The Indie Publisher: Eleven Questions

The following interview was originally posted on Sue Collier’s now defunct blog, Self-Publishing Resources at http://selfpublishingresources.com/11-questions-for-the-indie-author-featuring-daree-allen/ on January 16, 2012. 

 

  1. What is your background?

I’ve been a technical writer for 13 years, a personal development blogger for 5 years, and been doing speaking here and there for about 8 years. I’ve done some (mostly free) freelance work for exposure, but decided to buckle down from freelancing and finished my book’s first draft in 2009.

  1. What led you to self-publishing?

I got tired of a strange catch-22: people everywhere told me how much of a need there is for my book (a teen self-help book), but agents said that publishers couldn’t sell such a book, even from someone with a bigger platform than mine. Yet I saw countless celebrities launch several of these types of books while I was writing mine.

  1. What have you found to be the biggest challenge in self-publishing?

Funding and hiring. The saleability and marketing of your book hinges on being able to recruit and afford contractors and consultants who produce professional, quality work on time, and without too much back-and-forth.

  1. What has been the biggest surprise about self-publishing?

I didn’t know how much “hate” existed in the publishing world. Some people do not respect it. They underestimate the amount of time that goes into it. A big misconception is that writers self-publish their work because it’s not good enough for anyone else (traditional publishers) to publish it. Many prestigious/scholarly journals and book bloggers will not review SP books.

  1. Describe your writing process.

For this book, I had most of the content before I started, because the book is based on my personal journals that I’ve kept since childhood. But selecting and organizing the stories into chapters was the hardest part for me. So my process was mostly about revising over and over again. Handing it over to an editor for the first time was terrifying because I didn’t know what she would say, or how well all that revising would work for me.

  1. How do you stay disciplined?

I don’t. But the way I inadvertently kept myself accountable was to tell anyone and everyone I knew that I was writing a book. So the next time I would see any of my friends, whether it was a week later or a month later, they asked, “So how’s the book coming along?” And that simple, benign question kept the project at the forefront of my mind, even in those months that I felt “stuck.” Another motivator was seeing all the self-help books get released every quarter that were similar to mine (see #2).

  1. How are you financing your publishing project?

I have been paying-as-I-go, which is something I don’t recommend! (See #9.) I set up pre-orders in September of last year, and am offering the book in ebook and audiobook form. I also started lining up speaking engagements, although most of them are not paid, it gives me another avenue to build my list and sell in the back of the room.

  1. What is your favorite self-marketing idea?

Network online and offline. Use the same etiquette (if not better) for people you approach online “cold.” I turned a lovely person who was a “friend-in-my-head” and NYT best-selling author into a mentor. She is very helpful and sweet, and over a year after our first contact, we met in person, which was awesome enough (she interviews celebrities but to me SHE is the celebrity), and later she gave me an endorsement on my book. She’s awesome! (My second and third favorite ways to self-market are to speak often and publish guest blog posts/articles frequently.)

  1. What advice do you have for burgeoning self-publishers?

Get a mentor to help you make sense of things during your first go-round. People will offer to “help” you do different things (for a fee- marketing, publicist, etc.) that you may or may not be able to do on your own. Make sure you have adequate savings and a good team in place, whether you’re hiring a project manager, editors, photographers, indexers, proofreaders, or graphic designers. TEST your referrals—I had disappointing experiences with many of the people I hired, and almost all of them were referred to me by people I trusted.

10. When you’re not writing what do you do for fun?

I like to eat, bowl, read, sleep, and dance (but not in that order).

11. What project are you currently working on?

I am writing another nonfiction book that focuses on the perspective of single Black fathers in America. There is so much emphasis on single mothers in the Black community (which is fine—I am one and I identify), but I want to bring Black families together for those who want that. The Black community is struggling so much because of broken homes. I want to tell the single dads’ side of the story, through the many voices of the real Black America. If you are interested in contributing via an interview, you can contact me at info@dareeallen.net for more details.

 Get My Self-Publishing Checklisthttps://dareeallen.leadpages.co/leadbox-942.js Continue reading “The Indie Publisher: Eleven Questions”

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And We’re Off: The Book Launch Was a Hit!

EBG Book Launch Party at BQE

Daree explains how she came up with the book concept.
Daree explains how she came up with the book concept.

The launch of Ending the Blame Game was a success! I am so thankful for the support of my friends and colleagues in this event. A quick recap:

I discussed the book content and how my cousin inspired me to write it. Then I followed up with a reading by a 7-man panel. (You can read an excerpt here.)

We had a deep and lively discussion about relationships, coparenting and fatherhood with our simultaneous live TweetChat.

Men's reading panel
Men’s reading panel

We raffled off a t-shirt, a book, and a 30-day marketing package from The Survival Radio Network.

And since we held this event at a restaurant/lounge, we ate good all the while!
Read a Book Excerpthttps://dareeallen.leadpages.co/leadbox-943.js

With so much positive feedback and requests to make this a series, I may hold events on a quarterly basis depending on interest. We need to keep the dialogue going. And we need more input from single fathers.

Want Your Copy?

Amazon (if it shows this title as out of stock–you can still get yours from me directly (with my autograph).

Kindle

Nook

iTunes

Only 1 Week to Go!

I’m only one week away from the release date! Check out a verbal overview:

Who is this book written for? [00:29 – 01:00] and [03:22 – 04:00]
What is this book about? [01:00 – 02:20] and [03:01 – 03:21]
Where did I get my information/research from? [02:21 – 03:00]
My other books [04:01 – 04:40]
Launch party in Atlanta  [04:41 – 05:01]
Book formats available [05:02 to end]

http://youtu.be/BM9lgD9n4mw

 

What Have You Done All Year?

