7 Tips for Writing, Releasing, and Publishing Your Book | Regal Hearts

Anastasis Faith

Today we have a guest post from Livy Jarmusch who we interviewed recently. She is releasing another book in the form of several episodes, called Regal Hearts, and they are getting great reviews!

          As part of the celebration, Livy has given us an inside peak at her writing, releasing, and publishing journey!





          A creative spirit is a blessing from Heaven. (Really, it is.)

          Although, I will be the first to admit, that there are days when it feels like a curse.

          Walking around this tattered planet with so many words, visions, characters, and lands, locked up inside your belly can make you feel like an over-due pregnant lady. The only problem, is that you've been pregnant for years. The visions that you've seen in your heart, and the characters that you've chatted with over tea in your brain, are so vividly real to you.

          At first, the idea of writing a book is exciting and whimsical. Words rush out of your soul like a waterfall, tumbling onto the pages, and you're ecstatic to release what you've been dreaming of for so long! The first twenty-five or fifty pages are like bliss.

          This is going to be a best-seller! You squeal to nobody but yourself, This world needs my story! This is the most brilliant idea since Pride and Prejudice! If only Jane Austin could see me now! She would be so proud!

          But then, the hardships hit. Everything freezes up, your brain is in a total fog, and you feel like jumping ship. "This is the worst idea ever!" You scream, ready to throw your story through the paper-shredder.  "How could I possibly be any LESS original than this?! I stink! I am never going to be a successful writer!"

          We've all been there. The inner critics raise their voices, and spew their ugly words into your mind. The nasty mud-slingers try to make you think that your story is a complete waste of time. You can't write, you'll never be good enough, nobody cares what you have to say...

          Lies. Lies. Lies.

          Over the past year, God has taken me on a journey. A journey that took me from a muddy pit of lies, and into the glorious freedom of the liberty of Christ. He has freed me, and He has freed my pen!

          So now I’d like to share several tips and things that I’ve learned along the way! So here we go, my top 7 Writing, Releasing and Publishing Tips! 

1. Turn off Your Inner Critic, and Forget the Rules

          There’s nothing that kills creative writing faster than our inner critic. You know, that voice which spits out lies which say, “You’re not a good writer, you’re never going to be, you’ll always struggle with writer’s block, nobody will ever like what you write…” those voices have to be shut down.

When you sit down at your computer and begin crafting your tale, pray first, and ask the Lord to help you ignore the lies! Truth is, you are a writer. Just the fact that you have the desire to write, and are actually sitting down and attempting to make it happen, speaks volumes about the gift inside of you!

          What you’re writing is not horrible. It’s just practice!           Everyone looks back at their first few stories and wishes they could throw them away, but that’s a good thing…it means that you’re growing! And the more you write, the better you will get…I promise!

          Your time at the computer is a time to be creative. Not a time to be critical. The purpose of your first draft is to daydream and have a total blast with it! Editing comes later.           Don’t allow yourself to edit while you’re working on your first draft! Just have fun, and go with whatever comes. You can make changes later. Stay focused on the fun, creative side of things, and it will be way more enjoyable, and your story will flow much easier! For your first draft, there are not any rules. Embrace the wild freedom of the first draft, and just go for it!

2. Set Realistic Goals for Yourself

          I think we can all agree on something as writers. Finishing stories can be really, really hard! It’s easy to begin, bursting out of the starting gate in a fury of excitement, but after a while the inspiration seems to evaporate, writers block kicks in, and writing feels like nothing more than an uphill battle of WORK.

          As much fun as writing is, it also requires a lot of endurance and stick-to-it-ness! The temptation to give up can be oh-so-real. But setting goals for yourself, and keeping yourself on a track that is moving forward, is something I’d recommend to every writer! Because, the only way to get better is to keep writing. I’ve found that the more often you write, the more you’re able to exercise your writing skills, and the better you get!

          So what’s a realistic goal for you? Writing 10 pages a month? 5 pages a week? My personal goal is 5 pages a day. Sometimes I make it, and sometimes I don’t, depending on my schedule, but aiming for 5 pages a day keeps me accountable and requires that I have to keep moving forward! I would definitely recommend that you choose a good goal for yourself, and work at it! (And don’t forget to celebrate each accomplishment with a little reward! Chocolate, a good movie, or a long walk are all nice incentives!)

 3. Be Your Reader’s Eyes


          Before writing a scene, I like to visualize everything about it. I like to imagine that I’m watching a TV show unfold, and try to be as clear in my mind as possible about what each character looks like, feels like, and what’s happening around them. Even if I don’t describe every little detail, I like to at least know for myself.

          For example, if the scene is happening in a green meadow, I like to Google images of green meadows, just so I can get a clear image in my mind before I try to write. It’s important to remember that our readers are blind. They have never stepped inside your mind, and they don’t know a thing about your characters or this world you’re building…so you have to be their eyes. You have to hold their hand, and guide them into this imaginary world by using clear, descriptive words. One of my favorite, classical authors is Laura Ingles Wilder. She was a great writer, because she grew up describing everything to her blind sister Mary. She was her eyes, and she had learned how to describe everything in a way that made sense to someone who couldn’t see what Laura saw. That’s what we get to do as writers!

