I'm author and editor Holly M. Kothe. Thanks for stopping by my writing and review blog.
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jumping Into Indie Publishing

It is my honor to present to you fine, fellow coffee lovers (and the poor souls whose taste buds don't enjoy the nectar of the gods), my FIRST EVER guest blog post. I couldn't have asked for a subject more fitting, as The Oddville Press has just released its first comeback issue and it is full of respected writers and artists worthy of great fanfare. Without further ado, here's the talented writer and editor, and a celebrated new addition to the Oddville staff, Charles Whaley.

How does one join the indie publishing industry?

Everyone has to start somewhere, and there are so many places you can begin. Some people might release a novel right off the bat; others develop their name by starting a blog. Many indie authors make submissions to the zine market to raise their reputation and exposure. All of them dove right in.

Indie publishing is a flooded market of “pick me” where everyone is fighting for attention. To break in, one should be ready to take initiative.

I started developing my writing with short stories and poetry that I’d share amongst my friends and family. It had always been my dream to share my words with the world, but I didn’t think I was ready. Instead, I put everything I wrote on a personal blog.

I polished. I shared. I went nowhere.

I don’t know why I expected I might. I kept to my own little island, promoting only through my personal Facebook. Sure, I got some views. A few people really liked reading my posts, though I often wondered how many people who managed to find my blog stayed around long enough to finish one post – if they even started.

To go anywhere, I was going to have to start getting more involved. I joined the Writer’s Beat community and started interacting with other writers outside of personal acquaintance. I still wasn’t doing much, but it was a start. I put up a couple posts to showcase my work, glad to finally know people I’ve never met would be reading my fiction with interest.

They tore my posts apart. The feedback I received was positive, but left no shadows to hide my flaws. It was exactly what I needed.

I began work on my next story with the criticism I had received in mind. What came out was beautiful, and even brought tears to my eyes as I wrote the end. I called the story Beneath the Cherry Tree and submitted it to The Oddville Press. I had spent years of my life writing, but I had never made a submission like that before. It made me nervous, to be honest. The Oddville Press was an impressive ezine that I would have been honored to be published in. Alas, the universe had other plans.

The Writer’s Beat community has an area for classifieds. Among it, I found a listing that would thrust me into the indie publishing industry. The Oddville Press was seeking new editors.

Why not, I thought to myself.

I took a chance. Unexperienced, but ready to learn, I messaged the managing editor. A few messages later and I was part of the staff. It meant rescinding Beneath the Cherry Tree, but I was willing to do so for the better foot in the door than a one-time publication. These were my dreams at stake.

At first, I found myself overwhelmed. I had no idea what I was doing, or even where to start. All I had was some basic, though incomplete, instructions. All I knew was I had said I’d be able to do the job. So I just dove right in. I began reading the slush pile, trying my best not to jump at the first story that seemed impressively written. Finally, I found a story titled The Art of Grieving. It was absolutely the best I had found among the slush pile, so I took it forward to the next step; actually, I brought it all the way. The Art of Grieving will appear in The Oddville Press Volume II, issue II. It felt like a success; a victory. I started with uncertainty and still managed to shine.

Always one to take experiences and lessons and expand them, I made my next move by starting an online journal – The Adventurous Pen.

I’m still new to the indie publishing industry. Actually, I’m still vey new. I’ve come quite a ways from where I used to be because I took my chances. My name may still be small, but it’s there now. While the path I took into the industry is only one of many, I learned that the best way in is to jump. A writer is an entrepreneur. You can’t sit back and wait for things to happen. They might, but only if you make them first.

How does one join the indie publishing industry?

By taking initiative.

So how did you get into the indie publishing industry?


    Charles Whaley

Charles Whaley writes fiction and non-fiction alike with the goal of ascending to the heights of names like Lewis Carroll or Aldous Huxley. Charles believes that stories should be written every day both on and off the page; relishing the human experience of life by hiking, hitchhiking, camping and volunteering at festivals as often as possible. He edits for The Oddville Press and publishes The Adventurous Pen.    


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    Gold & silver chain by the inch

  2. Thank you for the comment! I'm so glad you read the blog. Much appreciated (:

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