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  • Writer's pictureStuart Grant

Welcome to My Indie Author Experiment!

Do you want to take a ride with a lone indie author?

Do you want to learn what went right? What went wrong? What got missed? What should have gotten missed?

If you do, then welcome to My Indie Author Experiment!

Under the pen name K.C. Gillis I have embarked on an experiment to test the hypothesis: Can I become an indie author?

I haven’t been so bold as to say I’m making a career change, for the simple reason that there is no guarantee I will ever make a cent from writing and publishing. Having a full time job that meets my financial needs, jumping full time into a new creative endeavor (where uncertainty is king), is a risky proposition.

Early in my grown up life I was a scientist. Scientists learn how to treat knowledge uncertainty with experimentation. So I figured why not treat fiction writing and the longer term outcome of indie publishing as an experiment.

Any good scientist will tell you that once you have your hypothesis and the premise of your experiment, there are a few things that naturally come next.

Obviously, one needs to have a plan with a sequence of steps. At a high level, my plan is very simple. Write a novel (or many) and publish it (or them).

But to learn from my experiment, I need more than a plan. I need observations. I need facts. I need learnings and insights.

That’s where this blog comes in. If you’ve read this far, you probably want to know what to expect.

The primary purpose of the blog is to capture my experience as I work to publishing at least one novel. I hope to publish many. But many starts with one.

What kind of content and information should you expect to find?

Well, my indie author experiment actually started in 2017. It started slowly. Not much happened very fast. And there were periods of time where literally nothing happened. It certainly moved at a pace where a blog would have been a waste of time. So there is some history to catch up on. But trust me. I’ll be able to condense a couple of years into a handful of posts.

After catching up, I’ll move to sharing more real-time progress. I truly hope there will be something to share!

What does this mean?

It means you should expect me to cover a lot of the basics. That includes things like editing and working with editors, how to work with cover designers and select covers, building an author platform, etc. Maybe even some of the REALLY boring stuff…like what the hell comes next?

As someone who works in the marketing space, I hope to be able to also share insights from the indie author marketing experience. I’m not saying I’m going to be any good at marketing, but I know enough to be dangerous.

One observation I’ve made early on is that no indie author is really independent. There are so many elements in the process that one has to work with others. People who are true experts in their field. There are individuals who provide really practical and helpful service and advice. I’ve been fortunate to be able to work with some amazing people and I’ll share as much of those experiences as I can. Not to mention the array of tools and software that make the process more efficient and effective. Or not. You’ll see.

I will share everything I use and tell you how it helped. Or how it didn’t. We can learn from both.

When I get far enough along, this blog will be where I reveal what should be pretty cool things (from an author’s point of view).

You should expect to see book cover reveals. In fact, you might get to have a vote on book covers, especially when I can’t decide.

Assuming I get past the first book, this is where I will announce future books and provide snapshots or sneak peeks. Maybe some chapters. Maybe some alternate endings. Who knows?

I also will try to build a book launch team (AKA the Gillis BLT). This will be for readers who want to get advance copies of my book for the purpose of making sure they are as error free as possible. No matter how many times my manuscripts get read by me and my team of editors, there always seems to be something to fix. The BLT will also be expected to share my books with their friends and communities. I’ll provide some thoughts on what this could look like in a future post.

Another feature will be what I call the “Story of the Story.” Anyone who subscribes to receive email from me (which also provides access to the Jordan Reed prequel) will get access to posts specific to each

novel. In these I will talk about different aspects of my writing process for the book, the ideas and inspiration for the story, plus some coverage of relevant research that helped me shape the story. These posts will be a tad more personal than what will be generally available to the public. I anticipate complementing these posts with short videos. Just in case anyone wants to hear what I say instead of just reading it.

There may also be some diversions. I love great stories, whether they be novels, TV shows, movies, or even comics. When time permits, I’ll share the stories that capture my attention.

So that’s the plan. It could change. Really, it’s almost guaranteed to change. That’s the nature of planning.

Let’s start the experiment!

Next time: Job security and being an indie author…

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