Let’s talk writing. Specifically, let me share with you some recent experiences. Most people are aware that I have a book of poetry being released at the end of summer. I’m self-publishing, to be exact. Publishing and marketing myself was never my original game plan, but I understand how difficult it is to get poetry into the mainstream (unless you are master crafter like Poet Laureate Phillip Levine or a Maya Angelou) and even harder to stay a poet of significance. So I decided to self publish my best poetic works so that I might concentrate on my fiction. Prose has been my primary focus for nearly 15 years, but the poetry has pressed me for release.
Settled with my plan to let the poetry go, I decided to release a single volume of work. For many months I researched the best houses, the best approach, what I needed to understand by way of business to include marketing. I bought the “self publishing for dummies,” along with other books on contracts (and the fine print). I studied how to organize books (standard publishing models), and what role I would play in working with a publishing house to make this dream come alive.
I decided on a publishing house, I organized my work, I contacted them and thought we would be off and running in a few short weeks.
Ah, wrong-o buck-a-roo. Very wrong. I have one word for you which has been the mantra of the last six weeks: Details.
Details. Details. Details. It is no wonder to me now that so many ebooks are so poorly designed and crafted. They lack the attention to detail that I’ve since discovered is ESSENTIAL to a quality product. And baby, I mean ESSENTIAL.
Over the course of these many weeks, editing, editing, fine tuning, editing, spell checking, refining, editing, (including punctuation, which in poetry is ESSENTIAL), photography (shoot, re-shoot, trash, select, re-shoot), beta reading (being patient, listening, accepting), cover design by a professional (ESSENTIAL), learning to express your vision, patience (ESSENTIAL), humor (ESSENTIAL), details, time, time, time…..
And here we are. At long last, I finished the manuscript. But it did not happen as quickly as I had believed it would. The process is much more complicated than anyone has mentioned to me. Because if you care about your product, if you plan to put your name to something, then perfection is the only ESSENTIAL outcome.
And nothing was ever made perfect without serious attention to detail. WHEW! More on the specifics to come.
ON THE DESK: currently reading Naomi Novik’s Crucible of Gold (Tremeraire #7). Historical fantasy/fiction. A truly excellent series. Literary, adult. This is real food for the hungry, avid reader.
NEXT WEEK: Get ready for the May Guest Blogger! HE will be joining us by May 17. Look for teasers early next week!
DOWN THE ROAD: May 25! BFF Melonie gets married. I hope to share some pics.
Finally, thank you to the new followers. I am grateful for your attention. There will be more on self-publishing, the process (pitfalls and rewards), and news on the book as well as reviews for books being read. Have we connected on Goodreads or LinkedIn? Let’s!