Okay, so let me start out by saying that the bumpy, detoured path of self-publishing was not like I thought it would be. Having said that, I wasn’t naive to think that I’d be an overnight success or that it wouldn’t be laden with trials, tribulations, self introspection, and weariness. No, it was quite the opposite. However, I didn’t expect the sheer joy of research or even imagine the sweet thrill of victory that came with submitting my book, The Protectorate, on Amazon and iTunes. Nope, not enough focus is placed on the accomplishment of a lifetime to actually see your book on an e-store ready to reach the masses!
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I want to share my experiences partly because I want to encourage those beginning their journey, partly to encourage the weary and heavy laden, and partly to remember the things not to do the next time around;-) While each of our journeys in life is different, I believe we can all learn from each other.
My book writing journey for The Protectorate started well over a decade ago, and yes this dates me, but the idea for the book took flight awhile ago. In a way, I’m happy that it did because it gave me time to grow and mature in life, keeping my ambitions of being a writer close to the vest without any discouragement from those around me. The ideas for plot and character development had time to marinate and become solidified prior to taking up pen and paper. Again this dates me, but I write best without a keyboard. It is because of this that the writing process took off with a flourish once I sat down to write. However, the time it took to write, revise, edit, design a cover and format took two years from start to finish.
Okay, now that the gasps of horror and deep inhalations of breath are out of your system, let me explain. Yes, I have read ad nauseam the plethora of advice on pumping out as many books as possible in the shortest amount of time, but this was my debut novel, and I wanted to put my best foot forward. So, I took my time. Would I have liked to condense the time? Sure, but that’s the way I roll.
I know what some are thinking, and yes, I’m a bit of a perfectionist, but that’s for my family to worry about;-) I also took the time because of all the revisions and edits. I can’t count the number of times I scratched out paragraphs or even pages, but I always know when to stop. Call it an internal thermometer that clicks when the reading is just right. I always have a feeling when it’s time to cut bait and let the writing, as in this case, either sink or swim. I know I drove my editor crazy!
Speaking of editors, that is another piece of advice that I’ve seen countless times on the Internet. Established writers strongly recommend newbie authors to invest in a good editor along with a professional formatter and cover designer. Now, I’m sure everyone would jump at the opportunity to have all three, but the fact of the matter remains that most novice authors do not have enough spare change hidden away in their couch cushions to afford all of them. I’ve determined that all of those could easily cost a couple thousand dollars, and I’m unable to afford it. In my opinion, do the best with what you’ve got. It worked for MacGyver:-)
As far as success goes, I believe that’s in the eye of the beholder. Sure, I’d like to make steady income, but for right now I’m thrilled to have published! I’ll take a few minutes to bath in the glory of achievement. I also don’t want to focus on the white elephant in the room…Marketing. Oh, the horror!
You know, I believe the hardest part about writing is marketing much to my dismay. Marketing is the bain of my existence, but this too will be conquered in time! When I do, you’ll be the first to know;-)
Finally, I want to encourage everyone out there who are taking the risk to reach for the dreams. Please don’t give up! It takes hard work, time and lots of love and care, but if you can think it, you can achieve it:-) Heard that from a friend, and I agree wholeheartedly.
I’ll sign-off for now, but I’ll give updates on my success and bumps in the road. Stay tuned! It’s going to be spectacular!;-)
P.S. I’m new to adding links, etc… So, if they don’t work, I’ll fix them in due time;-)