Posts Tagged ‘publishing’

I am so happy to announce that I have finally published a young adult short story on Amazon! The title is “Waiting for the Baby,” and you can find it here.

As stated in my blog post many months ago, I want to share the details of this short story journey to help you figure out if publishing short stories on Amazon might be a worthwhile endeavor for you. Since I just published it this weekend and am declaring today (Monday, April 27) my official release day, I don’t have any sales data for you yet. However, here is the breakdown of time and money spent thus far:

 

*I spent approximately 40 hours writing, revising, formatting, and publishing this story. “Publishing” includes all of the random details you have to fill out on Amazon (like book description, price, etc.); I will give more information about that topic in a later post. I’m not sure how many hours I put into writing each of my two self-published novels, but I can assure you it was A LOT more than 40 hours.

*My husband Mike spent approximately five hours designing the cover. It is far easier to design a cover for a title that is only an eBook than it is to design a paperback cover because you don’t have to create the spine or the back of the book when it’s an eBook.

*We spent approximately $40 on Shutterstock photos for the cover.

*I paid $1.49 to buy a copy of my own story to double-check that everything looked okay once it was published.

*I have not spent any money on marketing yet.

 

I fully intended to publish this short story sooner and announced to my newsletter subscribers in December that the release date would be January 28. As stated in a Facebook post in February, I apologize to all of you that I did not publish this story on time. I have been struggling to get in the habit of a good writing schedule (and to balance that with adequate sleep) since the birth of my baby last summer and have also felt somewhat lacking in creativity since then. I am going to be much more careful in the future when selecting release dates for books.

Big props go to my husband who read an early draft of “Waiting for the Baby” and helped me re-shape the plot because I was having a hard time with it. One of the benefits of releasing the story in January would have been to have a few weeks of sales data from the time period prior to the stay-at-home orders that so many of us are now under due to COVID-19. It will be interesting to see how sales go, considering that more people are at home now and may have time to read but also may be unemployed and not have money to spend on books. I will share my initial sales data in an upcoming post.

 

When I wrote Illegally Innocent (my first self-published novel), I did not have a set process for how I completed it or a certain number of drafts I planned to do before publishing. Honestly, I have no idea how many different drafts I wrote for that novel. When I wrote The Anorexic Experiment, I decided I wanted to try something different–basically a formula. Below you’ll see my novel-writing process for The Anorexic Experiment, and it worked so well that I am using the same formula for my current project, the sequel to Illegally Innocent. You can watch the companion video for this post on my YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/HLEgLyc3wmU. If you have a certain plan you follow for your writing projects, let me know in the comments below!

First Draft—I am not an outliner. I have a general idea of where the book is starting and where it is going to end up, and I have some plot points in mind that I want to touch on along the way. I try not to edit myself much at all in this first draft and mostly write whatever comes to mind. This is sort of a “junk draft.” I do not let anyone read it. Much of it may not even make sense to someone else or be in the order it is going to be in when all is said and done. I will have a word count target in mind and will try to write until I have both reached my target word count and have managed to form some semblance of an ending to the novel.

Second Draft—I start revising. I don’t spend a lot of time on descriptions or fine-tune the plot yet, but I rearrange the plot points into something that makes more sense, fix obvious errors, and in general turn it into something that I am okay with someone close to me reading. My husband, Mike, reads it to give me big-picture feedback.

Third Draft—I use Mike’s feedback to make more edits and now I will spend time on descriptions, fixing dialogue, and doing what needs to be done to make me comfortable with other people reading it. I fix everything I can identify as needing to be fixed. I ask for beta readers and send the manuscript to several people for feedback on things like what parts are confusing, what parts are boring, and any other general edits that they notice.

Fourth Draft—I take the feedback from my beta readers and incorporate much of it into my editing process. The book is basically finished by the time the fourth draft is done.

Fifth Draft—This is where I go over the book with a fine-tooth comb, checking for any grammar errors I may have missed; checking that I have called all of my characters by the correct names (and spelled their names correctly); and if I have used any brand names, I look them up to make sure that I spelled those brand names accurately. I also check for words that I may have repeated too often. One of those words that I tend to use too much is the word “actually.”

Done! Ready to start the formatting and publishing process!

Tomorrow I am participating in an author fair at Ransom District Library in Plainwell, Michigan! Come visit me and many other authors–there will be books for sale, and you can ask us any questions you may have about writing and publishing. Local restaurant Nancy’s Kitchen is providing snacks. The fair lasts from 6-8 p.m. See you there! 🙂