Speaking from experience, being a self-published author is challenging. Writing a book takes a lot of  time and creative energy. Then there are so many other details that need to be handled  — editors, illustrators, proofreaders, someone to format the book according to the publishing specs and let’s not forget book promotion, websites, social media and on and on.  Whew! I get tired just thinking about all the work I did for my first two books. Who knew being an author would be such hard work?
Thankfully, life is a continuous learning experience and I have finally seen the light.  I am an enlightened author — thank you Lord! Instead of splitting my focus amongst a myriad of tasks I’ve decided that for my next book I wil do things smarter, quicker and much, much easier. Would you like to know my new secret to authorship? (I knew you would; we’re all curious.)

My List of Author Shortcuts

Online Marketing Specialists. I’ve discovered that there are a group professionals who specialize in supporting authors, just like me.  These Online Marketing Specialists specialize in setting up author book tours (virtual and otherwise), creating author-centric websites that are designed to promote my books  through blog tours, social media and webinars.  Pretty cool, huh?
Transcriptionist. I am currently crafting my third book in The Witch series, but due to changes in my personal situation, I haven’t really had much time to sit down and type.  So, this time around I’m doing a great deal of my writing with my voice. It feels a bit strange talking into a machine, but if you treat it like a microphone and pretend you’re on stage, it can be quite fun. The advantage of dictating my story is that the transcriptionist will create a formatted version that I can use for my first round of editing. It’s so quick and easy I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before. You know, being an author just keeps getting better and better.
Digital Publishing Specialist. Electronic books are definitely the way that an author wants to go these days. Of course an author can do it himself, after a bit of trial and (lots of) errors, but why go through that hassle. If you are an author, hiring a Digital Publishing Specialist to transform your manuscript into the Kindle, Nook and iBooks format is a wonderful timesaver. These specialists are up-to-date on the various formatting rules and style conventions so you’re guaranteed that your manuscript will be done correctly and quickly.
In today’s world, being an author is so much more than just being able to craft an entertaining story for your readers. There are multitudinous aspects to self-publishing that having a strong team is very important. If you’re an author pressed for time (or you just want to streamline your creative process) then an Online Marketing Specialist, a dedicated transcriptionist and a Digital Publishing Specialist are your best investments.
 

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Daryl T. Sturgis is the author of The Witch Series featuring the meanest witch in town, Solstice Macaffey. He is currently working on his third installment in the series as well as an anthology of short stories.  You can download a free excerpt of his short stories at his website.

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