How you get your copy of GBLM

Before I set up the link to buy my book, I want to explain the process behind it. I find it fascinating, and even though you may not feel the exact same way, you should know the process it takes from when you press buy to when you get your book in your hand.

Why self-publishing?

I’ve spent a good portion of the past year asking myself if I should continue making the attempt to traditionally publish or break out on my own. There are perks to both. I took a workshop on self-publishing and knew that for every setback with it, there would be a nice benefit to match it. I started writing GBLM in 2009, finished the first draft in 2013, had friends edit and read for content until 2017, when I met with an agent. It was hopeful; she asked for the full manuscript to be emailed to her. But I received nothing back. Agents get bombarded with queries and manuscripts that it’s like dating. Most of the time, there isn’t any chemistry. A good portion of the time you get ghosted. And if you’re lucky, you get a match.

I wasn’t lucky in that regard. I had so many people ask me if I would think of self-publishing. I kept saying, not yet. I believe in Gretchen’s story. I believe that it’s good. I believe that it is comparable to Sarah Dessen, Morgan Matson, Eileen Cook, and e. Lockhart. My gosh, even one of my first readers compared the character development to that of the one and only John Green. This girl could only imagine that glorious day where I could see my book next to one of those amazing authors listed above on a bookshelf.

The benefits of traditional publishing is that you get a built-in system of promotion. But I also considered where I was coming from. I live in a small community that is all about supporting each other. From coffee shops to bars, I’ve talked to so many about getting me in for a book reading and signing. I teach with my target audience. So many of them have already found my book on Amazon and placed their orders. Just because they know me.

I also have no shame promoting myself. I used to be shy or modest. Not with this. This is my pride and joy. And I know it’s a good story. It’s not meant to be the next great American novel. It’s meant for entertainment. It’s meant for a different kind of story. A different way of telling it. A different way to connect to my audience.

My friend Jenna sat down one night with me. We were sipping wine and talking about Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis. Yes, folks, I’m part of the Rachel Hollis camp. She’s a dreamer and a doer and reading that book made me stop making damn excuses and get my work out there. Jenna and I talked about my novel and she said, “You really need to think about self-publishing. Have you read Girl, Wash Your Face?”

“No,” I said. “I didn’t think it would help me as much as GSA.”

“You should. That’s how she got started.”

I used an Audible credit and got GWYF on my phone ASAP.

Rachel started modestly with her fiction by self-publishing. She actually had a similar start that I did. Traditional publishing just wasn’t working, but she believed her story was good, so she tried it her own way.

The reality was that her fiction did not make the best seller lists. But she did get an agent from them, which opened her up to more opportunities. She sold something like only 40 copies the first month. I’ve sold 20 in the first weekend. I think I’m doing okay.

How Amazon KDP works

Last spring I met with quite a few established self-published novelists at Motor City Comic Con. One of them had incredible work. Her books looked legit. I thought self-published books looked like, well, kinda chintzy. We talked for about 10 minutes and she gave me incredible advice. I wish I remembered her name! She first told me to look into KDP, Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s an Amazon company which not only creates your books for Kindle, but also paperback or hardcover versions. She also told me to work with a graphic designer. That’s what takes the novel from homemade to professional. I followed both of hers.

Amazon prints books as they are ordered. It’s actually pretty ingenious. It’s not wasting time or production costs. It’s also why you won’t get it within two days even if you have Prime shipping and even if there isn’t a pandemic and this book isn’t considered an essential item. What happens is that the order is placed, and then they get to printing, binding, and trimming before it’s sent out.

My summer goal is to hopefully (if the stores open) purchase stock to sell to bookstores and libraries here in Michigan. I’m also going to have book readings and signings, too, where you can pick them up and get to see my lovely face. Right now, I’m sticking with Michigan. Keep it local. But stay tuned, as sales increase, so will the radius of sales in person!

This is a learning curve which is a struggle with self-publishing. I don’t have a publisher’s safety net of promotion. But I do have an incredible support system and a relentless spirit that will take me through this process.

And I’ll keep writing. I have an idea for another novel! In time, I hope to achieve my dream of being a full-time novelist. I’m not quitting my day job (you hear that, students? You aren’t getting rid of Ms. D!).

How to buy

Right now, you can get the paperback. Know, however, that I haven’t received my proof copies and I don’t know how they will look or if I need to make any changes (I hope not!). The Kindle version is pre-order and will be released on May 12th. You can find them both here at my Amazon Author Page.

Thank you so much for the support to make my dream come true!

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