Finishing my draft felt great. It was like getting a monkey off my back that had been crashing cymbals on my head for years. I wanted to do this for so long, and now I’m finally done, right?
Not even close!
There are so many steps to go, the list is almost discouraging to look at. I’m a writer, a creative guy, this stuff isn’t really my bag, ya know? I avoid lists like I avoid fist-sized spiders. But it needs to be done. Lucky for me I have a partner who is good at lists, tasks, and getting the type of stuff done that I consider boring. That doesn’t mean she’s going to do it for me, it just means she’s going to harass me until I do it. This is a good thing because otherwise it would take me a lot longer to get these things done.
So how did I figure out the steps? I’m fortunate because I’ve been able to draw from two sources on where to go from here. First is the fantastic website IndiesUnlimited. They just published a piece called I’ve Written a Book, How Do I Publish It?. In it, they run through a sixteen step process on how to take your book from first draft to published book. The information here is absolutely invaluable.
I was also extremely lucky in that the Federation of BC Writers held a self-publishing fair just this last weekend at the Vancouver Public Library. Among the list of speakers was best-selling author Martin Crosbie, who gave a very positive and helpful talk about what has and hasn’t worked for him in the jungle that is Amazon.com.
So, what do I have to do? I present to you, not necessarily in order, my list:
- Confirm a name for the book.
- Figure out what genre it fits into.
- Write a short description/”elevator pitch”
- Second round of edits.
- Find beta readers, send book to them and await feedback.
- Edit from beta reader feedback, then send to new batch of beta readers.
- Edit again. If I’m happy at this point, find a copy-editor and send to him/her.
- Final round of editing. Should be finished at this point. Or should I send out Advanced Review Copies and do one last edit, if required?
- Create Amazon.com author page.
- Get an ISBN for both physical copy and ebook.
- Prepare ‘front matter’. Copyright.
- Figure out the front cover. What do I want it to look like? Hire someone to do it or do it myself?
- Do I want a barcode?
- Format. Can hire a professional formatter, or try and do it myself.
- Upload ebook, check formatting works. Order physical copy to review quality/format.
- Promote. Promote. Promote.
- Promote some more.
Whew. There we go. No problem.
I will, of course, provide semi-irregular updates on what’s happening as it happens, or sometime after it happens, as always. This is, without a doubt, the ‘not fun’ part of putting out a book. But it is absolutely essential, and I’m looking forward to getting through it and learning everything I need to know so that future books (I *do* plan to keep writing, you know) are easier to publish.
Like any process – the first time is always the hardest.