It’s great to be back on Blood-Red Pencil as a guest. For the last year as a full-time novelist, I’ve been focused on writing, publishing, and promoting. When my fiction readers started commenting about how much they enjoyed my blog and my nonfiction articles, I took notice and added a few ideas to my to-do list.
After mulling it around, I decided to combine the best of my nonfiction—including all the blogs I wrote about my journey to become a full-time novelist—into a book. I thought my readers would enjoy getting to know more about me, and authors would find the writing, editing, and promotion advice helpful and inspiring. Most of the blogs I wrote for this site while I was a member were included as well.
The title was easy. I named the book after my blog and personal motto, Write First, Clean Later. I adopted the slogan in early 2008 when I was laid off my editing job with an educational publisher. Since then, I’ve penned five novels and published eight, in addition to writing hundreds of blogs and newspaper articles.
In August—after the release of a futuristic thriller—I decided to take the non-fiction project off the back burner and make it happen. I sorted my best blogs and articles into chapters, pulled them into a Word document with a few photos, then updated and edited the 52,000 words. As with my novels, I sent the file to a formatter to create an e-book, and I contracted with a graphic designer to create a cover. I also uploaded a file to CreateSpace to make the book available in print.
I’m happy to report that this last year has been incredible for me, and I feel fortunate to be able to make a living from my fiction. I believe the rapid, transformational changes in the publishing industry will benefit many other writers as well. Publishing your own work is now easy, accessible, and inexpensive. The challenge is still in finding an audience, but social networking has made that attainable and fun too.
I may not be Amanda Hocking, but I have sold enough e-books in the last year to support my household, and I accumulated a mountain of information along the way. I share all of it in Write First, Clean Later, which sells for only $2.99 as an e-book, or $12.99 in print. The book is available from most retailers, and you can also buy it from my website in digital or print format.
The hardest thing about publishing this book was deciding which category to list it under. Self-help? Humor? Memoir? I considered all of those and settled on Literary Collections as the most accurate, but there’s plenty of humor and advice in the pages as well. The best part of self-publishing is that if the category doesn’t work, I can go in and change it anytime.
Thanks for having me back here. I wish you all the best in your writing and publishing endeavors. And remember the best advice of all: Write First, Clean Later.
L.J. Sellers is an award-winning journalist and the author of the bestselling Detective Jackson mystery/suspense series: The Sex Club, Secrets to Die For, Thrilled to Death, Passions of the Dead, and Dying for Justice. Her novels have been highly praised by Mystery Scene, Crimespree, and Spinetingler magazines, and the series has been on Amazon Kindle’s bestselling police procedural list. L.J. also has three standalone thrillers: The Baby Thief, The Suicide Effect, and The Arranger. When not plotting murders, she enjoys performing standup comedy, cycling, social networking, and attending mystery conferences. She’s also been known to jump out of airplanes.