The journey for a writer is a long, laborious one. From idea, to the courage to start a novel, to refining the craft of writing, to finishing the book, learning to market, and being brave enough to put it out in the world.
Damn. It is hard soul-wrenching work!
Now, that her book is finished and she is planning her release party, I wanted to ask her a few more questions about her journey.
Me: Last time we talked, you were in the throes of just writing! Secluded, all-in and typing away.
What are you in the midst of now?
Randi: Party preparations! The release is a little more than two weeks away. I’m working on getting some publicity for it, as well as finishing up some more publishing-related tasks, such as formatting for ebook release, setting up an order page, etc.
Me: How do you feel now compared to the all-in writing?
Randi: I feel wonderful. Bouyant and satisfied, achieving a life-long dream! I’m happy I’m meeting my deadline. Reading the printed book proof was surreal, as if it wasn’t me who wrote it, as if the book exists on its own now, as it always wanted to be.
Me: One of the things that I work on with my clients is to help them get their inner stuff aligned so they can actually manifest the ways and means for getting their work exposed and to create a platform.
Did this happen for you?
Me: In what way?
Randi: I met a guy in a very random way and started working for him. He knows many locally and he has supported this journey. He’s read the book and is determined to help me sell it. We’re opening an escape game business together, and we want to design a game to include parts of my book.
Me: What happened that you would’ve never been able to plan out?
Randi: I would’ve never guessed I would meet someone like that, and that he would think so highly of my work that he would want to help get the word out!
Me: You have a big release party coming up in several weeks, what are your desires for that?
Randi: Basically, I want it to be a celebration. Of course I want to sell the book, and I’m hoping that those who have told me they’d like to read my book over the years will now cash in on their promise (no pun intended!). I want it to be an attraction for those who don’t already follow me, and to get a few more people interested in the book (and my Story Creates business), and for those that come, they have an event/story to share with their friends so the book travels via word of mouth.
Me: Is there anything in this process that you had to learn from scratch and/or surprised you?
Randi: Because I self-published, I had to learn copyediting and publishing techniques. I know what a gutter is now and how to wrangle page numbers on odd/even pages, and not on chapter headings. I’ve learned a bit about proofing, and how important it is to have the printed book in my hands (more than once it turned out!) in order to see how a digital file translates to the page. Earlier on, I had to learn how to design emails and newsletters and how to use Mailchimp (I’m still learning some more complicated features, like how to update an email address when someone changes theirs!) I had to have tutorials on Pinterest and Twitter, because I don’t use them, and the fine line of becoming noticed, but not sounding too “salesy” was a perhaps obvious conversation, but I found it difficult. Because of the escape game business opening, I was prompted to write a press release and contact the papers sooner than I was perhaps ready to, but I jumped in the deep end and so far so good.
Energetically, though, I suppose I haven’t had too many surprises. I always expected success, which is why I’ve gotten it! 🙂
Me: What will you do differently with your next book?
Randi: Give myself more time! I’m looking forward to maintaining a better work/life balance. I’m sure the next book will expand just as the first one did, so I hold no illusions about the dedication and energy it will require. I’m manifesting a writing retreat so that I can focus on drafting for one chunk of time, rather than trying to juggle several things at once.
Me: What did you learn in writing/publishing this first book that you will use for the next one?
Randi: Staying in touch with my readers. It’s been fun, it keeps me on track, and it documents my journey. The support has helped me get through some long, lonely hours of writing! And again the time frame. I’ll allow myself more time to sit back and take breaks, which is crucial for editing and sanity.
Me: Did you discover what type of platform suits you best? Are you using it and what is it?
Randi: Yes. My platform is a combination of emails for a list, local readings, and Facebook. I enjoy the face to face connection of the local readings, and the emails allow me to share a lot more than other types of social media. It feels more like a letter than “selling.” I tend to use Facebook to share events, and give the breaking news bits to those on my list as a type of reward. I like knowing I have that fan base who are dedicated to following my project, rather than just generally supportive on Facebook (though I appreciate ALL support!). I’m learning to do more in Pinterest and Twitter. I’m enjoying the former, because I can play with images, which is another treasured art form of mine.
Me: Thinking of the entirety of the project, what have been the greatest challenges and greatest rewards?
Randi: The biggest challenge was time, and sacrifice of social life, and the dedication required. Another was learning new promotional techniques and getting the knack of sharing without sounding/feeling like a spammer. (Pinterest & Twitter were foreign to me). The rewards are feeling like this is my destiny, that the book is well and truly alive, and I’m able to share ideas and start discussions on a larger scope. Another reward is simply seeing a castle of book boxes, knowing that I’ve done it! Those times I thought to take a break or extend my deadline to level my head were mitigated by the support and confidence in myself and those providing it around me, to remind me it’s worth it. Now, my dream is realized! Woohoo!
Randi Janelle is releasing her first novel on Halloween with a big release party in her town of Asheville, North Carolina. The book will also be available from her at http://randijanelle.com/story-creates.
The book is titled The Story: Deviation and is the first in a series titled The Story.
When Dan encounters The Anger, he supplements his day job as a high school math teacher with writing a novel. The Anger, a product of feeling enslaved to his job, recedes as the inspiration for his story emerges, but little does he know.
He’s not in control.
Neither are his characters.
This rich and complex novel, populated with intriguing characters of differing nationalities and beliefs and orientations, takes the reader deep into the world of “What if?”
What if you were transported to a time and space to learn the story of a person outside his or her stereotypes?
If you had to relive a series of moments, would you continue in habitual patterns, or would you deviate from them?
Who’s is in control?
About Randi JanelleRandi Janelle is a “Jackie of Many Trades” as a performance poet, photographer, yoga instructor, to name a few; publishing her novel has been a life long goal. She’s a UNCA alumna, and after living overseas for a few years, she returned to Asheville to finish her book, open a business, and enjoy the beer. She performs regular readings at Battery Park Book Exchange on Wednesday evenings from 6-7pm. Her work can be found at randijanelle.com, and her story can be followed by signing up at randijanelle.com/story-creates
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