Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Story Behind Rise by D. U. Okonkwo

Getting published was a gradual process for me. After Rise had undergone various rounds of revisions, including having a professional freelance editor take it apart, I did what first time writers do: sought to get Rise traditionally published. Even though the book industry was changing drastically and more authors were empowering themselves by publishing themselves, I had my head buried way to deeply in the old system to fully understand the new changes taking place!

After about four years of revising the book, sending it out to agents and publishers and getting close but not close enough to land a publishing deal, I finally ... finally started to research into what was really happening within the industry. I soon learned that more and more readers are buying books online, that bookstore shelves are dwindling; holding more cuddly toys and board games than books. I also discovered that readers aren't concerned with who a book is published by, what they want is a good quality book reasonably priced, and so that was what I aimed for.

In this new digital age, it is very easy for authors to publish themselves, retain the licensing rights to their work. This means retaining control of their work. This is huge. I believe that authors generations past would have jumped at this opportunity that we authors now have at our disposal.

A literary agent was considering Rise for representation at the time I decided to self-publish, and so I emailed her and withdrew Rise from submission. I then set up my own publishing company, then set about putting my publishing together. I subscribed to several great industry blogs such as The Book Designer, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing, Book Marketing Tools, and The Creative Penn, just to name a few. All of the sites offer great information on how to self-publish the right way.

My publishing team includes: an editor, cover designer, and a formatter. All of these came recommended from either the blogs I mentioned above, or by other authors. I paid for these services only once, and I found great deals which made the whole process very affordable.

Next, I ordered ISBN numbers from the UK ISBN agency. Again this eas ery simple to do, and the ISBNs, which you fill out a form to receive, landed in my inbox a few days after submitting the ISBN application. I was issued ten ISBNs, and I used three of those ISBNs for Rise: one for my paperback version, another for my eBook version, and I will use a third for the audiobook of Rise. It means I have seen ISBNs left to use on forthcoming novels.

Publishing on online retailers such as Amazon is as easy as filling out a form and attaching a file. For readers who don't own a Kindle for an ereading device, I partnered with Draft2Digital to reach them. It's amazing that in this day and age, an author has the same reach as a large publisher, as publishers also upload their authors' books to these same online retailers.

When I first heard of self/indie publishing, it seemed overwhelming, but I have to admit that I've really enjoyed the business side of getting my book to market. I didn't think I would, but I love the sense of empowerment that being in control of your own creative work gives. I decide where and how I publish my book, and when. I decide on how I want my cover to look, and I decide which companies I distribute Rise through. Beautiful.

Some authors don't enjoy the business side of publishing. Truth is though, in every job there are aspects that we may not enjoy. But I think that sometimes we have to either learn to like it or just suck it up and get our heads down and get those aspects done. The alternative is to give someone else the power to make money on your behalf. In this case, you have to pray that the people or company that you've given control of your book to make the right business decisions on your behalf, and pays you fairly.

I have fully embraced the digital age. I'm grateful that I was born at such a time as this. More importantly, I give thanks every day that I decided to learn more about what was happening in the industry so that I could make an informed business decision that works for me.

About The Book:

Title: Rise
Author: D.U. Okonkwo
Publisher: A Few Words Press
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Pages: 355
ISBN: 978-0993161711 (Paperback) / 978-0993161704 (eBook)
Genre: Literary Fiction
Format: eBook (.mobi / Kindle), ePub, PDF

The extraordinary story of how a facially-scarred and reclusive sculptress breaks free upon discovering the true source of self-esteem. 

Riana "Ria" Ofor is a gifted sculptress whose beautiful creations could draw crowds. But due to the childhood accident that left her facially-scarred, she avoids selling her work publicly, instead scraping a living through online sales. But when a home repossession notice arrives, both her love for sculpting, as well as her home, suddenly come under threat.

Now she is forced to step out of her comfort one and enter the very public world of gallery showings. When she does land a gallery contract however, she finds herself the target of a rival artist after the very same contract. And with malicious lies, he intends to make her regret taking what should have been his. Now, for the first time, Ria must look to find a truth that conquers all lies.

Purchase The Book:

About The Author:

Born and raised in London, D.U. Okonkwo writes commercial literary fiction. She graduated from the University of Salford with a BSc in Business with Spanish which included an ERASMUS exchange living in Salamanca, Spain. Rise is her first novel.

Connect with D.U.:
Author Website:  www.duokonkwo.com
Author Blog: www.duosblog.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/duokonkwo
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/duosays
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/4305929-d-u-okonkwo

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