peeps: Dee Doanes
Dee Doanes is the author of the paranormal mystery The Man With the Green Suitcase. Her first novel (she had previously published short stories and poetry), Green Suitcase has already received considerable praise from book reviewers, including The Midwest Book Review.
Dee has a background in copywriting, communications, and social media, and lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s active in several charities, conducts a youth poetry workshop for the Atlanta Writers Club Youth Writing Camp, and is the former co-chair of the Writing in the Schools Program for Georgia Writers. But that’s still not enough stuff to do for busy Dee, so in her “spare time” she enjoys attending writing events and workshops, fitness training, collecting art, world travel and gourmet cooking.
How Dee Got Started Self-Publishing
Although a literary agent was interested in her book, with Dee’s marketing background no doubt influencing her thinking and course of action, she thought about all the different things she could accomplish on her own and then decided to make a go of it.
She used 99designs.com to have a distinctive and low cost book cover illustration and design produced (for $299). “This was very important,” she says. “I saw some poorly designed book covers in the marketplace from self-published authors. If you want to compete with mainstream published authors you can’t look like an amateur!”
She also spent money on a professional book editor, who cost her $1,300 but was well worth the money. “Once again, I saw that some self-published writers hadn’t done this,” she points out. “Readers don’t want to read bad grammar, misspellings, etc. Stephen King, James Patterson and other professional writers always use editors. Self-published writers have to do the same thing to compete.”
Self-Publishing Observations and Tips
- “Research the writers market thoroughly. Writing isn’t just a craft, it’s a business.”
- “Keep up with the latest publishing trends. The marketplace has been changing a great deal over the last year.”
- “You must know how to market yourself effectively or you won’t make any money.”
- “The trend in publishing now is for major publishers to find new, talented self-published writers and sign them to digital book deals. And just because you get a publishing deal doesn’t mean that your work is done. Even well-known publishing houses don’t have large marketing budgets set up for new writers. That budget is for the big names like Stephen King or James Patterson. Publishers expect new authors to come equipped with a platform to market books. This could be a large email list, social media following or visible online presence.”