My book is ready to drop in a few days. All I have left to do is hit the little ‘publish’ button but I’m feeling a tad squeamish. I get emails from authors who have self-published and want to sell me their guides on how to correctly publish my book. Is there a wrong way?!
Let’s face it everyone has a guide, a book, a best-practices manual, a notebook full of tips; I even watched a video of an author with a giant binder full of…stuff, and I just have a button and a book. What do I know? Apparently, nothing. After all, I don’t have a giant binder full of stuff.
It’s a scary leap to jump off that self-publishing cliff
with the world telling me I shouldn’t, I can’t, I-wouldn’t-do-it-if-I-were-you.
NOT WITH THAT ATTITUDE,
I’ve chosen to block out the negative vibes of, “Dumb
author thinks she can publish her book.
Pfft” and instead I am focusing on, “Dumb author thinks she
can publish her book! Yay!” There.
That’s more like it.
The mere fact that I traveled the journey to get to the spot
where I’m ready to publish, is a feat in itself. I wrote a whole book.
I waded through the self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy
that plagues every writer and human on the planet. I’m not over those feelings and hopefully,
never will be. They push me to be better
and to expect better from myself. I
think those feelings were the catalyst that pushed me to finish.
As the next few days unfold and I steady my finger over the
‘Publish now’ button, I’ll hold tight to the belief that I am worthy of pushing
that damned button.
All the while, I will allow my middle finger to wave freely at the world…and that binder full of ‘stuff’.
I’ve been inundating the internet with graphics of quotes from my book, False Hope. Below, is another I created to give a sense of Ashley’s thoughts on death, grief and hope. I’ve also given a brief summary of the book. Enjoy!
Ashley Wells is a young woman making her way in Toronto. A new job at a small law firm propels her into a romantic relationship with Jax Fuller, a handsome young intern destined to be her biggest mistake. As their bond deepens, Ashley can’t help but think Jax is hiding his true self. As she navigates through the deception, betrayal and grief she discovers the truth about her lover and the dangerous game he is playing. She becomes embroiled in a fight against a crime boss determined to stop at nothing even if it costs the lives of those she loves,. Ashley summons her courage to fight for justice, and in doing so, confronts the limits of the human spirit. In her final testament of love, Ashley forfeits the life she had for one filled with an uncertain path and an undiscovered landscape.
I just finished work on my first romantic
fiction piece. It took me over a year to
write and my days were fraught with doubt, indecision, and wine. I wrote the original manuscript over
twenty-years ago. At that time, I had pitched
it to publishers, agents and to whoever I could find. After the onslaught of rejection letters
arrived, I decided to put it away. I
felt it was destined for the great slush pile in the sky.
Fast forward twenty years and that manuscript
sat there daring me to open it and take a peek.
So I did. The bones were still
good, but the story and the characters needed work. I needed better dialogue and a better
plot. I opened my ten-year-old laptop
and started typing. I bought a book on
how to write a novel. I researched
websites on how to write a good romance.
I bought a fresh notebook and wrote character outlines, plot structures,
subplots, point of views, dialogue and pretty much anything that popped into my
I kept a running recipe card summarizing
each chapter so I could remember details of characters like birthdates, hair
color, eye color, traits, jobs, families, and backstories. I kept pictures of my old apartment in the
back of the notebook so I could take it out and look at it remembering it in
detail. It is the inspiration for
Ashley’s apartment in the book, right down to the weather-beaten picnic table
and it was fun to relive that time through a character’s eyes.
I took the pile of rejection letters and
went through them. Again. I researched how to write dialogue. I researched plots and pacing. I wrote and rewrote chapters. I sat in my basement and isolated myself from
everyone, who still insisted they needed to see what I
was doing. I took my ten-pound laptop to
work and wrote outlines on my lunch break.
I rewrote the chapters at home in the evening. I read and wrote for months. Then I stopped.
I left the project for three months. I’m not sure why. By the fall, I was ready to tackle it again
and began. Again. It took me until June to finish what I
But I finished.
And I’m happy I didn’t give up. I’m happy I didn’t listen to that voice
telling me to put it away. The voice
that said it was too hard and complicated and no one would read it. I’m happy the rejection letters sat in my
file daring me to try again because, without all of that negative “I-knew-you-couldn’t-do-it”
attitude, I proved them wrong.
My decision to self-publish was born from
the above-noted rejection letters. I
didn’t think I was as bad as all of these lovely publishers and agents thought
I was. I am determined to get this book
out into the world by the end of this month and I can’t wait.
Wading through all of the self-publishing
advice and webinars and blogs can be tedious.
I picked one person who sounded knowledgeable and listened to his advice.
Some of it I used, and some I threw
aside. Not everything is written in
I just want to publish a book. Simple.
There’s designing a cover and editing your
work. Selecting a platform and uploading
files. Formatting, ISBN numbers, social
media, marketing, and the list goes on.
Tackle one thing at a time. I started months ago researching book cover
I created a cover for the book using a free online service. I just couldn’t find a resource or a designer that fit what I had in mind. I used the suggestions I found online. I researched the most appealing colors and the most attractive fonts. I went through stock photos and templates. I wasn’t liking anything I saw. I stuck to my original plan and with a new YouTube vid in my mind, I designed what I wanted.
Through happenstance, my cover came to life. I love it.
It was a lot of work, but I enjoyed every
step of the process. I’m now working on
the outline for Book 2 and have ideas for the third. I’m taking my time and I will publish when I
feel I have everything set and ready to go.
If you are working on your first novel,
keep going. You’ll want to give up and
throw the laptop out of the window but resist.
Drink the wine and take a walk.
Then go back to it. The journey
in writing the book is the most fun.
You’ll find there are no better words than
“The End” staring back at you.