When I started writing, I didn't know there was a self-publishing option. I was prepared to send my manuscript off to publishers and face rejection after rejection, maybe seeing a positive response in twenty years and finally having it published, or maybe I'd get lucky and they'd publish it quickly, but only after I changed key parts of the story (yes, I had a pretty bleak view of the traditional route, built upon conversations with past teachers and writing guides)
Then I discovered self-publishing, and yes, my first thought was, "Omg, this is going to be so easy!"
and again I say
Then I learned, as all self-pubbed authors eventually do, that it is far from easy. I had no idea how much time or money (or both) went into creating a finished product with the editing, formatting, cover design, and marketing. It was a completely different world than I expected (although I'm not really sure what I expected, maybe some fairy magic?) but also amazing.
I do my first round (or three) of edits, and then send it off to my editor, the always amazing Kristina Circelli. She then puts on her jack-of-all-trades hat and goes to town fixing my grammar, spelling, and noting any lingering inconsistencies both in the story and the wording. As proof of how awesome she is, she once noticed a typo that made my story turn from a PG-13 rating to XXX, a typo that was completely context appropriate, and slipped by all 3 of my edits, and the edits of my parents. Eek!
Right now, I do all my formatting, although I frequently send out a frantic SOS to my dear friend Julie with JT Formatting when something just isn't quite working right. I'll do a separate post on the things I have learned about formatting, as well as helpful guides that I have found that others have already posted on the interwebs.
Covers..oh covers...I have hired several cover artists, including Jenny Laatch, Elizabeth Sharp, and Stephanie from Once Upon a Time covers, and will gladly sing praises of them all. They have all been incredible with taking my (often very bad or cliche) ideas for a cover and then turn it into a finished, professional product.
I'm not even going to talk about marketing lol. I think that's an entire blog in itself!
And then...the biggie...the finances! That's my next post :)