After several months of waiting and wondering, I decided that if no one else was going to take a punt on me, then I was damn sure I was going to take a punt on myself.
It's important that I acknowledge the wifey. She knew I longed to write and publish a book. And she knew that I would forever regret it if I didn't. My goal, as mentioned elsewhere, was not to write the next Catcher in the Rye, Animal Farm or 1984. Rather, I just want to entertain, and wifey knew that. So she gave me the gentle nudge that I needed.
For her support, I am eternally grateful. I only wish the rest of you find a wifey like I have (or husbandy).
So, with the guiding wind of wifey behind me, I took my first steps into the daunting world of self-publishing.
Editing and Proofing
Ahhh… the editing and proof reading
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve read through the manuscript (with the help of others). But, I still wanted the help of a professional editor / proof-reader
There are many editors out there, and they charge anything between a few hundred dollars and a few thousand for a ‘script the size of Nightfall. I did some research and found an editor with great reviews AND was on the cheaper end. She was also local, so that was an even bigger bonus. After a few emails back and forth, I sent her the cash (via PayPal, of course), and the roughly edited manuscript.
After the first week, she sent me back the first bit. No problem.
Then, I received the next bit, and the next bit etc.
Overall, the whole process took around two months, after which I thought I had a polished piece of work, ready to be published.
After another going over, I found some small typos or bits of incorrect punctuation – no big deal right?
Unfortunately, due to my eagerness to entertain the world, I left it at that. I thought I had a well prepared manuscript. More on this in the next blog, but in a nutshell – I probably should have been more patient.
Lesson learned - don't scrimp on the proof reading or editing.
Finding The Cover
I didn’t just want a cover. I wanted the cover.
This would arguably be one of the most important decisions I could make for Nightfall. I know myself that, while people shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, everyone so often does. The cover I chose would need to be, in a word - perfect.
It would be my symbol, calling card and the basis for every bit of marketing and promotion I would need to do.
It would be the icon that would guide readers to where I wanted them to go.
So, rather than creating my own (my drawing and design skills have often been compared to “below satisfactory for a kindergartener”), I again ventured to the internet, and found a few websites that offered premade covers. I tried www.thebookcoverdesigner.com and found several options that could have worked. It was easy to make contact with the designer, and explore all the options that were offered.
After careful consideration, and numerous rounds of short-listing, I chose this one:
It said everything I wanted. It was exciting, thrilling, mysterious and offered a hint of the plot that I had created. Plus, I really liked the colours.
Even better still, wifey liked it too.
After about a hundred bucks, the book, spine and back cover were mine.
I was ready to publish.
Finding a Self-Publisher
When I say there are a lot of options, I’m not exaggerating.
But, after some consideration, I have settled on Createspace.
Well, the main draw was their flexibility. While they offer to do everything (proofing, editing, cover etc.) they also allowed me to just publish.
I already had the cover and the content. All I needed now was to make it look like a novel. And that meant interior design. So, for a fee, they will design your book to look professional.
They also provided the option of a kindle book conversion (something that would help sell Nightfall on Amazon etc.). Additionally, they were also a PoD (print on demand) supplier. This means that I don’t have to order a large quantity of books, and I have the option of only doing one at a time.
And it’s all for a pretty low price as well.
Now, this is not an advertisement for Createspace. While they did offer plenty, I would still have preferred a it more leeway in regards to additional alterations to the manuscript. As I mentioned earlier, the editing was not all I had hoped for, and I needed to make some changes after publishing. Unfortunately, Createspace charged about $80 USD for the privilege of changing a word or two (or even deleting a full stop).
But, overall I am more than satisfied with the service they provided, and will be using them for my books into the future.
But, now that I know how much it all is, I will certainly be better prepared next time.
With Nightfall complete and ready to go, I set out to tackle the next (and hardest) part of being an author - promotion.
Coming Up Next Time
Marketing, launching and other stuff