My brother and I lived together for a while before I married my husband. I am an avid tea drinker, and in the evenings, my little stove top kettle would whistle its mournful tune. My brother would laugh and say, "It's whining 'Pour me. Poor me!'"
Okay, so you had to be there.
Did you notice how I changed it from "Pour" to "Poor", though? The connotation of the whine certainly implied "poor." And that's what I want to share with you today. No, this isn't a pity party. This isn't going to make you feel badly. This is just to shine a light on how I've done things related to my books. This is "How to Be an Author without Spending a Dime."
Well, perhaps a little more than a dime...but as little as possible!
My husband was a pastor. I was a stay-at-home mom. We didn't have a lot of extra funds to go crazy with. Writing helped because it distracted me from going places to spend money, but that also meant I wouldn't be able to invest a lot into it. And I also placed a lot of hope in making a little extra from it.
With that hope in mind, I began to query. When nothing came of that, I started looking at contests. Any that had an entry fee, I disregarded immediately. I found a few that were free to enter. I first received a couple of honorable mentions, but then one of my manuscripts took the grand prize. That led to my first published book.
After earning a contract with a small press publisher, I thought my writing career was secure. Unfortunately, that didn't work out. This started me on the path of self-publishing. Now, it's quite possible to spend thousands of dollars getting your book launched. You need a cover design, editing, typesetting, marketing...the list goes on and on. It just depends on the quality of product you want your name on.
I've been blessed to have an amazing designer in my family who created my book covers. I have friends who have fantastic editing skills. I've painstakingly learned about typesetting, and I structure my own interior. As for the marketing, I'm a little on the lame side, and to be quite honest, I need to work more on this. But that's another blog post in itself.
Another important thing for writers to partake in are conferences. I became involved with a local writing group that holds an annual conference. I knew I needed to be part of that, but there was no way we could afford the fees. With scholarship assistance and a volunteer position, I was able to attend two years in a row. I'm now working as staff, which is awesome! I love helping out with the inner workings of this event!
It is possible to be a published author and not spend a lot of money. But again, I feel it important to stress the quality of the product. If you can't make a decent looking book--inside and out--then seek assistance! But if you're willing to learn and invest your time, you can do it.
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3