I remember when I received my first package in the mail from CreateSpace. I tore into it to find The Quarryman’s Wife staring back at me. What a dream! What a blessing! I still can’t adequately describe what it’s like to hold something you’ve written in your hands, to leaf through it, to touch the pages. Magical, really.
It’s been an interesting process bringing my first-written novel to print. Through it all, I’m even more grateful for my traditional publishers who shepherded me through the process. To be honest, publishing your own book can be daunting and sometimes stressful.
Here are 5 important things to know when you bring your work of genius to the printed page.
- It is never a waste of time to work on your craft. Because I’ve been writing so long and worked often on improving my writing, it wasn’t a daunting process to rewrite, then edit this book. This is obviously the hardest part of the process. If you feel like you’re lacking in skills, take a class, go to a conference, join a critique group, or find a mentor.
- Familiarize yourself with the process. I wrote a long post about uploading your book to CreateSpace here. It’s not a difficult process, but it’s helpful to understand it going in.
- Keep in mind your page length when designing your cover. I designed my spine too wide so I’ll have to re-design it to fit it correctly.
- Editing and editors are your friends. In glee, I opened my book, leafed through, only to find a typo. Grrrr. Just goes to show you need another set of eyes.
- Set a deadline for yourself (or several). If you want to write a book this year, then publish it, give yourself these specific deadlines: rough draft completion, second draft completion, editing completion, cover design, formatting the inside of the manuscript, uploading to CreateSpace, and the eventual date you’d like to have your print book ready for the big time. (It’s best to start with that date first, then work your way back.)
And now, some pictures. Here’s the book! You’ll notice that the spine art bleeds over onto the cover and back. Gotta fix that. I also didn’t capitalize Wife on the back cover copy. Oops.
It’s encouraging to see your work. In my case, it also involved the cover and back of the book. As a closet designer, this truly blessed me!
Ack! A typo! The sky drizzled on the Meg’s shoes. No, Meg isn’t a movie star so she can be THE Meg. There’s an extra THE in there. I’m just so fallible, folks!
And finally, this is why I felt it time to bring this novel to print. To honor the memory of my great grandmother, Mary Walker. The book’s dedicated to her.
So what’s holding you back from creating, then holding your book? To get started, click the link below. And find joy in the process and the holding.