All my friends keep telling me, 'Great job, what an accomplishment!' They would all ask, 'How did you do it?' and then say to me, 'I've always wanted to write a book, but it seems too hard.' When they say these things, I have to stop and think to myself, 'Yes, how did I do it?' To be honest, some days were harder than others to put my mind on task and get the writing done (hence, the long time it took me to complete it), but now it's written and out there, I'm starting to think, writing is the easy part! Let me explain.
I've written the next best seller (in my mind anyway), and it's only taken me the best part of over three years of on and off writing and rewriting. If I could describe to you the feeling of satisfaction I had when I typed the last words of the final sentence, I would say it was similar to graduating University, but better. The hard work was over, now it was time to publish my book and enjoy the results of my labour. Time to plan the book launch: cocktails and champagne overlooking the beach on a full moon (my latest daydream. See my previous post to understand my daydream tendencies). My book was to be released in a couple of weeks, or so I thought. Now I realize, looking back, how delusional I really was.
Before I continue, allow me to ask this. Who hasn't finished a book by their favorite author, knowing a sequel was on the way, only to be told you had to wait a year? A whole year! Why didn't the author simply get their act together and write the thing and give it to us fans? Because now I understand, it's not that simple. Once I sent my manuscript away to my chosen publisher, I felt a void inside of me. This book had been a part of me for so long, to not have to write it anymore or put my head in the story, I felt lost. Never to get inside these characters heads again. But then the publisher contacted me. Time to revise. The copy editor had made changes. Errors had been corrected and suggestions made. Time to rewrite. Back to the editor, and then again, and again, the process repeated. After three lots of rewrites it was time to print, and the mock ups sent.
Excited, with my book in hand, I open it up and begin to read, thoughts of my awesome book launch now back in the picture. But wait! What's this? Errors on the cover and more inside (not to mention the major stuff up by the publisher, but I won't go there!). Back to the rewrites. Ugh! Two more times this happens, and now, after seven long months since my initial contact with my publisher, and numerous back and forths between us both, my book is finally available online, and thats with me pushing it to get published. I've never been an overly patient person!
Now it's time to get promoting and marketing, of which I have no idea how this industry works, so I've been spending a lot of time researching. Needless to say, I'm getting frustrated. I have more stories I want to write, new characters that are needing to be heard. So next time I hear someone say to me, 'I've always wanted to write a book,' I will now say to them, 'Writing is the easy part, its the publishing that is hard.'
Finally, let me just say here, that it was 100% my choice to self publish, and this is my experience as a result. I wanted full control over the publishing aspect. Just simply discussing my thoughts on the writing and publishing process. Next time, I may choose a different avenue to publish. With the popularity of ebooks, there are many self publishing platforms available to independent authors. My one tip I will be sure to follow for myself next time is to pay for an independent editor so these multiple changes by myself can be avoided!