After years of attending writers seminars and conferences, whipping out first drafts during National November Writing Month, rewriting and editing, researching and plotting, and querying numerous editors and agents alike, I bit the bullet, hired an outside editor, and released my debut novel “Just Dreams” on August 31, 2014. “Just Dreams” is now out on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes. I'm working hard to figure out how to get it into bookstores and libraries near you.
Last week, I received a proof of the paperback to review. Holding a physical copy of my book in my hands was surreal – a dream come true long in the making. I requested that some changes be made and, as a result, I will receive a revised proof this week. Once I approve it, the paperback version will become available on Amazon. I'll let you know when that happens.
This journey has been exhilarating, empowering and terrifying all at once and it's far from over. In fact, it's the just beginning of my professional writing career. I've learned so much from publishing “Just Dreams” and I know that I still have much to learn. As a self-published author, I not only have to figure out the writing side of the business but also every aspect of the publishing side as well. That runs the gamut from figuring out the best business and tax structures for me, to learning how to format the book as an e-book and a print book, to figuring out cover design, to learning how to upload the books to the different sale platform sites, to figuring out retail and wholesale pricing of the book, to figuring out the best markets in which to offer the book, to learning when and how to market the book, etc. I even had to figure out how to use social media to promote the book. That was not an easy feat for me since, three months ago, I had no idea how to use Twitter and barely used Facebook. I had never heard of Pinterest or Google Plus or Goodreads. I still haven't ventured onto Wattpad and other sites.
It's amazing how hard you are willing to work when you have a passion for something though. I know I have a passion for writing because I stuck with it and I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get the word out about “Just Dreams.” That apparently includes working on marketing efforts into the wee hours of the morning. I spent all day Thursday visiting nearly a hundred book blog review sites I had compiled on a list and asking for reviews. I took short meal and other breaks during the day and drank gallons of coffee while I worked, but remained focus on the task. When I glanced at the clock, it was after midnight. I just shook my head. Where had the day gone? And why was I tempted to keep working even though I was nearly blind from staring into the computer screen all day? OCD anyone? 🙂
Instead of taking a break on Friday and Saturday, I spent the days searching for book clubs to approach, asking to be their book of the month, beefing up my Goodreads profile, figuring out things like wholesale discounts and pricing, and learning how best to get my book in libraries, bookstores and retail shops.
The one thing I haven't been doing enough of is writing. I intend to rectify that immediately because I need to revise the second book in the Brooks Sisters Dreams Series – “Dreams Deferred” – which will be released in December, 2014. It features Kathy's flashy baby sister Ivy Brooks as the heroine.
I'll keep you up to date on all the latest developments in this crazy journey. It won't be a smooth ride, but it promises to be an interesting one.