My Self-Publishing Journey: From Workshop to Buy Links

MelGreene 2~ By Melanie Greene

At my first RWA National conference in Atlanta last year, there was a buzz in the air: self-publishing was clearly not only on the rise, but had become a factor those in the industry couldn’t simply sideline and ignore. I’d joined RWA a few months earlier, and was eager to find a home for Rocket Man, the first novel in my Roll of the Dice series.

Of course the novel had to be great, but as I edited, I was listening and learning about self-publishing, and it was clearer by the week that this was the path I wanted to pursue. It was a bit of serendipity that CR-RWA offered Marie Force’s Self-Publishing Workshop at the end of May, just when I was looking for a serious crash course that would help me launch Rocket Man. That was just what I got, and it was exactly what I needed.

Armed with notes and lists and more lists, I realized, “I can do this! I can make it work!” There have been a couple bumps along the road, but it turns out: I was right. I self-published Rocket Man last week, and it wasn’t nearly as scary as I’d feared.

Thanks to the workshop – and to the self-pub loop that Marie Force moderates – I was able to easily negotiate buying my book cover and ISBNs, and knew what to look for when searching for an editor and formatter. I hired a graphic artist pal to create an illustration I’m using throughout the series, and took the advice of loop members as I developed my website and Facebook author page.

Here are my personal stumbling blocks, which I hope to have smoothed out when my next title comes out:

  • Setting up a seller profile on the various platforms (Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Google Play, iBooks) takes a while. It’s not complex, but the sites need time to verify your bank account, and I wish I’d done it in advance of receiving the book back from my editor.
  • iBooks does not like my pseudonym. Well, maybe they love it, but they don’t believe in it. I have to file a DBA with my county and send it as proof of my pseudonym before they’ll take my legal name off of my book in their store.
  • Rather than create a new Facebook profile for my author name, I changed my existing account name to Melanie Greene, and created a new account for my legal name, with stricter privacy settings. (And then I unfriended all of the teenagers on Melanie Greene, so I could post half-naked man pics with total abandon.) Getting my ‘real life’ friends to accept the second friend request wasn’t a problem; more difficult was explaining to those not quite as close to me that my sudden name change and the number of shirtless World Cup players I showcased didn’t mean I’d left my husband.

All in all, it’s been … easy. Exciting. Exhausting. (There are so many moving parts, and the temptation is to sit on my sofa for hours at a time, clicking from site to site and from list to spreadsheet, wondering what else I’ve forgotten to do, and also why my eyes are so dry and glassy, and why the house is so dark and quiet.)

I’m getting over the insomnia just in time to be (I hope) slightly well rested before I head to my second RWA National conference in San Antonio next week. Last year I wandered the workshops, overwhelmed but energized and just delighted to be part of the crowd. I’d hoped, but with no guarantees, to go back a year later with a book “out there” in the world.

It’s been a year of major growth and change for my writing career, which I’m proud to have launched with Rocket Man. I kind of can’t wait to see what will happen with that career over the next twelve months.

Melanie Greene, the CR-RWA PRO Liaison, writes steamy contemporary romance and sometimes stops typing long enough to tell one of her teenage sons to do their chores. She imported her husband to Texas from Dublin, which means she has to go to Ireland every year to visit his family, but they always come back to her hometown. ROCKET MAN, the first in her ROLL OF THE DICE series, is available now.  Find out more at or follow her @dakimel .

9 thoughts on “My Self-Publishing Journey: From Workshop to Buy Links”

  1. Congratulations on the book. Your cover is gorgeous. I can’t believe San Antonio is next week. I look forward to hearing lots of authors’ stories about how they came to the decision about the publishing method and style that worked best for them. Thank you for sharing your own experiences and reasons behind your decisions. I’m glad this experience has gone (relatively well) for you so far. Best of luck.

    1. Thanks, Tanya – I can’t believe I’ll be packing in a week! (Well, packed, ideally….)

      It’s been interesting, becoming more tuned in to the self-pub world and the thinking people are doing about it. Kind of fun to be building a self-pub platform these days.

  2. Jessica Ruddick

    Thanks for sharing! I’m also on the fence with self-publishing, and it’s helpful to hear about other writers’ experiences.

    1. I was on the fence for a while – it was my back-up plan, before the book was ready. But the more I learned, the more sure I was that it was the right fit, certainly for this series. I’m completely happy with my decision to make it Plan A.

  3. I’m planning to attend a lot of self-pub workshops next week, Melanie, to see if that’s what I want to do. I may be doing a lot of brain-picking in the future (people may start ducking when they see me coming!)

    1. Megan did my formatting, Kay, and was so easy to work with (as you’d expect.)

      I’m sure I’ll see you in several of those self-pub workshops – I have to learn how long the list of things I don’t know yet is. And meanwhile, I vote that you do self-pub – I can see it being a fantastic route for you. (Plus, I like having company on the journey.)

  4. So very exciting “other” Melanie! I applaud all your hard work and appreciate you sharing the bumps in the road as a way to help smooth the path for others who may wish to make this journey.

    Your cover is gorgeous and I can’t wait to see you in San Antonio and raise a glass in celebration with you!

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