Self-Publishing The Darcy McClain Series

self-publishingPrior to 2006, I was more interested—addicted, I should say—to polishing the Darcy novels I had already written and to writing new books in the series rather than actively seeking a literary agent or pursuing a traditional publisher. The thought of imposed deadlines and the requirement to promote the series would certainly interfere with my daily writing schedule, so I was content to just write. I did, on occasion, pitch my series to various agents and editors sponsored by the DFW Writers Workshop or the DFW Writers Conference, which is held annually.

In late 2006, personal obligations greatly limited my literary endeavors, forcing Darcy to take a backseat for much longer than I had ever anticipated, but the long interruption was unavoidable. I did write, but these sessions were sporadic. However, as any writer knows, you can’t shut down your thoughts, so I spent these short sessions documenting ideas or typing outlines to ensure that these new plots were preserved for future thrillers.

In the summer of 2009, Shotz went to the Rainbow Bridge. Her loss was one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had to face. She was my shadow for almost fifteen years, and the pain of her loss endures. For months, I could not write, especially after I had introduced a giant schnauzer into my series. By early fall of 2009, I was still in a deep funk until my husband and I realized we just couldn’t go on without a giant in our family. So in mid-September, Kai (Kaiser) came to live with us.

In early 2010, I began researching the idea of self-publishing my thriller series. My primary reason? Time. I felt my time was best spent writing, then promoting, my series, not seeking a literary agent or pursuing the traditional route to publication, all of which is time-consuming and may or may not lead to results. The most expeditious route was to cut out the middleman and let the end user, the reader, decide whether or not the series sold or languished on Amazon.

As for promoting, with a degree in journalism/advertising and a solid background in marketing, I felt confident that I could steer the series to success. So I began working on a marketing plan. When I identified deficiencies, i.e., my own lack of experience in any area, I made a note to outsource related tasks to a professional.

My next priority was a self-publishing budget. In 1987, the possibility of quitting the corporate world to pursue a writing career became less of a fantasy and more of a reality. But whether I pursued the traditional or the self-publishing route, money was involved (as with most things in life). So with the idea of possibly self-publishing one day, I started an investment account.

In early 2011, I had done a lot of research on self-publishing, had a good marketing plan (which is always evolving), had built a modest budget, and had a giant will to succeed. I formed an LLC, opened a business account at my local bank, filed for a sales tax permit with the state of Texas, and had a logo designed for my newly formed company—Thunder Glass LLC. My press name would be Thunder Glass Press.

Next week’s blog will go into greater detail on how I chose my self-publishing team and what skills they brought to the project to create a professional website and a quality first book—Brainwash.

Next week: “Self Publishing: Part 2.”

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