Carving Your Own Bones

It’s Thursday, time to jam!

So I haven’t talked about it too officially yet, but the way I plan to run my Thursday posts is a little different than last year. For 1K a Day I did Motivationals and mini-reviews. This year I won’t be doing many Motivationals, instead filling the Thursday slot with more craft-centric posts. The various facets of being an author that perhaps you don’t think about as often.

Editing, Formatting, Cover Art, Line Edits, Proofing, Blog Tours, Conventions, Book Signings, Self-Publishing, Traditional Publishing, Vanity Publishing, Query Letters, Cover Pages, Frontmatter, Backmatter. The list goes on. To be an independent author means to have a general knowledge of all these things and more because self-publishing is an expensive endeavor if you have to pay for every non-writing task that you aren’t very good at. What that will result in is a guy somewhat like me, who knows just enough about all the various pieces of getting your book into the hands of readers so that it actually gets into the hands of readers in a format and professional-ish manner that people are willing to accept.

So the title of this piece, Carving Your Own Bones, is my way of saying that you have to be the master of your own work. You have to carve your own bones because no one cares enough about you to do it for you. If you want them to be pretty, if you want them to be eye-catching and addicting, you have to do the work yourself, and you have to do it well.

I have amassed hundreds of resources over the years that help with these endeavors, but the biggest part of learning how to do any given task is to actually start doing it. You may waste a hundred hours learning the best way to format an ebook for distribution across multiple platforms, but guess what? You didn’t waste that time. Now you know the ins and outs of various programs and online tools and the next time you come to do it, it’ll come easier. And you can help others. You may not be a Master of any one task, but you’re definitely a Jack of Many if you have to do it all yourself.

That’s just one example, of course, and perhaps a little extreme (100 hours on a single ebook is ludicrous for non-professional publishing, and probably for pro publishing as well), but you should get the gist.

You have to carve your own bones until someone offers to carve them for you, and even then it pays to know how everything works. You can never be surprised if you know all the steps. This year for Breaking the Author, I’m going to explore many of these other facets and hopefully you come away just a little more prepared for your life as an author. After all, you’re joining me on my journey and there’s no rule against you learning a thing or two as I stumble my way along!

Carve your own bones to the best of your ability, and always remember to write the hell on!

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