Nothing Like a New Release – Update on Self-Publishing

Master_of_Illusion_Book_II_Cover

Master of Illusion Book II. New release from the Historical Fiction Series by Anne Rouen

It has been a lot of work: editing, checking facts, little rewrites here and there, attending to all the publishing details like ISBN and CiP, agonising over a choice of cover from the number of really beautiful designs presented to me. But the excitement of the launch beats everything!

After the great reception and the wonderful reviews Master of Illusion Book I received, I just couldn’t wait to do it again. And my latest review from a judge of the Writers’ Digest Awards has re-fired all my enthusiasm.

Your first book is like your baby. You cannot bear to part with a word of it. Only the strongest representation will induce a rewrite. This is more due to the belief that this story has been given to you; come from outside yourself; rather than overweening conceit about your own abilities as a writer.

I found I wasn’t so precious about Book II, cutting out chunks on the editor’s advice without turning a hair. I think that with Book III, I will be positively blasé! But I have to say I love it when my editor suggests a little rewrite – one more chance to revisit the magical world of opera/ballet, opulence and charm of nineteenth century Paris.

Life on the land is extremely heartbreaking at the moment, as all my farming friends will agree. But after I have fed my few old sheep, checked the horses, the water and put out the drought blocks for the cattle, I can step through the vine-covered door of my little stone hut and become Anne Rouen, resident author of StoneHut Publishing.

Here, immersed in the lives of my characters, the problems of the present world pale into insignificance beside the vibrance – the dazzling brilliance – of la Belle Époque.

Would I do it all again? Absolutely! The whole experience has been so uplifting that I will most definitely do it again.

Here’s a little secret: Book III is finished, ready for polishing – months of hard work by me and my editor – to make it ready for its new release and start the excitement all over again! I’m hooked!

Master of Illusion Book II continues the story of the Master of Illusion and begins where Book I ends: the after party following the Grand Opening of their new opera house. I take this opportunity to assure my fans waiting on the book that, not only will it answer all your questions, but some you never thought to ask.

Master of Illusion Book II is currently available as an ebook on Amazon and Smashwords. And coming soon to the other platforms. Enjoy!

From Closet Writer to (Self-)Published Author

My secret dream has finally come true! And I only half believe it.

For years, I scribbled away, feeling guilty when I took time out for my hobby; hiding my work from others. But it’s not a hobby, it’s a passion; a compulsion. When I sit down with a pen something takes me over and a whole morning can go by before I surface.

I find myself getting up at night, or jotting on odd scraps of paper because inspiration strikes at odd times. If this sounds familiar, I believe it is a common symptom shared by writers.

One day, I looked around at my piles of manuscripts and decided to see if I could make ‘my obsession my profession’.

I joined a fledgling writers’ group. One of the members read my work and we went to a workshop at NEWC, ‘Mind Your Business’ with Dr Jeremy Fisher. I picked up on some gems of advice: Get a website, show you’re prepared to engage with readers and promote your work; go to writers’ festivals; meet people in the business.

An author talk by Matthew Reilly held me riveted. Here was a man radiating positive energy. It is clear that he loves his work: A man living his dream.

The main thing I took away with me: He believes in himself. None of his wonderful achievements would have happened had he not self-published his first book.

I resolved then and there not to let self-doubt stand in the way of my dream.

Publishing is a business, whether self or otherwise. It is important for self-published authors to have their work professionally edited. You may be grateful you’ve spent the time and money. Editors pay close attention to details that could come back to haunt you.

By an amazing set of circumstances, I found a web designer who was not only a talented and intuitive designer, but an editor and marketing analyst as well. When she suggested I put my novel out as an ebook while I tried to find a publisher, something clicked in my head and I bolted with it.

Forget finding a publisher, I’ll do it, myself. The idea took me over. I read Authorpreneurship by Hazel Edwards – several times, marking the pages. It contains invaluable advice, demanding honest evaluation. I researched blogs of self-published authors, borrowed books from the library.

One of these sounded great: positive and chatty. I went to her website. There had been one post since 2007. I clicked on ‘Comment’ and was taken to another person’s website offering to sell me information!

Rest assured if there is anything I have learned or will learn about self-publishing it will be available for others right here – for free. You only have to ask.

I moved quickly, using my ABN to register a business name and get started.

There were many daunting moments: no domain available in my name; agonising over a nom-de-plume; applying for an ISBN; registering for CiP; and then the big one that almost stopped me in my tracks: I had to have a US tax ID to sell my book on Amazon.

Here, the asa (Australian Society of Authors) was wonderful, organising a US tax seminar at just the right time for me. I met published authors, including the kind and generous Susanne Gervay, who took me under her wing, introduced me to her friends and generally made me feel comfortable. A few days later, success! I had my EIN.

Towards the end of the publishing process, I realised that writing Master of Illusion was the easy part. I fell in love with my characters, let them call the shots and went on a fascinating ride, never knowing what was just around the corner. I loved every minute of it.

There are many people I have to thank for help along this journey. You know who you are and how much I love and appreciate you. All of you.

So what happens now that StoneHut Publishing has run down the slipway and is heading into uncharted waters with the author at the helm? Will it be fair wind and plain sailing from here? Or are there hidden rocks and shoals out there? Monsters of the deep? Waiting …

Watch this space!