I can’t believe that my first year of venturing into the self-publishing world is winding down to a close. It started with a short story and now I’m writing a three novel series?
How did that happen? An overactive imagination, fueled by coffee and Dr. Pepper, was unleashed that’s how.
But I do have to calm down and stop charging ahead on my caffeine high because I’ve most likely missed a lot of things that could have helped me along the way. Somehow I did manage to learn a few things and hopefully they can help another newbie.
1. Beta Reader – I had no idea what a beta reader was and why one was important. The comments and questions I received from my beta readers on my short story, Cheers, was fantastic. I can’t believe I never asked anyone to help me before. They saw those things that take you out of the story not so much grammar and typos but those nagging little things that make you go “what?” as a reader.
2. Professional Editing – Well worth price! Someone to take a hard look at style, word choice, pacing and of course grammar and typos. Not an easy process to go through. I got the edits back and thought – Jeez, I can’t write! Then I calmed down and got to work on a cleaner piece.
3. Cover Art – I got to tell you, I like pretty covers. I glance through covers before I read the description. And I’m jumping on my soapbox for a moment – As an author of I/R romance there aren’t a lot of stock photos for us to choose from, however in the hands of the right designer magic can still happen. I tip my hat to Tatiana Vila for her cover of In the Moment Cover. I’ve seen this couple in this pose a lot, but Tatiana makes you think about it a minute before you say – I’ve seen this before. (Off the soapbox.)
4. Publishing Platforms – I recently signed up as my own publisher with All Romance. With this platform, I’ll need to convert my own work and upload. After a little searching, I found AVS4YOU. This subscription program allows you to convert word docs to epub, mobi and pdf docs. Yay! And the price isn’t bad for the year. (So I better get writing.)
5. Patience – I’m learning to be patient. I can’t finish a story, review once or twice and send it out to someone to read. (It’s the caffeine.) So I’m learning to finish and put away. Right now, I can put the story away for a week and read it again to begin what I call the beta prep process. It takes longer for me to see the work out on Smashwords or some other platform (a few days has become a few months) but it’s worth it in the end because I think I’m growing as a writer.
A few sites I’ve discovered along the way:
- Romance Novel Center – premade covers and access to copyeditors
- Vila Designs – graphic designs
- ASV4YOU – file conversion
Happy Writing and Discovering!