Becoming an author is hard work!

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!

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4 thoughts on “Becoming an author is hard work!

  1. Robbie Cox says:

    It’s hard work, but rewarding. Thanks for sharing part of your journey. I look forward to reading your book.

    • Sherry says:

      Thanks, Robbie. I can now say how much I appreciate all the work you’ve already gone through to make your work come to life. You, RLB and so many others. To think you went through this….well I am now bloodied and indoctrinated. ha!

      Thank you for coming by. What a great treat you’ve given me.

  2. RLB Hartmann says:

    The reason I never Like your posts is that I have to be signed into WordPress, and I’m not. However, I DO Like your posts! I’m eager to see what else you have to say about this DIY life. If you haven’t been reading the newsletter/blog called The Passive Voice, I recommend it for finding out the nitty gritty about legacy publishing vs the indies and beyond.
    This morning I bit the proverbial bullet and started trying to sort through two giant file boxes of papers and old manuscripts going back to the beginning (for me 1974). Since those are printed, I know I also must have files of everything residing on 2 external hard drives. Talk about overkill….
    A new guest blogger sounds like a nice break for both of us. We can sit back and listen to someone else’s tears and triumphs. ; )

    • Sherry says:

      Being a part of WordPress is no problem. I’m happy you come by and share your thoughts (me likey you too). I’ve heard of that blog and I will go take a read. Thanks!

      Oh…The Box With The Writing. (please note that this is said with capital emphasis. LOL) I have those too. It is a chore both fun and dreadful.

      I think the new guest will be interesting because (here’s a hint) he’s directly involved in something I have a great love for. There. Hint. (sssh)

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