BusinessIndieCafe (Indie Pub)Marketing and PromotionSavvyBlogTraditional Publishing

I wished I had… before I published by Joanne Dannon

A lot can happen in two years

The 5 July 2015 is my writing anniversary, the day I launched my first book as a self-published author. That day seems a long time ago, and my writing career today is very different to how it was back then.

When I launched my debut novel, Falling for Mr Wrong, I did so without knowledge or understanding of the self-publishing market. I had wrongly believed my writing friends who expounded on the ease of self-publishing and the amount of money a writer could earn.

I had ten years of craft knowledge, and had written many full-length romances but had not prepared myself for the journey ahead of me. I had always intended to be traditionally published while I worked in my corporate job, so I had not troubled myself on the “how to” of self-publishing. Big mistake.

But after my job redundancy and family issues, I decided to take a different path to publication.

Self-publishing vs. Traditional

There is a big difference between self-publishing and traditional publishing, but one is not better than the other. Each has its place in the publishing industry, and some writers are suited to one and not the other. It’s that simple.

Once I was published, I suddenly realized how much I didn’t know and had to play ‘catch up’ to all the things I probably should’ve done before I was published. I should’ve learned about how to self-published before I self-published.

In the eighteen months since I started working as a business, rather than just a writer, I have launched nine novels and four boxed sets. I’ve grown my readership, made heaps of online writing friends and have a dedicated fan base.

What I wished I had done.

But I should’ve started this before I published. Taking a hard look at myself, this is what I wish I had done before I pressed the publish button in July 2015 –

  1. Completed some courses and read books on self-publishing, by writers such as Joanna Penn, Marie Force, Mark Dawson, and Nick Stephenson.
  2. Built a dedicated mailing list.
  3. Friended other indie writers and learned techniques that worked for them.
  4. Researched more on finding editors, formatters, artists etc…. and this also related to point 3. Just because your writing friend loves their editor/artist etc… doesn’t mean you will. You may not “click”, even if they are good.
  5. Written a lead magnet.

I did all of this after I was a self-published author, and that’s okay. My advice to any budding self-published writers is to do this before you’re published.

As I have said many times, any one can publish a book on Amazon/ iTunes/ Kobo/ B&N. But to have readers find your book, buy it, read it and post a review is not easy.

There are lots of examples of successful self-published writers, and it seems they are not credited with the hard work they do in building and maintaining their business.

I spend more time in marketing myself than I do writing.

Hard to believe but it’s true. If you want to self-publish and be successful, you have to run your writing career as a business and not just be a writer.

This is my last monthly post for Savvy Authors, and I want to thank Savvy Authors for welcoming me to their team and being so friendly and professional. They do a wonderful job in supporting writers.

And to everyone who has read my posts and commented, either publicly or privately to me, thank you. I have appreciated every word of support you have sent me.

Best wishes, Joanne


Falling for Mr. Wrong: A fun romance with twists and turns.FallingforMrWrong by Joanne Dannon

When everybody’s hiding secrets, can love discover the truth?

All Tilly Walker wanted was a bit of independence from her overprotective family and small town life in Australia. But her first job in London turns into an accidental disaster when her employer—a Member of Parliament—drags her into a sordid scandal. Hounded by the English press, Tilly hopes to throw them off the scent when she flees to a place they’d never think to look, to her great-aunt in Jerusalem. But the enterprising journalist who follows her is after something bigger than just the latest hot story.

Political blogger Nate Morgan-Young has his own reasons for pursuing the woman the press has dubbed the “Naughty Nanny”. Tilly isn’t the misbehaving MP’s first victim. But when Nate finds himself on the run with Tilly and unexpectedly falling for her, truth and trust are the real victims. How can Nate convince Tilly he’s after more than just another smutty scandal? And for Tilly, why does it feel so right to be falling for Mr. Wrong?

“A handsome, mysterious Englishman; a feisty nanny and an exotic setting – what more could you ask for? Joanne Dannon delivers a sexy, emotional story with a relatable heroine and a hero worth falling for.” – Leah Ashton, RITA Award winning author.



[box type=bio]

Joanne DannonJoanne Dannon is an Australian author who writes to give her readers the experience she loves to savour–indulging in a sigh-worthy-happily-ever-after, being swept away from the everyday by diving into a delicious romance novel.

Joanne’s latest romance about second chances and falling for your best friend’s brother, Together At Last, is now available as both an e-book and paperback.

Joanne is a happily married mother of two heroes-in-training who loves spending time with friends and family. She can be found on Facebook and her website chatting about reading, writing, cooking, vintage-inspired dresses and all things romantic.

Read all of Joanne’s articles here on SavvyBlog.


  • D
  • July 12, 2017
Love the post Joanne. Even as an indie author, the time spent in the 'business' of getting readers etc is enormous. Having worked in many fields during my years, this author gig is the hardest. Well done to you and thanks for your honesty. See you at the next conference...
    • J
      Joanne Dannon
    • July 12, 2017
    Hi Diane

    Thanks so much for your message, and I agree this author gig is not easy but.......I just love what I do :)

    Cheers, Joanne
  • L
  • July 15, 2017
Love your work Jo - your very hard work - your incredible tenacity - your feisty independence - your wisdom - your generosity - your gorgeous stories - your friendship. Thank you for sharing. xxxxx