When I wrote A Bridge of Her Own I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I’ve talked about this before on a Goodreads blog (at some point in time I might just copy paste over here so everything is in one place) but once my novel was completed I did not know how to inflict it on the masses.
I had a friend from high school who had published a couple of nonfiction books who told me about Smashwords. Another friend who just likes to Google stuff told me about LuLu. So, want to hear my very high tech way of deciding which way to go? I was reading a series that I had fallen in love with and now that I had written a book I actually played attention to the copyright page and saw that it was also published with Smashwords. That was the decider for me because my theory was, that if I, as a random reader could stumble across this series published via Smashwords that maybe someone could stumble upon my novel as well.
I know, genius level thinking right there. It just gave me a sense of confidence that I wouldn’t be releasing my novel into this unknown void of who knows what. I spent one afternoon going step by step through the formatting guide. I’m not going to lie, that was painful. I am by no means a tech person, I only really know just enough to plod along in this virtual world. My formatting skills were so unsuccessful that I ended up paying someone to format it for me.
That very first file changed over time, I took it down to utilize the services of an editor and cover designer. Re-releasing it the second was a breeze and the same goes for my second novel. It was at this point I started formatting both for paperback copies. I ended up using Createspace, and have been extremely pleased with the results. Formatting was a serious pain. There are so many things to worry about that I didn’t fully grasp when I uploaded my first file and only figured out once I had the first proof in hand.
I am going to list the things I overlooked, please know I’m not proud of them but, well just know that…
Page 1 starting on Chapter 1….duh
Last numbered page ending on the actual last page of the story…duh
Font and Text size….my first proof could really only be read with a magnifying glass (j/k)
I will treasure my first proof always as a reminder to slow down in the future. I was just so excited about the idea of holding a book I had written in my hands. Patience is becoming my biggest take away for my whole publishing process. I’m learning as I go how to develop interest in my work prior to releasing it. This is not always easy for me. My first novel I published I just told my friends and coworkers…then I joined twitter and set up a Facebook author page. With my second novel I contacted some Facebook Novel Review pages and offered them (unedited) Arcs of Uninvolved. I have partnered up with other indie authors to put blurbs of their novels at the back of my novels and they are doing the same for me.
This time…deep breath, I plan to also attempt some sort of blog tour (If anyone is interested in hosting me that is). I will send Arcs again, only this time pretty edited ones with the cover included. Prior to release date, which I’m hoping will be sometime in April I plan on discounting ebook prices of both prior novels to maybe generate interest. I also plan to try and have paperback copies of Stages of Grace ready to go around the same time. That’s my publishing story, and future plans. I’d love to hear what things any of you are doing that you feel have been successful.