Friday Extra: Being an Indie Author
Today's blog is just an extra release because I am feeling frustrated and thought this would be a great opportunity to share some insight into the life of an indie author. Most people who read my blogs already know I am actually Stephen Burckhardt. I have been working so hard trying to get part five done and ready to go before Halloween but it's not going to happen.
People often wonder why it takes me so long to write novellas. They think being a writer means all I do is write and there are other people to do everything else. That could not be further from the truth, especially for Indie Authors.
I not only write the books but format them, do first edits (I do pay a professional to do the final edits for me, to date he has made way more money off of my books than I have), design the covers, websites, and all promotional material. I write all the blogs, design and schedule all the ads, run two websites, two chat groups, 9 social media sites, not including ones I have for personal use. I have author pages on sites like Goodreads, All Author, Amazon and other author promotion sites. I belong to so many Facebook writing/book promotion groups I lost count long ago. Every ad, email, video, basically anything you see that is connected to my books, I have created, edited, designed, posted, and maintain. Actually sitting down to write my books takes the least amount of my time in the whole process.
Now, I am not complaining about any of that. In fact, I love doing it all. I am just pointing out what all goes on behind the scenes to produce, promote, and maintain even one novella as an indie author. If I had any kind of operational budget, I would happily hire a few people to take on a some of those responsibilities but that requires income that I do not have at the moment.
I had worked really hard at the beginning of October to work ahead on all of my social media posts so I could have a good week or so to just focus on writing part five of my serial. I had great plans today to get up and spend the entire day writing. It's about 5:30 PM here at the time of writing this blog and not a word has been written on my book and here is why.
Right now here in Germany, the Frankfurter Buchmesse, the world's largest book trade fair, is going on. Due to Covid19, they added a virtual component to this year's events for those of us who can't or did not want to go to a large, indoor, public gathering. Being immune compromised, I signed up for the virtual event and have a virtual "booth" at this year's fair. For some reason, the link to my webpage has not been working since my booth went live. I had re-entered the text a few times and it still did not work so eventually I contacted tech support.
A very helpful person spent the morning going back and forth with me in email. I was first told the problem was with my site however, I was able to find that the link code on their site was adding extra information in the link when you clicked on it. This extra text needed to be deleted on their side. I sent this to new information back to tech support and they were able to clean up the link. However, he informed me that my site was being flagged on their end as a potentially dangerous site and I should check my website's SSL certificate.
(Note: for those who don't know what an SSL certificate is, basically it lets web browsers that are accessing your site know that your site is safe and not going to crash the visitor's system)
So then, I went onto the site where I bought my domain and checked my SSL certificate. It wasn't showing one for my website . . . nothing . . . nada . . . it was just gone. What it did show was an ad stating I needed to purchase one for this domain. Without even thinking about, I bought the basic SSL certification, but it was still not showing one. By that point, I just wanted to give up trying to figure this all out on my own and contacted tech support on the domain host site. I spend the next several hours in tech support chat, going round and round with the tech support person about what happened to my SSL certification.
They were polite and professional but kept asking me the same questions over and over. Eventually, I had to call in my IT Architect husband to talk to the person because I was getting too frustrated with the whole thing. By 3 pm we still did not have an SSL certificate on my site and were told to just wait and see if it shows up tomorrow. My Mastercard shows a pending charge from my domain host site but for $0, so who knows if it is going to work or not. The Frankfurter Buchmesse ends this weekend. My first experience with this incredible event may be a total bust.
I hope I will still get some valuable information out of their online seminars and make some connections in the networking platform. Only time will tell. Here is hoping I have better luck tomorrow and actually get the first chapter of book five in my computer. Heck at this point even the first paragraph will still be progress. Cross your fingers for me.
Due to unforeseen technical issues this event will need to be rescheduled for a later date.