July 14, 2016

Stepping into the Indie Publishing World - Ruth L. Snyder

I took a small step in 2009 into the world of social media, by learning how to use Twitter.  Using technology is something that comes easily to me. When I shared my excitement about the possibilities Twitter opened to me, many people started asking me to teach them what I was learning. I presented my first workshop on Twitter to a group of InScribe members at our fall conference in 2011. Shortly after that, I co-presented a workshop on Twitter to a group of school board trustees at the Alberta School Boards Association Spring Assembly.

These opportunities led to more people asking me to write step-by-step instructions on how to open an account, become familiar with Twitter, and use it as a networking tool. When I thought about how best to share my ideas, I decided an e-book format would work best because I could include screen shots and links to helpful articles, blog posts, and books. I wrote my first draft and sent it out to several beta readers. Their feedback was very helpful and direct: I needed to write more than one book - one for people who had no knowledge of Twitter to introduce them to the basics, and one for people who already had an account but really didn't understand what to do with it.


After several edits and more feedback, I published Learn Twitter: 10 Beginning Steps on Kindle. (In order to do this, I learned how to format a book for Kindle, how to link images in my book to images on my website, and how to design book covers.) A few months later, I published Learn Twitter: 10 Intermediate Steps, also on Kindle. People provided positive feedback, and I enjoyed learning more about marketing. Although readers appreciated the e-book format, many people requested a printed version of the material.


During this time, the InScribe executive decided to publish 7 Essential Habits of Christian Writers. I volunteered to oversee the project and learned from other team members who were more experienced at some of the pieces of the publishing process. I learned how to apply for ISBN numbers, and how to submit a file to CreateSpace. The team worked diligently and launched both a Kindle version and paperback edition in 2015.


Using the knowledge I gained, along with helpful information from our 2015 InScribe Fall Conference and from my membership with Author Audience Academy, I was able to put together a combined, updated print version of my Twitter books, called Twitter Decoded: Tips & Tools for Authors. Part of this process included starting my own publishing company, Creativity Press.
 (I am currently putting together a launch team. If you're interested in receiving a free pdf or e-book copy to review and/or are willing to help me promote my book, please e-mail me and put "launch team" in the subject. Thanks!)

I still have many things to learn in the Indie Publishing World. Currently I'm working on increasing my e-mail list and being more consistent with blogging and newsletters. (You can sign up at http://eepurl.com/Z9m7T.) I still want to explore how to publish on Kobo, Nook, iBooks, Draft2Digital, and Smashwords. Getting my books into libraries is also one of my goals. I'm exploring business concepts, including offering webinars, courses, coaching, and done-for-you content. Now I just need to figure out how to add more hours to my day. Not really! I'm thankful for fellow Indie authors like Tracy Krauss, Janice L. Dick, Janis Cox, Janet Sketchley, Shelley Hitz, and Valerie Comer who exchange information with me, cheer me on, and share their expertise.

What have you learned in the last year? What challenges are you facing?

8 comments:

  1. Ruth, it's great to see how each step has brought new opportunities and yes, new steps. As a fellow Canadian indie, I highly recommend Draft2Digital for managing all your ebooks except Kobo and Kindle. (And if you're on a Mac you can do iBooks directly. I can't.) D2D customer support is great (no, they're not paying me for this). And working directly with Kobo makes you eligible for their promotions.

    It's so true that we need one another's encouragement and experience. Keep on stepping!

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    1. Thanks, Janet
      I appreciate your encouragement and the additional tips. I will keep stepping :)

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  2. Bravo! It's amazing when one looks back and sees just how far we've come! All the best for this new release. Perhaps SOMEONE should feature it on the next review day (on the 5th) or on the promotions day coming up on the 27th.

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    1. Thanks, Tracy
      Yes, it is a good idea to look back every once in a while. I would be happy to send a digital copy to anyone who is interested in reviewing Twitter Decoded.

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  3. Every new project we say yes to gives us valuable new tools!

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    Replies
    1. Very true, Rohadi. Often God equips us when we step forward in faith.

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  4. After reading this, Ruth, I've learned that I can't keep up with you, but I am glad you are breaking the ice for my tiny canoe. Using technology doesn't come as easily for me, but hopefully I won't drop so far behind that the ice freezes over before I get there.

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  5. Sharon, you are such an encourager. Thank you!

    God gifts us all differently. When we use our gifts, He gives us joy. When we try to copy others, we get discouraged. I will gladly break the ice for you, and know that God is using your little canoe to bring glory to HIM.

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