Wednesday, February 27, 2013

My Publishing Experience

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

Having headers….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.


  1. Hi Carey!

    I started on Createspace and the formatting was a giant pain. I also had help since I do not possess Mad Skillz. After that I went to Smashwords and I've also dabbled with Kindle's all a huge learning curve and I'm sure I'm not doing it right. lol.

    And just for the record, any time you need a stop on a blog tour you just have to holler!

    Good luck with the next one!


  2. Yay!! First stop of my 'dont know what I'm doing blog tour' booked. Sweet :)

  3. I had a pretty good idea of what I was doing...just not entirely how to execute it. It's a great idea to have a marketing plan. I had one. Which I put into place, but what I underestimated was all the work needed to make it go to plan. And it worked for the most part, but didn't go to plan like I'd hoped. Well, it mostly did, but, see...I'm one of those rebellious, arrogant old farts who thinks she can do everything herself and refuses to give money to anybody who didn't do any of the work. So, for the most part, I did and I do it all myself. Formatting IS a pain in the butt. So is re-formatting because I found out when you go back and correct some errors and you are not a computer genius, it can create more errors that need to be fixed. And then it becomes a maddening cycle, so you correct and re-format until your eyes are bleeding. And, finally, you think you have it right and then somebody points out you have two periods in the last line of page 223, which you missed because you were too focused on paragraph structure to notice. That's always fun. But even that won't deter me from having my book printed by a local printer. You know, so I can have 500 copies sitting in my basement for me to distribute myself. Because I'm stubborn and dumb. So...yeah, Createspace...great idea. Unless you're like me. A control freak who is a glutton for punishment. hahaha

    You know you have a spot on my blog any time you want, Lady!