Hold onto your hats everyone...for I have written a novel. As I smiled at my laptop, stunned that I had actually finished one, the burning question was, "Now what?" What do I know about publishing or self-publishing? And the answer at that time was, not much...not much, at all.
I had some people read it just to make sure it was good enough. I mean, I thought it was good, but I also liked the first Fantastic Four movie which puts me in the minority.
The comments coming back to me were, "This is honestly good. Totally something I would read," and "I really love Mac and the VP. You have GOT to do a sequel!" First hurdle achieved.
Now came the serious questions. Should I print out the manuscript, send this off to some publishers and wait? I think everyone has heard the stories of very famous, popular authors being rejected over and over again before finding someone to take a chance on them. That does not sound like a good time to me. Plus, after this past year, who knows what will happen tomorrow? Time is a commodity that really should not be wasted. So, I started reading on other writers' blogs about their experiences with self-publishing. Other than the thought of having to do some self-promotion, it sounded perfect to me. There are still some decisions to be made as to whether to hit KDP Select on Amazon or to "go wide" as they call it (Kobo, Apple, etc.), but I will cross that bridge when I come to it.
Once that self-publishing decision was made, next came creating a cover. Google is a friend when it comes to this stuff. So, I hit that Adobe Spark creator's site and with a few clicks, created something that I would look at twice in a bookstore. There were some minor squabbles about font choice with my kids, but I stuck to my guns. And here is when it got a little tricky. It says "Free Photos", meaning they are free to use, no copyright limitations...until you read the really fine print, which said something like, but you may want to double check that. Oy. With a lot of detective work and to the best of our knowledge, those photos were a.o.k. to use.
And now, this brings you to this website. It truly boggles my mind that someone who is not really the most computer savvy person in the world, created this site. Thank you Wix! All I had to do was pick a template and literally point and click. Miraculous!
The thought of self-promotion makes my face flinch like I've just sucked on a lemon. I have never been a collector of things or people. I never joined many social media platforms (other than a personal Facebook page so I could cheer family and friends on). The marketing portion of this is going to be an adventure. I don't have a lot of followers. It's never been my goal to have thousands of close "friends". Networking and online engagement are going to be the almighty challenge for me.
I quickly perused some of the #writingcommunity on Twitter. There were a lot of supportive posts but it also revealed the other side, as social media often does. When it comes to putting yourself out there in a creative fashion, whether it be writing, painting, acting, etc. - you are really leaving yourself open for some very nasty feedback. One of the comments stuck with me. Someone had posted something like, "I'm afraid to publish anything in case people don't like it. How can I get over this?" One of the comments was, "Well the bar has been set very low when someone like *insert incredibly popular and successful author's name here* has been published."
I am going on record here... The only bar that should be mentioned when it comes to someone's creative contributions to the world, is the one where you pull up a stool and ask the good looking bartender for a stiff one...then maybe a drink. There is room for everyone at the bar.
Never doubt this for a second...I am so happy you're here! I have a few things to tweak before hitting that "Publish" button, but I am really looking forward to taking you along on this ride with me.
I don't want to give too much away regarding the storyline of Mac...but I think the first word will really pull you in and I will be talking about this in my next blog post. That word is: DISCLAIMER.
I'll see you next time and as always, choose kind because you get what you give...