Over on TeacherWriter, Running1 asked me whether I had self-published or traditionally published, and what process I used to get my book into production.
I self-published A Life Less Ordinary, mainly because I didn’t want the hassle of trying to get it published through a traditional publisher. (At the time, my patience for jumping through hoops was at an all-time low.)
My first step (after writing the thing, of course – 😀 ) was to edit. And edit. And then edit some more. I shared it with friends and strangers, and corrected the errors they caught. And then I edited it again. Editing Hell is, well, hell. Ugh.
There comes a time, though, when you have say something’s done and you move on to the next step.
When I was nearing the end of Editing Hell, I incorporated a company (Love of Words Publishing Inc.). A Life Less Ordinary was and is my guinea pig to figure out my business processes. I want to eventually publish other people’s work as well, but first I have to figure out how all of this is done. At the time I started, I had no clue what it would take to get the book uploaded onto Amazon, or how (or if!) I could get it ready for printing at CreateSpace.
Thanks to my previous day job, I have a basic understanding of the publishing process, from copyright, editing, graphic design, desktop publishing and contracts, to some very basic knowledge about printing. I even, if push comes to shove, know people in all of those areas who can give me a hand. What I didn’t (and still don’t!) have is a very good knowledge of marketing and distribution. Only the two most important pieces. *cough*
Now, I did things a bit awkwardly this first go-round. I created the first cover myself…and it was…oh my God –AW-FUL!!! It’s still floating around out there in cyberspace and it’s truly horrible. I didn’t get the current cover until March, after I commissioned it through a site called CrowdSpring (linked through CreateSpace). I also published the e-book first (in December) and then the print book in March. I tied myself to an exclusive agreement with Amazon for three months and so the book wasn’t released on Smashwords until late April. I didn’t start making arrangements for the blog tours until March (when I knew I’d also have a print copy available).
In terms of marketing, I have the two blog tours; I had a free giveaway for five days in December through Amazon (the exclusive agreement I mentioned), and I also did a free giveaway on LibraryThing. In all, there are almost a thousand free copies floating around in the world, which I hope will translate into sales for the next book. ;D I also have a lot of ideas…but very little money at the moment, so some of those ideas will have to wait for a bit.
As I write this out, it all seems very mundane and boring. So it seems very odd to me that I’ve been having a blast! With all of it! Even the really boring stuff – LOL.
The business side of things is very different from the writing side of things. I write in a very free-flow kind of way. Whenever I try to describe it, I keep imagining myself skipping through a meadow, strewing words in every direction…which sounds far more disturbing than it is!! The business side of things is far more structured and linear; I guess it pleases that part of me that’s very Type-A…
So, to make a long story short, I’ve learned a lot about the publishing process with this first book. Which means the next one will be much smoother, as will the one after that, and the one after that – 😀 . I’ve also enjoyed every minute of it (even those minutes that annoyed me (formatting the Smashwords version – OMG!!!))
I’m not sure if this is what you, Running1, was hoping to learn about; just drop me a comment if you have questions or if I’ve totally missed the boat!! 😀