Chronic Health Problems and Indie Publishing

I have an undiagnosed fatigue problem, and since the middle of March have been in the midst of a flare-up. The older I get the more flare-ups I get, the worse overall I get. It affects my entire life, including my writing life. I wrote an article about coping mechanisms in Vision: A Resource for Writers a while back calledย “Writing Despite Health Problems” if anyone is interested.

Of course it was going to affect my Indie efforts, as well. I have limited energy. I do not have the energy normal people have. I never will. This meant I had to prioritize where and how my energy was being spent. I do not have any to waste.

So, what is the most important aspects of the Indie publishing world? Honestly, it’s producing. For me marketing has to be put aside in favor of concentrating on producing more for my virtual bookshelf. There is no choice really. It’s either marketing what I already have out, or write. Doing both is not possible (other than the odd blog post and tweet).

Sales might be slow for me right now as a result, but I figure:

1. I just started in the middle of February and readers haven’t really started to find me yet. But, the more I have out there, the better chance I have of catching attention.
2. By continuing to concentrate on producing when a reader does find me I will have lots of items on my virtual bookshelf that a new fan can buy immediately.
3. Having goals within my abilities will not only help me business-wise in the long-term, but also keep the depression at bay about my limitations in the short-term.
4. The Indie publishing business is a marathon, not a sprint. Thank goodness, because some days I can hardly get out of a chair. By thinking long-term I’m setting myself up well for that marathon viewpoint. With Indie publishing, time is on MY side.
5. Writing good stories and publishing them immediately into all distribution channels I can find are the only part of this business I have true control over, anyway.
6. More and more evidence is rising showing that a lot of promotion is pretty much worthless anyway.

Goals? Write, and write more. Make the stories as good as I can. Have fun producing those stories. Doing so will come across to the reader who later finds them.

All of the above is within my ability. One of the hardest things to do is to let go of all the things I cannot do. But it must be done. I work hard to stop the feelings of guilt that come from all the things I cannot do. Guilt also leeches energy from a person. Kill the guilt-monster! ;D

Since starting in mid-February I have a total of 9 items up for sale, with about 9 more in the pipeline for the year. That’s a huge accomplishment. An accomplishment many who do not have these kinds of health problems cannot do. But I did, because I understood the nature of my disability, adjusted for it, prioritized, set goals, and then attacked!

To all those out there who are struggling against their own health problems, let me just say: Prioritize, and then do it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Including yourself.


J.A. Marlow

Chronic Health Problems and Indie PublishingMy latest novel, The String Weavers (The String Weavers – Book 1), is now available at online retailers everywhere.

Kelsey Hale thinks sheโ€™s just a typical mixed-up teenager. Everyone feels that way, her teachers assure her. Yet, strange things happen to her, like food disappearing before she can eat it and hearing music no one else hears.

Then a giant flaming bird drops an alien at her feet. Well, good grief, how can you ignore something like that?

Abducted from Earth, the only planet sheโ€™s ever known, Kelsey finds herself thrust into the middle of a deadly conflict among alien worlds and parallel universe. She must not only survive herself, but also find a way to rescue her father from a dangerous group with unknown motives.

In the process, sheโ€™s confronted by a hidden secret about herself which will shake the very foundation of who and what she thought she was.

And connecting it all are the mysterious Weavers.

A 97,100 word science fiction novel.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords


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Chronic Health Problems and Indie Publishing

10 thoughts on “Chronic Health Problems and Indie Publishing”

  1. “Kill the guilt-monster!” I’ll help. Maybe soem chocolate killer calories or an ice bomb will help?

    As for advertising, I definitely recommend your stories to anyone who likes SciFi. Maybe you’ll get a few more readers that way. I, at least, am a True Fan(TM).

    • Guilt-monster wasn’t invited to the party, anyway!

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I hope you are enjoying the stories. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Well done getting so many stories online. I still think the best advertising is writing another good story, as DWS said.
    At least you know what you are doing when you tweet. ๐Ÿ™‚ I need to learn how and why. Take care of yourself before you burn out.

    • @Diane

      I’ve thought this even before DWS said it, but it’s nice to see a pro also say it out loud. A little bigger voice against those who pretty much stop writing to only promote, market, promote, market, and forget about the writing.

      Burn out? Not even close so far. I’m having a blast! ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. I definitely agree that writing itself is the best “advertising”. That and blogging about things that matter to you. Anything else is superficial. And, your book sounds wonderful! I’ve already purchased a copy.

    • And isn’t that what writers love the most, anyway? To write? I’m in writer heaven! ๐Ÿ˜€

      I hope you enjoy the book!

  4. Hey, I just came over here from the HTTS forum because you mentioned sci fi, your stories look very interesting, I may check them out! Your covers are pretty cool too, who does them? ^_^

    • Welcome from HTTS. Wonderful course, isn’t it?

      Thank you for the compliment about my covers. I am the artist. I’ve been an artist for years and at one point had started to put together a portfolio to become a cover artist. But, I got sidetracked with writing my own work. It’s been fantastic. I can produce the covers for my own writing. Whee!

  5. And I thought I had it bad, with my ongoing kidney problem. Good on you! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I wake up in pain almost every day, and the only thing that seems to work is naproxen, but there’s no way I want to take that every day, because I want to hold on to my liver for a while, thank you very much! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    My first book just went live earlier this month, so I have a ways to go with uploading stories. (Gorgeous covers, BTW.) I always wondered what people with chronic health problems do, and I want to thank you for another great post.

    And for showing the way as to what I should be working on. (Not that I’m heavily into promo; I only do stuff like blog posts and commenting on other blogs because I find it fun and informative).

    Oh, and I bought Into the Forest Shadows because I’ve always the loved the idea of using a fairy tale as the basis for an SF or story. Can’t wait to read it (another story onto Ye Olde TBR Pile, lol). ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good luck, and take care. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Dealing with chronic health problems is no fun, for sure. It makes even the simple things in life difficult. I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to be ‘normal.’

      I’m glad the post was helpful to you. I thought having another voice among the cacophony about everything a writer SHOULD do was important. Because not all writers are the same, nor are the situations. And, to be honest, I think too many forget what is the core important aspect of the new world of publishing.

      And, I hope you enjoy the book!


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