I think last week classifies as being pretty amazing. I gave a pretty detailed- and very long (sorry!)- blog a couple of days ago, so I won’t repeat. But if I could sum it up and give advice to someone else, here’s a little:
1. I wish I knew about formatting and interior book design well before I started ‘writing’ on a computer (are we still writers if we type everything?? Sorry! Couldn’t resist!). Everything I thought I knew about Word amounts to not much, and I had been pretty confident and proud about my knowledge before last week. Page breaks! Who knew! My god, all the time that piece of know-how would’ve saved me. Don’t hit tab for indents?? What? I think my best course will be to hire a designer to get everything right (600 pages!), and start formatting correctly with Book 2 before it gets much bigger.
2. Research, research, research as soon into your project as possible, if not before you start. Research formatting, research publishing options and outfits, research cover art, research target audiences and genres, research social media and how in the world one works Tweets…….
3. Traditional publishing is free, apparently, but you pay in other ways. Know your goals and your options. (And probably, start saving up your money.) Decide what is important to you and plan accordingly. I want my book to be as near to perfect as it can possibly be, (which is where money comes into play). Being professionally edited is important to me: therefore, I gotta budget that expense. Striking cover art is important to me- budget, without crying. I don’t want something someone stock-photo’d together, where I may see the image I had thought was ‘mine’ in other places. I found a book cover I thought was perfect, but after asking questions of the website and the artist, I shook my head and upped my budget, looking elsewhere. My writing brain is sorta turned off, and I’m viewing myself and my work as an investment……in me!
4. Research, research, research. If I’m going to self-publish, then dagnamit, I’m going to go all out and become a publisher. Taking on the role of my own publisher means I am shouldering a lot of responsibility and expectations. My name is going on my book two-, three- fold, and I take that personally. I’m soaking up as much information as I can before I take another step. Today or tomorrow, I’m going to publish. I can only step forward, so pacing myself can only help. Wouldn’t Slushpile Publishing be a great company name?? (Just kidding. I’m not using that, but still, made me laugh on the drive home.)
5. I want a book shepherd. My German Shepherd was awesome. Logic follows that a book shepherd will be equally loved.