Self-Publishing: Standing out in the crowd takes more than a good story by Linda Naughton – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Linda Naughton will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Self-Publishing: Standing out in the crowd takes more than a good story.

When I self-published my first novel over a decade ago, I had a Field of Dreams mentality about it: “If you build it, [they] will come.” I had worked hard on the story; I was proud of what I had created. I naively hoped that quality would equate to success. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that’s just not the case. With millions of books published each year, success takes more than a good story.

With my current novel, Blackout Trail, I spent a lot of time researching how to make a book stand out. I invested in editing and a professional cover. I sent out advanced reader copies and submitted it to book awards. I studied the genre and figured out marketing keywords. This time around, I had a plan, rather than a vague hope, and it’s made a big difference.

All these things I learned through freely available resources on self-publishing. There are so many great sites out there, but some of the ones I’ve personally found most helpful were:

Dale L. Roberts on YouTube
M.K. Williams on YouTube
Alliance of Independent Authors
Written Word Media

All the preparation in the world still offers no guarantees. From Agatha Christie to Dr. Seuss, plenty of talented and now-famous authors received numerous rejections before their work was finally discovered. Self-publishing is no different. It’s hard not to take rejection personally. It’s hard to watch your self-published book languish in obscurity at the bottom of the sales rankings. I just try to remind myself that it’s not a reflection of my writing alone. Many other market factors affect a book’s commercial success.

Finally, it’s good to remember that commercial success isn’t the only thing that matters. Just writing and publishing a novel is an accomplishment. Even if only five people read and enjoy it, it still made an impact. You might not strike it big with your first book, but keep at it. A writing career is a marathon, not a sprint.

Doctor Anna Hastings is no stranger to disasters, having spent much of her career as an aid worker in conflict zones around the world. Yet when an electrical phenomenon known as an EMP brings down the power grid, Anna faces catastrophe on a scale she never imagined. She must learn what it means to be a doctor in a world deprived of almost all technology.

As the blackout causes planes to fall from the sky, Anna crosses paths with devoted father Mark Ryan in the chaos at the airport. Mark convinces Anna to travel with him and his seven-year-old daughter Lily to their family’s cabin in remote Maine. There Mark hopes to reunite with his wife, and find a safe refuge from a society on the brink of collapse.

Journeying across a thousand miles of backcountry trails, they will face a daily struggle against nature. Their biggest peril, though, may come from their fellow survivors. As Anna grows closer to Mark and Lily, she resolves to see them safely home. But can she hold onto her humanity in a world gone mad?

Enjoy an Excerpt

It wasn’t just our baggage carousel that had stopped; they all had. Both the overhead lights and the computer screens showing the baggage carousel assignments had gone dark too. The only light streamed in from the floor-to-ceiling windows lining the perimeter of the baggage claim area. Why hadn’t the emergency lights kicked on?

The automatic sliding doors had also stopped, confounding a gaggle of college kids trying to leave. Beyond the doors, an ominous stillness had replaced the constant bustle of parking shuttles, cars, and taxis creeping along the pickup lane. There should’ve been engine sounds. Horns. Something. Now there were just a bunch of confused and pissed-off people getting out of their vehicles.

Grumbling from the other passengers gave way to a stunned hush. Panic bubbled just beneath the surface. You couldn’t set foot in an American airport these days without being bombarded with reminders of terrorism. Everyone looked at each other, the same question written on our faces: Was this some kind of attack? What should we do? I expected some sort of alert or explanation over the loudspeaker, telling everyone to remain calm, but none came.

A thunderous crash from the opposite end of the terminal had me ducking and covering my head. Metal screeched on metal, accompanied by the tinkle of shattered glass and an ear-splitting grinding sound. A chorus of terrified cries erupted around me. I’ll admit it—I screamed too. I caught a glimpse of a plane fuselage crashing through the airport ceiling before plowing into the ground.

About the Author:Linda Naughton has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. She is the author of several novels, children’s books, and the blog Self-Rescuing Princesses. A proud geek and gamer girl, she enjoys sci-fi, disaster movies, and role-playing games. She is a software engineer, paramedic, and mother of two.

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Buy the book at Amazon or buy the paperback at the author’s website.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Thanks for letting me join you here today!

    • Long and Short Reviews says

      Thank you for stopping by and for your thoughtful guest post. Best of luck with your book! It sounds amazing.

  3. Tami Vollenweider says

    Sounds like a great journey they are on!! Good luck on your book!!

  4. Great excerpt and giveaway. 🙂

  5. The book sounds very interesting. Great cover.

  6. Tracie Cooper says

    I am so excited to read along on the journey of Doctor Anna!!

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