The time goes on.
Here’s my blog from January of this year.
I saw 2021 as the best year of my writing, so far. Moreover, I expected 2022 to be even better. And I am not disappointed.
Since deciding to become an author close to ten years ago, I had written and published three novels, ten short stories, and some two-hundred blog posts. Then it came to me that something was missing. Not that the readers didn’t buy many of my books. I’ve learned their poor response resulted from my writing, marketing, and publishing still stuck on the low level in every stage of growth.
Throughout all these years, I tried to learn as much as I only could about the art and craft of writing. I read, listened to podcasts and watched as many videos as I only could. All about writing, publishing, and marketing. When I started my literary adventure, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Later, I learned what I don’t know, and methodically, bird by bird, worked on improving my art. Despite all this work, it wasn’t enough.
So, I decided to reboot the entire process and start from scratch.
First, I took most my books off the market. Here, in the US, and in Poland. My bilingual website had to be redesigned. I called it witoldniesluchowski.com 2.0. I kept on writing, and at the same time learned about the word-processing software, book cover design, and proper formatting. I studied how to ethically, in a civilized way, let people know about my work.
I’ve learned that an indie author nowadays has to wear three hats: besides the traditional Trilby’s hat, one also has to own the publisher’s and marketer’s caps. If a traditional publisher picks your story, there’s no need for the other two. But a writer in the third trimester of life, with a meager name recognition, like myself, and just starting his career, has a negligible chance to be awarded the attention of the big guys. So, I own all three. And I like it that way.
I consciously chose to be an independent “indie” author.
Casual readers don’t realize how many people, besides a writer, are involved in publishing of an acceptable novel. An author has to find his team. It all starts with the editors. They, like writers, come in all shapes and sizes. It took a lot of time, and money, to come up with the ones who fit my needs. Here, and in Poland. I found my book cover designer, a single mom, who supports indie authors. I’ve realized that I don’t have to use a formatter anymore, and learned how to format my own books. From Google Analytics, I’ve found out where my readers are, and decided to publish in these regions of the world. I wanted to go wide and selected appropriate distributors. My own publishing company, The Renaissance Life Press, was born and branded with its own logo.
While publishing was an entirely new skill to me, the marketing was still another field to master. The email marketing is the most solid way to send my work into the world, and letting the readers know what’s new. But my email list is modest at best, and I had to learn how to add new readers. Email automation was a process which I had to delegate to the others. So was the management of my bilingual website. And I am not even talking about the business part of my new calling. The new software kept coming, and I had to learn how to use it.
All this happened while I worked on rewriting my novels and short stories. I read as many books available to me as I could squeeze in my awake hours. I started from “Anna Karenina”, Chekhov, Dostoevsky, Dickens, through Conrad-Korzeniowski, Hemingway, Austin. Now I’m reading James Patterson, Dan Brown and John Grisham. Countless details of the craft of writing merged into one process. My way of writing. I knew I have stories to tell. I needed to find the way to channel them into the world.
My readers will have soon chance to see the results. I can’t wait to spread the news.