Since we’ve been discussing means of publishing this summer, it’s fitting that you should be among the first to meet my new “baby”!
I published my first novel, More Precious Than Gold, on Amazon this week. It is currently available as an ebook for Kindle e-readers.
Why did I decide to self-publish?
More Precious Than Gold was my first serious attempt at fiction. From the start I intended it to be my “learner,” and boy have I learned! Growing as a writer was hard work, but I enjoyed it immensely. As long as I’m in the learning mode, I decided to go ahead and learn about cover design, e-publishing, traditional publishing, and marketing.
So far, I’m still having fun. 🙂
How did I know the book was ready?
As a recovering perfectionist, I read everything I write about a dozen times before I’m brave enough to let anyone else see it…and every time I read it I find something else to fix or improve. That’s how it is when you’re developing new skills.
I am also a member of three different critique groups with a total of 10 writers who agree to exchange their projects and offer suggestions. It’s like having 10 fresh sets of eyes and 10 different perspectives–a WONDERFUL experience! (And I’ve made 10 new friends.) I HIGHLY recommend that you find friends to grow with you!
In addition, I entered the book in several contests. Each time I got 3-5 professional reviews from the judges. Sometimes I had to swallow hard as I read their constructive criticism, but it DID make me a better writer. When my entry won 3rd place in RWA’s Touched by Love competition, I felt reasonably sure the story was ready.
I also submitted the manuscript to a well-known Christian publisher–both times at their invitation. (Never send a manuscript without querying and/or sending a proposal first!) Though they did not offer a contract, both times my story made it to publishing board, which means it was among their top selections. The editor was exceptionally encouraging and helpful. I’d love it if I got to work with her on a project some day.
How hard was it to self-publish?
Self-publishing for Amazon’s Kindle was not hard at all! What a delightful surprise! I’d say the hardest part (other than writing the book) is developing a professional looking cover and writing a description that will make people want to read more. Once that’s done, the actual “publishing” process–filling out the form and uploading the prepared manuscript–took less than two hours, and a few hours after that I could see my cover on Amazon’s digital bookshelf! How fun is that?
Speaking of cover art…where did mine come from?
I made my own cover–a composite of three separate photos. My daughter, a professional photographer, took the photo of my model, Sarah (or Eliza, if you’ve read the story). The photo of the log cabin window was taken at a historical museum, and a friend supplied the photograph of the mountains in autumn–the same Sangre de Cristo mountains where my story is set. I put them together with a photo editing program called Gimp that is free to download. It took a while to learn my way around the program, but now I have a new skill in my bag of tricks.
And where can you get my book?
I’m so glad you asked! Please check it out at Amazon.com!