Characters, editing, Motivation, publishing, self doubt, self publishing, self-published, Uncategorized

BE BRAVE. My steps to publishing…

Be brave, one step at a time. You will make it to the top

BE BRAVE! My steps to publishing…

  • Write a novel
  • Edit the novel
  • Create a cover
  • Upload to the platform of your choice
  • Ta Da – sit back and watch the reviews and the cash roll in…

If only it was so simple! ((Life is never that simple Peachy, and don’t they say the best things in life are harder to get, or you have to work harder to get them or nothing easily achieved is worth having or some such nonsense to make you feel better when you’re sitting at your desk with your swear jar overflowing!)) Quite Brackets. So, I will try and break it down a little bit and hopefully it might help. These are my steps to publishing a book.

Write a Novel – This is the easiest bit for me. I love writing and lucky enough, I have not yet run out of ideas ((Show off! That’s mainly because you have the sick mind of psychopath)) It’s okay Brackets there are plenty of things I’m not good at. ((I know, I have a list)) To expand on this a little bit. So, you have an idea for a book. Fabulous, the idea probably struck you at about 3am and your characters won’t rest and you either have to write it down on the notepad you keep at the side of your bed, and then you hopefully drop back off to sleep or like me, you have to get up and write it just to shut them up! Then at some point you find some time and sit at your desk and off you go. Unless you’re a planner and must create many spreadsheets before you start. Either way, it’s a start. One recommendation – it’s always worth saving your work in multiple locations – even though I’m careful, I’ve lost work and it is very annoying. ((Get on with it Peachy – honestly wish someone would edit your blog posts!))

Okay so you’ve finished writing your novel and had the satisfaction of writing THE END. ((Woohoo crack open the champagne and let’s get the party started!)) hang fire there Brackets, I’m a writer you know – as in poor. I will be cracking open my £4.99 bottle of fizz and drinking every last drop!

So, what comes next…

THE EDITING… ((oh no, this strikes fear into my heart Peachy)) you and me both. Now I will confess that at the beginning of my writing journey I didn’t enjoy editing, not… one… bit. ((I remember the whinging!)) I’d written the story and I wanted to move onto the next one. If I were rich, I would email my novel to my editor and say, “make it so” and have a shiny new novel ready to upload and publish. But we all know real life does not work this way. I’ve gone from hating (I do not use that word lightly) to now enjoying the editing process. Not only does a good edit make your story tighter, stronger and cleans it up, it also makes you a better writer – well that’s the plan. ((That didn’t quite work out for you then!))

Editing also involves people reading it – this is followed by sleepless nights as you wait for people to give you their verdict. I’m lucky to have quite a few people that beta read my work and give me feedback. I’m now paying someone to do a professional final edit and I think the next stage for me is find a proof-reader for the final, final, final edit before publication. I’ve met a lot of people through my writing group, and some of the group help me with the editing – for me it was extremely important to have someone that I could learn from, and not just someone that would return my novel covered in red pen with no guidance. ((No-one professionally edits this blog so don’t judge her book by the blog – see what I did there!))

My normal editing process…

  1. Use word editor to check for any issues
  2. Read on the screen and edit
  3. Change into a different font and edit on screen
  4. Print, read and edit
  5. Make amendments and then send to beta readers
  6. Make amendments from feedback
  7. Read through again on screen
  8. Send to editor
  9. Make amendments
  10. Full read through
  11. Send to people for a final check
  12. Order proof copy
  13. Read and make amendments

((Do you want to add one more Peachy? You’re sending chills down my cables with only thirteen processes.))

CREATING A COVER. In the early days I created my own covers as I didn’t have the money to pay someone. You can create some great covers using free software like Canva or by uploading images into Photoshop. I had a particular cover in mind for my travel book and by this point I’d met the most amazing artist, Christine from www.artandsolescompany.com/ so there was no other option than for me to pay for it, and the results are stunning – so no going back to creating my own. They say that the cover sells the book and of course it does as it’s the first thing you see. I’m definitely guilty for judging a book by the cover!

UPLOADING – So, your book has been edited and you’ve got an amazing cover and now for the easy part! Uploading and creating your book. I know a few indie authors use a few different platforms like Kobo and Apple for example. But I’ve only ever used Amazon. Although these systems do have guidelines and videos, they can still be a bit tricky to format and I would always recommend ordering a proof paperback copy before making it ‘live’. With my latest book I decided to pay to have it professionally typeset and wow, the results are beyond anything I expected. I used a local company called Narrator and I highly recommend them if you need a typesetter. It really does take your book to the next level. Check out their work here… www.narrator.me.uk

MARKETING – Once you have a wonderful shiny book, then comes the marketing, which is a whole different blog post. Getting your marketing right is tricky, especially in this new world. I’ve developed friendships across different platforms, and I’ve seen many people that try and get as many followers as they can, and I get that. But I prefer to interact with people and so have stepped away from just joining in on the writing lifts on Twitter. I’m much more likely to retweet posts for other people’s book if I interact with them and want them to do well. I’m not bothered about the numbers. Which is probably the worst marketing idea but oh well ((great advice there Peachy – i bet people are over the moon that they tuned into this month’s blog of boredom! I’m so funny… blog of boredom ha-ha))

So what I’m really saying, is that if you want to create a professional looking book then unfortunately there is no way around paying for it – unless you have some of the extra skills on top of being a writer, and even then, editing your own work is impossible as you just cannot see the errors when you’re so close to the story and characters. I didn’t have the money to do any of this in the beginning, I relied on friends and family and my own limited skills to build up my knowledge and was just brave enough to press that button and make the book live! That never gets an easier by the way. As soon as you press ‘it’ you inevitably spot an error – that’s life.

I think the most important lesson is… learn to be brave. Its very easy to listen to those negative thoughts telling you your story is no good or what if you have missed some errors. Well, just do your best. I’ve spotted glaring errors in books published by big publishers. Obviously, you want it to be perfect, but typos happen to the best of us. What if people don’t like it? What if they leave you a bad review? I’ve had a bad review and I’d prepared myself for it so when it arrived, I accepted it and moved on ((Not before printing it, shredding it and burning it and stamping on the ashes)) Well come on Brackets that’s fair enough, surely! The overwhelming support I have from my friends, family and writing group makes such a difference and I’ve even had fantastic reviews from people I don’t know and honestly haven’t paid them for amazing comments! So that really makes it all worth it. BE BRAVE PEOPLE. BE BRAVE ((who do you think you are, William Wallace!))

I hope this has been helpful and not overwhelming. Remember you write because you love it, because you love your story and characters and lets face it you have no choice in the matter as the characters will tell you what to do! First job is to finish your story and then take it one step at a time.

Have a great weekend. Happy writing*. xx

*As always any errors in this blog post are down to my editor, Brackets. Please address all amendments to him. thank you

((Oi… wait… Peachy… no… don’t end. I want to add a disclaimer… it’s not my fau…

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