Going Commando — Guest post by Maria Zannini

Please join me in welcoming Maria Zannini on her Indie Roadshow!

Going Commando

According to the Urban Dictionary, going commando refers to not wearing any underwear. When Barbara asked me if indie publishing was liberating, ‘going commando’ was the first thing that crossed my mind.

Indie publishing defies convention. Often times it’s ingenuous and a little rowdy. Authors tend to speak their minds, perhaps because they don’t have the restraints of traditional publishing. Or maybe it’s the passion required to go it on your own.

Indie authors sometimes have rough edges. Their books range from the primitive to the ultra sophisticated. They’re mavericks at heart and that’s a good start.

Despite the entrepreneurial aspect of self-publishing, it also requires an immense amount of dedication and focus to see this all the way through. Nowadays, even agents are getting in on the act and ‘assisting’ authors to self-publish, but in the early days, it was all up to the author.

Is it liberating? Absolutely. It’s also one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. (Not that that’s ever stopped me before.)

What I love best about indie publishing:

• I got to create my own cover art. My only limitation was how much I wanted to spend on the photographs.

• I was able to set my own timetable.

• The copyright belongs to me. It’s all mine, both for story and art.

What I hate about indie publishing:

• Distribution still sucks. There is so much competition that you have to find a way to distinguish yourself. Even writing a good book isn’t enough.

• You have to pay for everything.

Can You Go Commando? Answer these five questions.

• Are you self-motivated?
• Do you have the means to hire editors and designers if you need them?
• Are you willing to stay the course? (Success generally doesn’t occur overnight.)
• Do you like to network?
• Do you have thick skin?

If you answered yes to all these questions, you have the cahonas to go commando. It’s not for everyone. You’re basically publishing without a net. If the book goes sour, you earn all the blame. But if the book is a winner, you also get all the glory.

I think a lot of it will depend on your level of self-confidence. This industry can crush you like a grape. Depression is common and while friends and alcohol might help, for the most part, you’re on your own. Publishing has never been for the weak. Indie publishing raises that bar even higher.

How did you do on the quiz? Can you do it? Do you think you might try it sometime in the future?

I hope you’ll follow along with the rest of the Indie Roadshow as I share the things I learned on my road to self-publishing.

The Devil To Pay is available at Amazon and Smashwords for only $2.99. It is the first book of the series, Second Chances.

Synopsis: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and bad tequila. Shannon McKee finds herself at the end of her rope, and she bargains her soul in a fit of despair.

Shannon’s plea is answered immediately by two men who couldn’t be more different from one another. Yet they share a bond and an affection for the stubborn Miss McKee that even they don’t understand.

When Heaven and Hell demand their payment, Shannon has no choice but to submit. No matter who gets her soul, she’s not getting out of this alive.

Bio: Maria Zannini used to save the world from bad advertising, but now she spends her time wrangling chickens, and fighting for a piece of the bed against dogs of epic proportions. Occasionally, she writes novels.

Follow me on Facebook or my blog.


22 thoughts on “Going Commando — Guest post by Maria Zannini

  1. Barbara, thank you for inviting me to your blog and for asking such a great question. Hope I answered it to your satisfaction.

    How do you feel about self-publishing? Would you ever consider it?

  2. If you don’t already have them, you’ll learn to have them- along the way!

    Also writers have to save their pennies for editors. Kind of where I’ m at!

    Good Luck with the book. Have a great week…

  3. This is very good information. I like the quiz becauses it forces a person to truly look at the bare essentials needed to make it as an indie author. Honestly, I could not answer yes to all those questions right at this moment. I hope to be ready much sooner than later. The industry is changing and I want to have the flexibility to roll with the punches. Seems indie authors are the ones with the extra “stuff” to do more than survive.

    • Hi Angela! And good for you for being able to answer the quiz honestly. Self-publishing isn’t for everyone–nor should it be. To be honest, I’m sort of surprised I tried it with fiction. I always thought my first foray into self-publishing would be nonfiction.

  4. I’m with Angela here…

    Great post Maria, and I love the title. Self-publishing is a little like that. You have to have the confidence to pull it off. Of course my mind goes to men wearing kilts…there’s the risk someone’s going to flip the kilt and flash the family jewels to the world yet there has to be a sense of freedom, of doing something that goes against conventions.

  5. Well four out of five ain’t bad. 🙂 I don’t have the means to hire outside help, but depend on very tough multiple CPs for feedback. I’ve been lucky to find some great affordable images for covers too.
    The “liberation” notion was exactly what prompted me to self-pub the first in a series (I’m not locked into any one publisher for the remainder of the series) and my dark fantasy, Dead to Rights, which doesn’t fit neatly into any genre. I love being able to work on my own timetable too.
    For me, it’s definitely an experiment. I’ve always been one of those who tries things when others say you shouldn’t! There’s no magic bullet for any of us, traditional or epubbed or self-pubbed. I’m just grateful it’s such a great ride!

    • Ref: I’ve always been one of those who tries things when others say you shouldn’t!

      Yeah. Count me as one who regularly spits in the wind. 🙂 What fun is life if you don’t take any risks?

  6. Great post! According to your quiz I could self publish but I can’t afford an editor. I love the whole “going commando” statement. I guess going with that, if self publishing is going commando and traditional publishing is then wearing granny panties. Where does that leave epublishing? Is that wearing a thong? lol.

  7. Even if you traditionally publish, you probably should be doing all of the bullets in your quiz, except for No. 2. When you look at it that way, we’re already 80 percent prepared to transition to self-pubbing, should we decide to go that route. 🙂

  8. I doubt I’ll be going commando any time soon 😉 but your blog tour has been fascinating, Maria. Kudos to Barbara for asking if self-publishing is liberating. I was curious, too.

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