What’s a Girl to do When She’s Published?

Redesigning Rose is finished. It’s in various stages of production, including available for sale at Amazon and Kobo, is in the process of uploading to Kobo, and the paperback is awaiting a cover tweak before final processing.

So, what’s a girl to do one’s she’s shoved her baby into the world to sink or swim?

1. Watch Amazon sales go from zero to one (the one being the copy I purchased this afternoon so I would have one. Okay, it was also to make sure the sales reporting system worked and maybe a smidgen to check how quickly the sales figure updated.)

2. Refresh my Kobo Writing Life page enough times to warrant a system meltdown.

3. Debate how many times is reasonable to post about my book on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

4. Have another celebratory cocktail.

5. Call my mom and moan that I have no sales.

6. Write a blog post about the writing/publishing process. Sneak in the words “Redesigning Rose.”

7. Alienate a few more friends when I link the blog post to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest.

8. Hope the rest of my friends will stick with me for the rest of this week. I have no self-control.

9. Can I pay someone to buy the book?

10. Check Kobo again.

11. Re-read lovely reviews and kind words early readers have written.

12. Realize not everyone will love it.

13. Nibble my thumbnail and worry about inevitable negative reviews.

14. Down cocktail and pour another.

15. Maybe I can gift a few copies?

16. Walk away from the laptop. Walk away!

17. Pick up smart phone.

18. Consider moving to the middle of the forest.

19. Wonder if picking up the next manuscript will help.

20. Is it worth the agony of writing another if no one wants this one?

21. Do I have any sales yet?

My Book Baby

The first feedback of Draft 5.5 is in. My mom was really impressed with my changes and stated “Your writing is really good.”

Yes, it was my mom, but for anyone who doesn’t know my mother, this is high praise. She who disuaded me from writing soap operas at thirteen (OK, maybe she was right about that) and whose reading genres of choice are James Patterson serial killer thrillers and Robert Ludlum conspiracy theories, thinks my writing is not only good, but really good! I sunk into my car after her comments and cried, thinking maybe the three years of blood, sweat, hair pulling and poverty might have been worth it. Maybe my manuscript isn’t so bad. Maybe people won’t think my baby is ugly.

Then I rallied and went off to a book cover meeting – something I still can’t believe as I write it almost a week later. And now the lovely lady who is assisting with my cover design is also loving my story as is another reader (both of whom have never read previous drafts, nor anything else I’d written). I’m floating on a cloud now while I wait for further comments, a few more critiques, feedback from my editor and then I can schedule a release date, revise, proofread, and create and implement a marketing plan. Who said writing a book was just writing down a few words? Right, no one said that. Ever.

So, I’m ready! OK, maybe I’m on step 2 out of 6, but progress is being made. I’m even ready for the harsh critics. (Uhm, this could be a fib). And because many have asked, here’s how things are going down with my first novel:

I am going to self-publish.

There, I said the six little words so many in the industry consider dirty.

After hours of research, a few years of waiting while writing to see how the industry would develop and a lengthy internal debate, I have decided to self-publish. Initially, my book baby will be available only as an e-book and then we’ll see how things go.

There were many reasons I decided to do it alone. And when I say ‘alone’, I mean without a publisher because you’re never an author alone with Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Google Plus. Here’s a massive Thank You to all my lovely friends, near and far, new and old, for all their support over the last three years! I couldn’t have made it through without you! And I’ll still need copious amounts of hand holding in the next few months – OK?

I digress. My go-it-alone reasoning:

  • I have watched the e-book and self-publishing industry evolve and gain momentum during the last three years.
  • I have read multiple self-published works this year that exceeded some of the releases of the big publishing houses.
  • I am committed to only releasing high quality work and spending money upfront on all the necessary steps including professional editing and cover.
  • Marketing is mostly a DIY adventure for most authors unless you’re a Stephen King, so I have to do it myself anyway.
  • I believe that self-pubbed novels are becoming publisher’s slush piles and more and more self-published authors are inking traditional publishing deals (when they work hard and produce quality work).
  • So I’m left with, Why Not? Besides the upfront costs – really the only detriment – why wouldn’t I give it a shot?

So, I’m hoping the three year journey will culminate in a release date in May 2013. I’m leaning toward the 13th. It’s my lucky number after all.

But we’ll see how things go with further editing, my work on Book 2 and just a little bit of necessary wedding planning between now and April. And I need to work. And sleep. It’s no wonder insomnia has become an issue with the plethora of lists in my head. Speaking of which, I should get back at crossing things off.

Blog Post – Check!