I figured it was time I did another post on here since my last post was in March! Sorry about the silence. I have been working. Uh, I mean writing. 🙂
Have you ever wondered what it takes to get a book from idea to readers’ hands? If you have, here’s a quick look at what my new book has gone through and has yet to go through.
First things first. Most books start out with an idea. Unlike most of my stories, this one started out with character sketches for the three main characters. Once that was done I began writing. And writing.
|My friend NEO 🙂|
I used to write on paper. I can’t compose on the computer, at least not stories, and I used to wish that I had an “electronic typewriter” so I could type without using the computer and then just be able to send it to the computer instead of having to type it again. It was very shortly after that when I discovered NEO! I don’t know who invented NEO, but I absolutely LOVE mine!!!!!!! If you’ve never heard of them, you should check them out. 🙂 I heard they don’t sell them any more, but if you can find one on e-Bay that was in good condition and you plan to write, I would recommend it. 🙂
Some people say you have to have an outline of your story before you begin writing, but I don’t work that way. I just start writing and see what happens. Often I’ll discuss my story idea with my mom and sister and we’ll toss thoughts around until something feels right. Then it’s back to more writing.
I like to write in 1000 word parts instead of just writing the entire thing. It’s also easier on my first proofer (my mom) who can then read the story in small parts instead of trying to find time to read the entire thing at once. I know some folks say you shouldn’t have family members proof your work and in many cases, I’d agree. You have to have a family member who is willing to be honest and look at the details, or lack of them, in the story and give you feedback like they would if you were someone else. My mom is great at that. Sometimes there are several places I have to go back and fix, but not very often. My sister is also a very sensible person and since I usually try ideas out with her before or as I’m writing them, I get instant feedback about things.
Once the book has reached an ending (this one is a little over 62 parts), I re-read it (from the notebook I keep all the parts in) and mark any changes that need to happen. (Red pens are handy little things.) Sometimes I’ll say one thing at the beginning but realize later that it should be different. Or I might call someone the wrong name. Little things like that.
At this point I gave the notebook to my best friend to read and mark anything she saw. She also checked chapter breaks to see if they fit well. Her younger sister also read and marked it for me. Now the book is waiting for my sister to read the printed story instead of just listing to the “unabridged, uncut, audio version with extra details and no conversation.” She will help me come up with chapter names as will some of my test readers. Don’t be afraid to let others offer ideas for chapter titles if you are stuck. Some of my readers had great ideas!
Next I’ll make all the corrections needed, divide the book into chapters and send it off to my illustrator. I’ll also be sending it to my test readers.
Once the book comes back from the test readers, I have to make any needed corrections and begin the layout of the book.
When my illustrator gets me the wonderful illustrations, I’ll add them to the book and continue to work on the layout until it is the way I like it. I also have to decide on what I want the cover to look like. Should it be a drawing? A photograph? Should the picture cover the entire cover, only the front or part of the front? A short description must be written then to go on the back and capture your attention. And any book reviews I got from test readers.
Then the book gets uploaded to the publisher (printer) and I wait until it’s been approved. (Usually within 24 hours.)
The publisher prints me a proof copy and mails it to me. This I have to go over and check to make sure it all looks good and there’s nothing else that needs correcting. Mom gets to read the entire book together instead of in parts and will mark any changes. If there are things to correct, (There always are typos.) I’ll make the corrections and upload a new file. If there’s not . . .
Then I approve my book.
I have to also file with the copyright office.
With the click a few buttons, I then make the book available on Amazon as well as in Kindle format and there you go.
All I have to do then is hope you’ll be interested enough to buy it. 🙂
And that’s a brief look at the work of writing and publishing a book. Oh, and somewhere in there I have to come up with a real title for the book. Right now the working title is “Triple Creek Ranch.”