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My Journey With Publishing

April 13, 2018

WASSUP GUYS? Okay, so it's been longer than a week. Again. I need to find myself a schedule to post regularly, yeesh.

 

Anyways, I've gotten loads of questions about how I published my baby. My book baby not my human baby. (I have to intention of having any in the next 8 years, thank you very much.)


Either way, let me tell you a quick briefing over how Foreshadow went from an idea on my laptop to paperback on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, as well as Kindle (yep! It's now available for ebook ordering!)

 

Now, before I start, book publishing is a long, long process. I was so lucky I got to see my book in real life in about a year from when I wrote it. Most authors have to wait a year just to hear the reply from the publishing company. So don't get too sad if your book takes ages to materialize. In the end, it will all be worth it just seeing it in real life.

 

 

1. Writing the Draft

The biggest mistake I committed was thinking that once I wrote down the book, I was done. That once all my ideas were on the laptop, I'm good to go. I kept changing lots of details over the course of the next six months because I didn't bother to review it once I finished typing all 28 chapters. (Heck, I ever rewrote chapter 4 at some point.) But then, as I read tens of articles about first-time publishing (will get to this point later on) one sentence was particularly etched into my mind - "The first draft is just you telling yourself the story. You have to edit after that what nears ten times." And they were right. So when writing the first draft, be ready for a third, fourth, and fifth one, too. Edit as much as you want, because when it's in paperback, your hard work will have paid off.

 

2. Professional Editing

Don't even think of skipping this step. Editing is a vital step in publishing. No matter how much you think you reviewed the book, your eyes tend to miss trivial mistakes such as your and you're, because you read it around a gazillion times. A second pair of eyes is always essential, because you will read your book the way you want it to be. I used FirstEditing, and frankly, they were marvelous. LeeAnn was my editor, and she provided insight that has been useful in countless ways. As well as spelling and grammar check, they make sure your story is at its best. So don't. Skip. Editing.

 

3. Finding a Publisher
Publishing companies usually take 3-6 months to reply, and up to a year or two. Don't be too bummed if it takes a while. For me though, publishing companies didn't want to publish my book (because I was 14, I guess?), so dad's author friend suggested we self-publish it first, since it's my debut. (I don't know the logic behind that, but he's the expert.) So we did. We first published it through CreateSpace (expanded distribution), but then transferred it to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) (higher royalties + ebook) - both owned by Amazon. I recommend KDP honestly; it's a lot easier to use and overall more satisfactory for me. Both, however, make your book available on Amazon. Basically, self-publishing wins over publishing companies for one reason - you get all the income. (The production cost is a lot more, though.) Publishing companies, however, do all the publicity for you and so you have a higher chance of being noticed. Which one to go with is entirely up to you either way.

 

4. Promoting Your Book

After going ahead and deciding on how to publish, you have to get your word out there. Once you settle on a publishing outlet, get the word out. Start building up a "fanbase", as my friend Caroline O'Breackin (author of When the Mask Falls Off) puts it. Build up a buzz for your book. Gather anticipated readers. You have to start at LEAST 6 months in advance. Hyping up your audience (finding your audience, matter of fact) takes time. So do it. Offer giveaways, find popular authors to read and review your book, like my good friend Peggy Mcaloon (author of Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals) has done. You need to let people know that "yes, I exist, and I'm gonna publish a book". Another key to promotion is having a website and/or blog. Somewhere other than social media where people can find you. Post a little about yourself; a lot about your book. People care less about who you are and more about what you have to give.

 

5. Knowing What To Do

Read. Read all the articles you can get your hands on. Subscribe to writing blogs (heh ... *winks*) and read. Google "first time author" or "first book publishing" - all the random stuff you can come up with. Read bout self-publishing. Read about publishing with a company. Read about editing. Read about drafting. Read about story plots and help. Anything can be so useful. Articles are your key. The more you read, the more you'll learn from the experience of older and more experienced author. I've read countless first-time authors and the help I got was insane. So read - you're a writer for a reason, right?

I hope that this has been a helpful insight, and if you want to be an author, age isn't a barrier, pal. I'm 14 (almost 15 actually) and I'm a published author. So don't give up. Comment if you're currently writing or plan to write, and if you are, tell me! I'd love to support fellow authors like me.

 

And till next week, guys!

 

~Leena

 

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©2018 by Leena Althekair.