          So take Laura’s advice, and practice being the eyes for your blind readers.

4. Get Some Feedback!


          Before making your book available for the entire world to see, it’s a good idea to ask some friends and family (or if you’re a blogger, your readers!) to take a peek at your work, and offer their feedback! I have found this so amazingly helpful! It also helps those who read your book for free ahead of time to get excited about it, and possibly even recommend it to friends once it’s published! This is also the time to ask for reviews. If you decide to publish your book with Amazon’s self-publishing platform, reviews are super important and it’s never too early to start asking for reviews! Just make sure that when you ask, you request that they be completely honest. It’s not fair to ask a bunch of friends and family to line up and sing your praises. If someone doesn’t like your book, they are free to share that on Amazon. You want real reviews, so ask those who are reading to be completely honest! Amazon has rules against false reviews and if they are suspicious, they can remove your book from their website without warning.

5. Begin Planning Your Cover


          Your cover is super important. It’s the first thing potential readers will see when they come to your page! People really do judge a book by its cover, that’s why you want it to appear professional! For my first book, Beauty Boys and Ball Gowns, I used Amazon’s free Cover Creator, and even though it turned out okay, I still feel like it looks a little bit…eh, self-publishly. Which wasn’t a huge deal for the first book.

          But for my second, I really wanted it to sparkle and grab the reader’s attention! So, I decided to hire someone to work on the cover art. Graphic designers can also be crazy expensive, so if this is only your first or second book and don’t have several hundred dollars set away for your project, I’d recommend Fiver.com. There are many graphic designers willing to do a great job, for only $5! Each designer is different, so you want to read their reviews and make sure you’re getting a good one, but I was totally impressed with what my designer did for the cover of Secrets of Royalty! I explained my vision to her, and she made it happen! My jaw dropped, because the cover looked exactly like what I wanted it to in my mind! So yay, Fiver.com!  

6. Contact Your Fellow Blogging Friends


          One of my favorite things about the blogging world, is the community and support system built among fellow bloggers! For the most part, bloggers love to support one another! We enjoy swapping guest posts, doing interviews, and promoting other bloggers if we love their message! And so, I would really recommend the idea of having a Blog Tour! Now, this surely isn’t vital to self-publishing, but it might be a fun idea if you’re looking to spread the word about your book and reach a larger audience.

          You might be wondering, “What is a Blog Tour?” The basic idea is that instead of having a physical book tour, going from bookstore to bookstore (like many authors do), you’re traveling from blog to blog for a number of days in a row! You can ask bloggers if they’d like to be involved by either doing a review of your book, receiving a guest post from you, or doing an interview, etc. It helps get the word out about your book to new people, as well as draw attention to whoever’s blog you’ll be visiting that day.

7. Keep Going and Don’t Give UP! 


          As you can see, writing and publishing your book is not for the faint of heart! It takes a lot of time and energy and commitment on your end. But in my opinion, it’s totally worth it. I wish I could tell you that the process is a breeze, and you won’t run into any problems or reasons that might tempt you to throw in the towel...but that’s not true. The journey isn’t easy. But you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength! If He has called you to this, He will be faithful to help you every step of the way!

          No matter what happens, don’t be discouraged and don’t give up! After journeying through such a long process, the day that I finally released my first book, I was hoping that hundreds of copies would sell within the first week. When only a few were sold, I was kind of devastated. I had built up so much hope and expectation for that glorious release day, that instead of rejoicing over the fact that a handful of people were reading my words, I despised the day of small beginnings. But the Lord quickly got ahold of my heart and gave me a much needed attitude perspective. Instead of wrinkling my nose at the small, I lifted my hands in praise and said, “Thank You Lord! Thank You for every book sold! Thank you for each life being touched! This is amazing! Even if just one life is being touched and changed and affected in some way for Your glory…thank You! That is so, so humbling, and makes all of this worth it.”

          If you’re a writer, my question is: Are you willing to write for the one? Even if your book  just touches one person—wow! That is amazing! That is a victory worth celebrating! You will be eternally rewarded for that in heaven! So no matter what…don’t give up!

          Don't forget to head on over to Crown of Beauty Magazine or Amazon to start reading Regal Hearts!

Anastasis Faith / Author & Editor

Anastasis is a Texas girl who enjoys writing, blogging, and music. You can connect with her here on her blog, or at morningglorypursuingjesus @yahoo.com

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for these great tips! You've inspired me to pick up writing again. It is one of my favorite hobbies, but I haven't written anything in months.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous! Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Yes, writing has always been my favorite hobby--anything from short stories, to blog posts, to journals, to full fledged novels. I'm so glad that you've been inspired to go back to that!

      I find writing to be such a joy. :)

      Thanks so much for reading!

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