Writer’s Insight, Q1’18-Indie Publishing Part 1-Covers and Prep (aka editing)

In 2017 after several rejections and the desire to get this novel out there so I can move on to Novel Two, I decided to self-publish my first novel (also the first in a trilogy). For the first 3 months of this year, I’ve been learning about, signing up for, and immersing myself in the technical aspects of publishing and marketing a book. It’s hard. It’s a lot of parts. It requires help.

And I knew I would need help with editing. I’ve said countless times here that I have an eye for editing. And I do. But being as close as I am to this manuscript, and just having been through 2 sets of rewrites–one before beta reading, one after beta reading–I was getting “blind” to my mistakes. However, even if I wasn’t, I would have gotten a professional edit. It pays to have someone else go over your manuscript. They have a different perspective and can see things objectively that you may miss. This was a no-brainer, and it has worked out well for me so far. Thanks, Suanne!

With my eStory “Twenty Four Hours of Freedom” last year, I wanted to test the waters, see if I could format and self-publish at least on a digital platform.  I learned a lot from that process, mainly that I knew almost nothing about graphics, book covers, and what appeals to people. I also learned that publishing is a lot like construction–there are a lot of little tasks to be completed that require checking and re-checking before they can go out to the public. While you can revise digital publications, it’s best to do it right the first time. That first impression is all-important here.

Because of my limitations with graphics, I knew I wanted to get a professional photographer for this novel. However, I thought I could at least design the cover myself. After my original photographer’s scheduling conflict, a photo shoot that wasn’t ideal, money spent, a harrowing Fivver gig, money lost, and days manipulating the nuances of fonts, colors, and hues, my “test audience” picked a cover that I threw together from a test pic that I shot on a whim because I thought it would be a cool graphic for an ad. Go figure. This tells me that next time, I’m going to get a professional to not only create the image but fully design the cover. Maybe even read the novel and provide some alternative concepts.  I already have a concept in mind for the next novel, of course. But since my concept this time turned out not to interest the audience, maybe I need help with everything book cover-related.

Next step in this process is internal formatting, book printing, and implementing my marketing plan. Stay tuned. 😉