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The Not-So-Simple Process of Publishing my First Book

20 Nov

TNSS: Book 1

After my little motorcycle fiasco, it was time to buckle down and get my first novelette, Nothing Lasts Forever, out there. I’d written it rather slowly, working on it and the other two opening novelettes of The Nocturnal Surrender Series at the same time—something I probably won’t do again. Problem was, each story built on the previous one, so if something new happened in an earlier one that I hadn’t counted on, I then had to go back and change the follow ups. What a mess.

I tend to need to work on several projects at once—even when it’s my art or crocheting. Don’t ask me why. The only thing I can come up with is a short attention span. I think I’ll accomplish this from now on by working on books from different series at the same time rather than more than one in the same series.

Anyway, after I had Nothing Lasts Forever hammered out pretty well, I sent it off to a critique partner and a couple of beta readers. Edits upon edits, fixing things that were unclear or just didn’t work, etc. and it was finally ready for the editor. After three rounds back and forth…still not ready for release.

Why? Because after all the edits, there’s bound to be mistakes, typos, and words left out from the editing process. So, back to one of my betas for a proofread, as well as a printout for me to proofread. Then, once I fixed the errors we found, I converted my file to kindle. Two more read-throughs and I found a few more corrections to make. Finally, I was done and ready to release my baby to the world.

Time it took for the entire editing process: way longer than it took to write it. Honestly, I could write a novelette in a week or two if I only worked on the one project, but that same story would take a minimum of four to six weeks to edit—and even then there will still be problems. We’re only human, and after you’ve read over something so many times, you miss simple little things. But how many people can you really have look over a book? That was five people, and I bet even if there were ten there would still be mistakes.

For anyone new to writing, I don’t want you to think this was the beginning of my writing career. It’s not that simple. You don’t just write a story, edit, and release. This was the culmination of years of work, practice, learning the craft, and working with critique partners. But all that is for another post.

Now, when it came time to release Nothing Lasts Forever, I was excited. I had my converted file and my beautiful cover—which I designed. I headed straight over to Amazon—I’d already set up my account weeks before so I wouldn’t have to worry about it when I was ready to release the book—and I uploaded my files. Then…I sat there, frozen.

Holy hell, was I really about to do this? All of the sudden I was terrified. My hands shook, my pulse raced. I think I might have even held my breath for a few seconds. It probably took at least five minutes before I hit the button to publish, but I finally did it. The fear subsided quickly enough, thank goodness, but then I knew I wasn’t going to do any major promo for a while so not too many people would be reading it yet.

I published that first book of The Nocturnal Surrender Series back in September and I’m just now venturing into the promo arena—again, another post. The second novelette, Nocturnal Surrender, is almost ready for release. The third, Midnight Confessions, is in the editing process now. The first novel of the series, Night Therapy, is about a quarter of the way written.

Pretty easy, write, edit, design, release. Rinse and repeat. Yeah, if only it was that simple. And don’t get me started on how many versions of the covers I went through learning that process—yet another future post. I sometimes wonder how authors put out so many books—even shorter ones—in a year. I think that even if I was a full-time writer I’d never be able to do more than three or four a year. Although, it would be nice to find out some day.

For more information on the book and the series, and for the Amazon link, please visit The Nocturnal Surrender Series website.

Anyone else care to share their experience with their first book release? Any readers or writers have questions about the process I went through?

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