Christy was my third guest instructor at my CPCC Writing for Children class. I met Christy through the Charlotte WNBA and when I heard her experiences with self-publishing I knew she had a lot to share with my writing students.
Christy Allen is a self-published author who has worked hard at writing and publishing her first middle grade book and is now working hard at marketing it. In this blog she responds to questions my students and I posed.
Q: Do you have general advice for new writers?
A: When the writing starts, listen. Close the door when you write. Initially, the only voice in your head should be your own. As Stephen King wisely suggests in his book, On Writing, open the door and share your work only after your first draft is complete—and only then with your "first reader . . . someone who believes in you." Take advantage of opportunities to receive professional feedback on your work (e.g. writing contests, courses that offer agent feedback, etc.)
A: You will get out of the process what you put into it. It takes time and money to create a quality product. Do not skimp on professional editing, cover illustration/design, or interior layout. And, if you decide to use CreateSpace, as I did, understand that you are one of many customers—you must be your own advocate and stay on top of every process detail to prevent time delays and added costs.
Q: I see where one of your Amazon reviewers received a book "free of charge." Is this a way to entice reviewers to write a review, i.e. get some press? Every Amazon reviewer gave the book high marks.