions are thick and ways of life are at stake it can help to create superb and action-packed plots, as well as memorable love stories.”
Leigh has published three novels, and in each, the general setting remains the same. “I love the East Coast. I love its mountains, I love its valleys, and I love its rich history. With every book I have written, I’ve absorbed so much fresh knowledge about this land and its people. I want that sense of discovery to shine through in my writing.
Be warned, however, that self-publishing is not necessarily an easy task. “I really tried to do my homework,” said Leigh. “In order to publish, and then market your works successfully, you need to build an entire author platform that includes a professional website, Facebook page, a Twitter handle, and most importantly, an author blog that you regularly post to. If you don’t have a publisher to market for you, you must have fans to keep your name out there. There is definitely a learning curve.”
Leigh admits that it’s a ton of work, and not for the faint of heart. “Reviews are so easy to post online these days. And it is guaranteed that someone is going to harshly tear up your work at some point. I try to take any negative review, and think about how I can apply it to my writing in the future. But the great reviews really mean a lot to Indie authors. I know it gives me enormous drive to keep writing when someone says, ‘Oh my gosh, I just loved this. Please write more!’”
The big question remains… Can you make money with Indie publishing? “Absolutely,” said Leigh. “It just takes time and a lot of effort. You also need to network with other authors in your genre.” Leigh said that she often follows the activities of fellow self-published romance author, Glynnis Campbell for ideas and inspiration. “Glynnis really seems to have the Indie-pub process down, and I’ve gathered great ideas from her. You definitely need to study trends, and find a writing niche that fits you. With three books out, I can say that writing provides a decent side income. I am working toward the day where I can write comfortably, full time. I think the most important part is having a back-list, and generating a fan base.”
Print-on-demand options allow authors to produce their novels in paperback without a publishing contract. “It is expensive to print,” says Leigh, “but worth it if you want your work to reach a broader audience. Paperback editions are definitely my next step. However, just about everyone has a Kindle or e-reader now, which allows for larger profits for the author and less expensive options for the consumer.”
For more information on Jessica Leigh and her historical and contemporary romance titles, you can visit her online at www.writerjessicaleigh.com.
About Jessica Leigh
Jessica Leigh is an author, a professional freelance writer, and an environmental scientist with a degree from Penn State University (1993). Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she is an outdoorswoman, a nature enthusiast, and is an avid researcher into Native American cultural history in her state.
Jessica currently resides in Kempton, PA, with her four children and cat Rose Marie along a beautiful mountain stream near Hawk Mountain Sanctuary. She loves running, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and reading as much as possible. Jessica is recently released her third book, a sequel to her debut Native American romance novel, Savage Forest.