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  • Writer's picturedizzylaurel1

Going back to school was SO worth it!

Late last summer I heard that our local community college had created a specialized diploma program for writers called Publishing for Writers. With only two courses required, it grabbed my attention. The fall class was called "Pathways to Publishing" and it gave an overview of the process in both traditional and self publishing. The spring class has been "Self Publishing" and we've explored self and indie publishing in depth. With just one final class to go I'm feeling both proud of the growth and sad to see it end.

I remember contacting the professor about whether I could really handle the workload on top of my tutoring business, and after deliberation I decided to step out in faith and go for it. I had completed my nonfiction book "Sets on a Shoestring" in April of 2017, and after having it edited I had stuck it on a shelf and left it alone. I figured this year would be that "kick in the butt" I needed to get it back OFF the shelf, and was I ever correct!

In the course of the year I have had more beta reading done, made several rounds of revisions and edits, and am now in the final steps before indie publishing on July 1st. After exploring the traditional route in the fall I had two requests for full book proposals after querying, but both came back with rejections. However, as I learned more about the industry and the process, I felt myself being pulled more toward keeping control and publishing on my own. In some ways it's more work, but I've learned so much with this class and feel ready to send my work out there.

Over the course of nine months I've completed some assignments -- here are just a few:

annotated publishing professionals list, complete book proposal, in-person pitch presentation at a conference, query letter, annotated SELF-publishing professionals list, launching a website, building an author platform, locating and hiring professional editors and cover designers, a publishing timeline with specific goals and steps, presentations on other successful indie authors, and year long class discussions with many who have become treasured writing friends. All of this headed by an inspiring and talented professor who has both encouraged and challenged me every step of the way. I will truly miss my Mon/Wed buddies after this week!

If this journey sounds interesting, know that this diploma program is now available ONLINE as well, and well worth every penny you spend. I've included the link below for those who might be interested -- and you can always contact me for more information.

Nine months of learning, and now looking ahead to my release date -- definitely as exciting as giving birth! And did I mention that during the year I also managed to write my first contemporary young adult fiction book? Let's save that for another post!

LINK to Northampton Community College "Publishing for Writers" specialized diploma:

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