It's every up and coming author's dream to have their story splayed across the pages of books for the world to see. Just the idea of someone else taking a look into your head, appreciating what they see and actually using their money to purchase your vison is exhilarating.
I swear everytime someone purchases my book I get that feeling you get when you hit that first big drop on a rollercoaster.
I say a tiny prayer that they like it and scold myself that I haven't put book 2 out yet.
Then I remember that I have to go back through the publishing process for book 2 and I cringe as if a rat ran across my bare foot. I'm talking about feet with no socks or shoes on, just my skin to his fur, sharp toe nails and long, slinky tail. You get what I'm saying?
Okay, maybe I'm being a bit melodramatic, but I'm not exaggerating about the feeling of dread that accompanies my thought of self publishing again. As satisfying as the end result is, the process is not something to take lightly if you want to produce a quality product.
So,let me walk you through my process to give you an idea of what my ordeal entailed.I will break it down in several steps over my next few posts.
Step 1: I tried to publish the traditional way first.It seemed logical and easy. I sent query letters to several agents (approximately 50 or 60).
A query letter is basically where you ask an agent to represent you. In turn the agent puts your story in front of publishing companies.
After being rejected by all of the agents I queried, I decided to self publish just like so many other spurned authors. I delved into google and researched what steps I needed to take. I embarked on the first and most important step of the whole process, Editing.
If you're book isnt edited properly, the pretty book cover and excellent marketing won't matter. Readers will be put off by the poor grammar and they will spread the word which won't be good, no matter the excellent marketing package you purchased.
Now at this point, my story had been on the website Wattpad for over a year. Wattpad is a site where anyone can publish their story for others to see. Within that time I received plenty of invaluable critiques from fans that loved the story and gladly gave their input.
This was probably some of the best info for my edit. I basically had a handful of beta readers that were willing and wanted to read my product.
After combing through all of the comments and messages I had received I then needed a professional opinion.
I began researching editing companies and realized editing was a beast in itself. The costs of editing astounded me. I had no idea it was so expensive. Then again I had no idea how much work went into editing, not to mention all of the different kinds of editing there was.
I almost had a panic attack when I realized there was no way I could afford the cost of editing. If I wasn't a single mom of three kids then maybe I could afford the several thousand dollars that was needed, but I knew that wasn't an option.
I finally came across several different people on the website goodreads that had some affordable prices. Affordable enough for me to be able to hire several different ones. I did this because they had different styles of editing and I wanted to have several opinons of my writing. And I'm glad I did because what one editor didn't catch another editor did.
This part of the publishing process took me several months. This really depends on your book length,how much time your editor puts into it(they could have other responsibilites and clients)and how much work you put in as well. This is also probably the most frustrating part of the process because everytime you think you are done,there is something else your editor points out.
This is the love/hate relationship you will come to develop with this person. I read a quote somewhere that said "An editor exists to strengthen your baby, not tell you that you're fantastic. You have a wife or husband-and eventually a publicist to do that."
A good editor won't cut corners, baby you, or spare your feelings. They will dissect your story into heartbreaking, little pieces,then help you put it back together. And once they are done you will love them that much more for their diligence and hard work.
I was happy once this part of the process was done. And it wasn't because of the long nights I had stayed up looking at my computer screen rewriting passages and making corrections was over, but because I was one step further to publishing my book.