I hope you enjoy my yearly review of major events and accomplishments in 2013.

What I Did in 2013

 

Bookish Stuff

Runnin’ Thangs

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Me, feeling exuberant after a 7-miler

I obtained three fitness instructor certifications this year, but I’m proudest of my decision to start–and keep on–running. It was monumental that I even started running in the first place!

Super-quick running summary:

  • Finished five 5K races (four in Atlanta, including a 6K, and one in Charlotte)
  • Total of 425 miles ran in approximately 86 hours (April to December)

2014 Plans include more races: one half marathon in Virginia Beach, one 15K in Atlanta, three 10Ks (one in Brooklyn), and several smaller races in Atlanta. (I am also shooting for a race in Boston and other cities as my budget allows.)

Trippin’

This year I went to Virginia (visiting family and friends), Charlotte (runner’s conference), and Las Vegas (fitness conference).

2014 Plans include trips to St. Louis, Cleveland, and a few cities where I hope to run in races as mentioned above.

4 Big I-Want-To-Dos in 2014

These are listed in the order in which I think will be hardest to easiest to achieve:

  1. Learn how to swim
  2. Learn self-defense techniques (I had a scary encounter while running alone the other day)
  3. Finish a half-marathon (at least one, as mentioned above)
  4. Launch my new book Continue reading “What Have You Done All Year?”

Hi and Bye Hiatus

It’s been 3 months since I’ve posted, and that may be my longest unannounced hiatus. I haven’t abandoned writing, but I don’t like feeling forced to say something just to be making noise.  So here’s some substance for ya:

  • Churchless but not Godless: I was shocked to come home from my BGR Race trip that I documented in my last post to learn that my pastor was no longer with my church. A few months and many meetings later, he has announced the launch of his own church, which will start with at least 2,000 people. It’s kind of mind-blowing. Being without a church home has been hard, but I benefited from going to a women’s bible study at another local church. It made me look at my life differently and feel less negative about certain circumstances. Others have noticed too: when I visited my family for Thanksgiving, my mother and my best friend (in separate, private conversations) told me that I had a new light about me, that something was different and I seemed happier. Despite me temporarily being without a church home, I can say is having regular quiet time with God makes the difference.

20131204_183640

  • Proof is approved: My forthcoming relationship book Ending the Blame Game is official! I will announce the launch by Spring 2014. Honestly, I’m not looking forward to all the work with marketing it, but it must be done. I need to take a break from writing books for a little bit.
  • Who would hack me? My professional website was down for a few days due to hacking, but thankfully my partner was able to correct the issues. GoDaddy gave little information and I thought about switching to another host, but I still have 6 years I’ve paid for left with them. 😦

    Highlights from my birthday weekend
    Highlights from my birthday weekend
  • 20131103_132052eBest. birthday. ever. in November: I invited friends to do activities with me that I already wanted to do: movies, hitting the shooting range, and of course eating. A bunch of folks joined me, including a few from out of town to show me love.
  • Keeping it under wraps: You may notice above I have a couple of “new dos”. I’m growing my hair out, and although I still accept my natural hair, it’s not pretty right now because it’s grown out of its style and a perm isn’t the answer. I’ll probably go back to braids this winter.

Check me out tomorrow: I visited the family in November also, and they are coming to my place for Christmas. I also have some running stuff to recap since my last post, including my fear of dogs and racing sign-up frenzy. 🙂

 

Get What’s Wrong With Me? for Free! (Kindle Promo)

kdp-wwwm-cover-iconI’m excited to announce that my book What’s Wrong With Me? is available on Kindle for FREE for four days this week (April 8-11, 2013 only) as my first Kindle promotion. My ebook is available in all formats, but when I read about the benefits of KDPSelect for authors, I had to take advantage of it. (Amazon is known to frequently change their policies, and not always in favor of independent authors/publishers).

Don’t own a Kindle device? You can read ebooks on your PC, tablet or phone for free with Kindle software from Amazon.  (not an affiliate link)

This Kindle promotion is also being featured on a number of great ebook sites, including:

Bargain ebook Hunter
ebooks Habit
The eReader Cafe
Kindle Book Promos
The Kindle Book Review Daily Freebie Alert
Snickslist
StoryFinds

Will You Help a Sista Out?

Share my work with teen girls (and their parents) you know. Also, if/when you read the book, please post a review. (I don’t shy away from compliments nor constructive criticism!) More reviews help me greatly. Thank you for supporting this blog and my books! 🙂

Ending the Blame Game: New Book Coming Soon!

ebg-cover-dareeallen-2013In 2011, my cousin asked me if I would write a book that gives black men a voice in relationships and allow them to speak out, uninterrupted.
Ending the Blame Game is compiled from interviews from of educated black men who are single, divorced or remarried with one thing in common: they have experienced single fatherhood and desire to lead a loving black family, and they want to share their voice. Their stories give women insight into the minds of single black fathers who want to be a part of a cohesive family unit, and just want to tell their side of the story. Who says men don’t want to talk? Whether its infidelity, lack of father figures, child support, divorce, breakdown in communication and overall attitudes about the black male-female dynamic, they’ve got it covered.
In their own voices, each single father featured shares and discusses what they perceive as obstacles to healthy, committed relationships; instilling their own confidence as men; ways that black women can be supportive of them; how to foster better communication; and how to create a nurturing environment for healthy relationships. But that’s not the end-all-be all: at the end of each chapter is an expert’s analysis, tips, and suggestions for solutions.
Special thanks to all of my friends who gave me input on various book cover mock-ups last month.  I’ll give you all updates and what to expect over the coming months.

 Read a Book Excerpthttps://dareeallen.leadpages.co/leadbox-943.js