After all of the edits, proofreading, more edits, cover designing, edits to the cover design, still more edits to the book itself, and going back and forth over how exactly to get this baby of mine into print, I’m finding it hard to believe that it will only be a little over 3 weeks until I can have a copy of it in my hands. To say I’m excited would be an understatement. I’m also looking forward to getting other books out of my head and onto the page.
I have learned a great deal about the publishing world since I began this journey, and I want to share some of those things with all of you.
· Writing is not always fun. The initial rush I experienced from getting Holly’s Story onto the written page was thrilling. I think that took me through the first round of editing, but it definitely took determination and patience on my part to continue on past the frustrations of reading, rereading and still finding errors, etc. Which brings me to #2.
· You really need to have a professional editor look at your work. I did, and I’m glad I didn’t get in a rush and avoid this step. Working with a professional editor not only helped to point out flaws in grammar and plot, but helped me to look at my book with fresh eyes.
· At some point you have to stop making changes. When I first began writing Holly’s Story I read an article that warned me of this common author’s issue before I even experienced it. I can’t find it now, but it basically said that you will always be able to find something in your work that you can change. We have to force ourselves to let go at some point. If the plot is tight and you’ve worked through all of the grammar and spelling errors—get on with it!
· Writing helped me grow as a person. My grammar wasn’t where it used to be when I was fresh out of school, but boy did that change quickly. I’m certainly not perfect at it, but I re-learned very quickly and learned some new stuff along the way. I also discovered that I was being too hard on myself and I had a hard time accepting myself as an author. I know that I am an author now, and I never want to stop learning and growing—both as a person and an author.
· Traditional publishing isn’t always the way to go. I spent months querying agents because I was sure that traditional publishing was the only way to get my books and my name out there. Every rejection letter seemed to weaken my hope of finding an agent who would love my book and get behind it with everything they could muster. In my research on the wide and varied world of publishing, I encountered many blog posts and articles that started to shake up my view that I just had to be traditionally published. Instead of trying to go over all of the details here, I will just direct you to these posts: You Should Self-Publish, and Time is Money by J.A. Konrath.
· There are good people out there. I’ve had some past projects go very sour in the past. Because of those experiences, I was very nervous about finding both an editor and a graphic designer that I could trust. Thankfully, I was introduced to two great people who helped me put the final touches on Holly’s Story. I couldn’t have asked for better people to help me along this road to my first published book. I’m very thankful for their help, wisdom, expertise and patience!