Moving Forward

Okay, so I wrote the end. Then it was time for the next steps.

Of course, finding an editor to correct the misspelled words and punctuation was a top priority. Editing 93k words should take them less than two weeks. Right? Wrong.

Jeni Chappelle squelched those dreams. My excursion into the unknown lasted eight months. The same timespan spent fashioning my tome from beginning to end.

It was on. Going to bed late and rising early, existing on nothing but willpower. Did I mention spending ten hours away from home each day, five days a week, to pay the bills?

At least once a month, my body rebelled from lack of sleep when my fingers simply refused to type another word. How could they? My brain refused to send the signal.

And forget resting. All downtime was utilized, delving further into the self-publishing maze. Studying its intricacies, I quickly discovered that finding a good editor was just the beginning. Who knew a manuscript needed to be formatted before uploading it to a distributor? Much help was needed.

Do all roads lead to the Internet? For this research, they did. And the information underscored the need to seek out professional help.

Enter, Formatting Experts. Starting in July 2014, the company’s team waited patiently on the sidelines while customer support provided lots of useful information. On the Internet, there are multiple answers to each question asked.

Once the formatting problem was solved, another one cropped up. While attending a writer’s club meeting, I was reminded that books require covers. Oh yeah, I had actually forgotten those images that drew me into reading the book blurb on the back cover.

Weeks later, that problem was solved in an unexpected way. During a writing lesson, the instructor revealed the name of her book-cover designer. Instead of going to bed at ten o’clock like I’d promised myself I would, I searched the web in hot pursuit. Eventually I found her: author Lynnette Bonner of Indie Cover Design, and she created the book cover I love.

All done? Not quite. For I remembered viewing a self-publishing roundtable on YouTube that had advised against writing your own book blurb. It had recommended always hiring a professional. But wasn’t I a professional writer? Surely one year of intense revisions branded me a writer. Or did that little fact indicate I wasn’t a professional? Yet.

Still, I combed through author services until I stumbled across StandOutBooks. And one of the co-founders not only provided the book blurb, but set up my Facebook author page, synchronized it to my website, and made my website functional.

And then I discovered the consensus among people in the know that authors should have a different editor proof the final copy. They wrote that fresh eyes would be necessary after multiple revisions.

That brought in Amber Barry. The last line of defense. Ready to polish the manuscript before sending it to the formatter, which had been waiting nine months in the wings.

The target date for sending off to the formatter? May 11, 2015.

Now for that sabbatical. Wait! No one can purchase a book they don’t know exists.

Coming soon. Marketing is not for the faint of heart.

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