Hurry Up. The Self-Publishing Process Is Not Instant Gratification
As a writer, it takes time to finish a project. Time consumed in research, writing, more research, more writing, edits, critiquing, more edits, more writing. A journey that began with enthusiasm and gusto may turn into a chore with no end in sight. It can be exciting, frustrating, and emotional. Did I mention that the process is… LONG?!!!
Giddy with relief; the manuscript is at last ready. Or, is it? Not quite. It is now time for the publishing process.
Self-publishing, which more and more authors are choosing, can bring about instant gratification. A slam, bam, thank you ma’am - the book is done - kind of attitude. Like the writing process, self-publishing takes time. Self-publishing should not be used as a tool to get your book out quickly.
How long should this process take? As long as it takes to do it right. The self-publishing process - just like writing - should not be rushed. It should be about quality, not about rushing to market. So, don’t rush through the design, the layout, the formatting, cover design, etc. Don’t expect it to happen, NOW!
There are many steps in the process, and decisions to make. Here are just a few:
1. Editing: a step that many skip, yet shouldn’t. This is not a blog post on editing; this is just a reminder that you need someone to edit your work.
2. Do you do it yourself or do you hire a Pro? Doing all of the work yourself, is not only time consuming, it also not always professionally done. In other words – you may not be the best person for the job. If you hired a Pro, allow them to do their job. Share you ideas, but respect that they are the professionals. A Pro should work with you to incorporate your ideas and yet be honest when your ideas may not work. There are rules they have to follow, just as there are rules writers have to follow.
3. Formatting and designing the manuscript. Unless you are experienced, this is best left to the professionals.
4. Designing the book cover. Same with cover design. A professional cover can make all the difference.
5. Converting the book to the various electronic file formats accepted by Amazon (mobi) and some of the others, most of which accept an epub.
Book designers have a process. The process will vary for each book designer, but the gist of it is: layout, format, wait for authors, adjust, format again, wait for authors, adjust. Tweak, tweak, and tweak some more. To cut down on the waiting time, make sure that your project is complete before handing it over to a book designer. And, remember you are most likely not the only client they have.
Are we done yet? Just about. Patience is a virtue. The process in self-publishing is not about instant gratification, it is about providing a good product for the customers - the readers
See our original article on DIY vs Hiring A Pro.
The problem with story ideas is – sometimes there can be too damn many of them. Add to that, characters, each vying for your attention, screaming, "Pay attention to me."
I was writing the second part of the series of the young reluctant queen. The title, This Time Tomorrow. I was going gang buster on the story, about three quarters through the first draft, when suddenly a character, Lucy Donovan popped up and demanded, quite strongly, that I tell her story – A Shadow of Doubt.
I couldn't resist, so I left This Time Tomorrow for a journey into A Shadow of Doubt. Every once in a while a niggling plea from This Time Tomorrow would surface, asking me to return, but Lucy would just push them away. She was a very demanding and determined character.
I was weeding my way through a Shadow of Doubt, when an idea popped up for the Skagit Valley Writers League anthology. A Shadow of Doubt was shelved while I worked on The Cracked Cookie. Luckily The Cracked Cookie was a short story, so it didn't take long to tell.
I am now on Chapter 8 of A Shadow of Doubt. Sometime I ignore Lucy and work my way back into This Time Tomorrow, but I always return. Then last night happened, more specifically 5:30 this morning happened - A Dream. A dream so vivid that it woke me up and insisted I write it down. So, now I have to add He's A Prince to my story ideas.
Opening Scene from He's A Prince:
She was waiting deep in the woods. He told her to wait here ,to stay hidden in the darkness, he would return for her shortly. Suddenly she heard the pounding hooves of a horse approaching her. In a blur, he was there. The horse was heaving heavily from the exertion and she noticed the panic on his face.
Before she had a chance to ask what the matter was, he reached down for hand and said, "Hurry get on." She didn't hesitate. He pulled her up behind him and held on as he clicked the reins, almost jarring her off her seat. Then she heard it, the thundering noise of men on horses closing in on them. They were being chased.
"What did you do?" she screamed to be heard over the pounding noise.
"I took something that belongs to me," he yelled back.
"What?" she asked.
"A crown," he answered.
"You stole the crown."
– And so it begins. Another story idea. Another character demanding I PAY ATTENTION to them.
The Author in all of us
There is a story inside. One that needs out and to be read by others. It's there and now it's time for it to flow from author to the reader. Join us as we celebrate Indie authors.