Y’all. Publishing a book is hard work. You have to go through the constant querying, rejections– and then when you finally find someone who likes your work, there’s no guaranteeing that it will actually go to print or see any success. Still, it can be one of the most exciting times for a beginning author, and as a result the self-publishing trend has sort of, well, taken off.
One of the many authors who are not choosing to self publish is Dianna Gunn, author of MOONSHADOW’S GUARDIAN, her second book. (check out the first one, KEEPER OF THE DAWN, here). I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity to share a piece which she wrote about self publishing with all of you. I personally found it to be super inspiring, and hopefully you will as well!
How Self Publishing Empowers Authors
For all of its flaws, this decade is still the most exciting time to be a writer, for one reason: the rise of self publishing. No longer a last resort, self publishing is now a respectable business decision. It’s a valid way to build your career.
This is an amazing thing for a whole slew of reasons, but most of them really boil down to one thing: empowerment. The term empowerment has been overused in recent years, becoming something of a buzzword, but I believe it still has meaning. And, frankly, I can’t think of a better word for how self publishing, and the internet in general, has changed authors’ lives.
The gatekeepers no longer matter. In the brave new world of publishing, there’s nobody to tell us our stories are too queer or diverse or even just too weird to sell. We are the only ones who can stop ourselves from telling our stories. Our readers are the ones who decide whether or not those stories will sell. And as writers who have been touched by others’ books, we know that there is always someone who will see themselves in our stories.
Our careers, our success, rests in our own hands. As self published authors, we decide when our books are ready. We choose editors who understand our vision, who will improve our books without changing the story we set out to tell. We decide how much love and care goes into our title and blurb and cover art. We set our own marketing budgets, and choose the specific marketing tactics we’ll use.
For some, this is actually the drawback of self publishing, but to me, this is the most empowering thing of all. Writers, especially marginalized writers, are too often beholden to other people for our livelihoods. There’s nothing more powerful than taking full control of your income. Suddenly, nobody’s opinion about your work matters – and that’s when I believe you do the best work.
My Own Self Publishing Journey
Last month, I embarked on one of the greatest adventures of my life: self publishing my second book, Moonshadow’s Guardian, set to release in November 2018. But I made the decision to self publish it almost three years ago. Moonshadow’s Guardian subverts typical fantasy in a way that makes it a hard sell to traditional publishers, but I know there are readers out there craving exactly this type of change. They want the fantasy genre to change, grow, expand.
I want the same thing, and I won’t let anyone water Moonshadow’s Guardian down. So instead of the traditional gatekeepers of publishing, I’m letting readers decide if Moonshadow’s Guardian will sell. And so far, they’ve funded over 85% of my Kickstarter campaign for professional editing, proving what I knew all along: there is room for ALL of our stories.
Moonshadow’s Guardian: Blurb
All Riana has ever wanted is freedom. Unfortunately, that’s the one thing her kind cannot have.
Bound by the curse in her demonic blood for millennia, Riana has tried several times to bend the rules and live out her life in the mortal realm. Now her consistent rule breaking has drawn the attention of Loki, God of Mischief, the main tormentor of Riana’s kind. But instead of punishing her, he offers her the escape she has always desired. All she has to do to is save the kingdom of Moonshadow from a mysterious magical plague.
Armed only with the inherent power of her own blood and Loki’s pet dragon, Riana is determined to fight for the right to create her own destiny.
However, when her mission forces her to destroy the last remnants of an ancient culture, Riana must ask – what is freedom really worth?
Moonshadow’s Guardian is a tale about the meaning of belonging, and the struggle to create a future not defined by your past.
About the Author
Dianna Gunn is a freelance writer and social media manager by day and a fantasy author by night. Her first book, Keeper of the Dawn, was released in April 2017 by The Book Smugglers Publishing. Her second book, Moonshadow’s Guardian, is set to release in November 2018. When she’s not writing or reading, she can usually be found playing video games or ranting on Twitter @DiannaLGunn.
There aren’t that many days left to help contribute to Dianna’s kickstarter fund, so if you’re feeling inspired, head over and help her writing career thrive!
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