After a day of furiously taking notes, talking with other authors and artists, and trying to absorb it all, I was seriously pooped! Sandy was, too, and she and I sat out in the main lobby discussing whether we should just call it a day and skip the last block of workshops. We were talking about finding some dinner, but figured we should at least check on the schedule to see what topics would be covered in that last block ... and there it was ... Self-Publishing: Top Ten Ways To Get It Right.
So, pooped or not, the self-published author and the artist that illustrates for self-published authors headed off to the last workshop of the day. And what an eye-opener it was!
It was led by Marian L. Thomas, an award winning author of women's fiction. Mrs. Thomas graciously gave me permission to re-publish her list of Top Ten Ways to Get It Right.
It was too good not to share. But it was also too good to stick into the blog where, as the weeks go by, it will disappear into a long list of blogs that only the most ardent of visitors will be willing to slog through.
So you will find it here as an article in the Helpful Info section.
If you are a self-published author, or planning on being one soon, I think you will find this information extremely helpful.
Aside from simply being a portfolio site for my work, I want my website to be a source of good information for self-published authors. So many of these authors, including those whose books I illustrate, know next to nothing about about the publishing process. Even myself – while I do have a printing and graphics background – I'm a relative newbie in the publishing business. And publishing has changed so much over the last couple of decades. Especially with the advent of digital printing.
When we're drawing and writing our beautiful books, it's easy to lose our objectivity about our creations. Try to detach from your work emotionally enough to remember that this is a dollars and cents business you're in. It can make the difference between making a go of it, or just simply ending up with a garage full of books and an empty wallet.
Self-publishing is not easy or cheap. Anybody involved in the process will inevitably make a few costly mistakes. Don't count solely on just information from my site, or anybody else's site, for that matter. Research and learn as much as you can so you can make informed decisions about the path you need to take to be a published author.
So check out Mrs. Thomas's article.
Before we end this month's blogs, I'd like to tell you about another "God winked" moment I had ... He knows I like to have fun and He can really pull some tricks on me sometimes ...
I got so lost that Saturday morning ... mostly because it was so congested and I ended up in the wrong right lane that took me into a business complex where I couldn't just turn around and go back, because it was a one way street ... and when I finally figured out how to get out I was on a different road ... it got complicated ...
As for the burning question I know is searing your brain right now ... yes, I do own a GPS ... no, I didn't take it ... yes, I had my phone ... so, WHY??? ... if I knew the answer to that question, I could be writing a different blog right now!
I just know I was so darn excited about the workshop and had been anticipating it for the past month and what could possibly be so hard about going to exit 29 and turning right? Some people turn into nuts when they're really, really down. I suppose I turn into a nut when I'm really, really happy ... who knows?
Anyway ... I never panic when I get lost. Even in pre-technology days when I didn't use it, because I didn't even have it! It was such a gorgeous morning – finally, NO RAIN!! – and it was all sunny and bright. I just turned up the radio, opened the sun roof, and kept driving around, singing and trying to figure out where in the heck I needed to go.
At one point I figured out I needed to turn around on the road I was on and go back the other direction, but where could I do that in all that traffic? Then I spotted it ... a wide open empty parking lot where I could've done donuts if I'd wanted! It was like discovering an oasis! So I turned in, got turned around, and eventually I found the hotel where the Writing Workshop was. And only just a few minutes late ... it always works out in the end.
I had the best day with all those authors, and getting to spend time with Sandy. We live very far apart and only get to see each other about once every 2-3 years, so we were comparing notes and having fun! We were tired and punchy when we finally got out of that last workshop. And hungry!
Sandy got her phone out and found us a Chinese restaurant and a map to get us there, and off we went. And we got lost. Again. So down a few roads, around a few curves ... and her phone was new and it wasn't doing what she expected and she hadn't quite figured it out ... and since I've never figured mine out, I was pretty useless ... then coming down some nameless road we spotted it: a Mexican restaurant! I love Mexican! She loves Mexican! Forget the Chinese place, we're eating Mexican!
She pulled into the parking lot and was looking for a spot ... something felt odd, but I couldn't put my finger on it. She found a spot and parked her car ... and as we were getting out I was looking around at this place ... it was familiar to me ... but how ... then it hit me! It was the same parking lot I had turned around in 9 hours ago!!!!
Nobody can tell me that God doesn't have a sense of humor, 'cause, frankly, He pulls this kind of stuff on me all the time! And I love it! Even just sitting here trying to finish up these blogs, I keep hearing Him whisper, Character arc! Character arc! Because the crazy artist lady who was driving around lost and singing in the sunshine 9 hours earlier had ended up back where she started ... the arc was complete and the day came to a satisfying end ... just like a good book!
In case you're curious, that restaurant was Uncle Julios, and it was fabulous! Get the taco salad and try that amazing sauce that comes with it ... oh, MY!! I still don't know what the name of that road is. But don't tell me. It's kind of fun not knowing!
And I'm ready to do it all again ... already on the lookout for another workshop ... think I'll take the GPS next time ...