Road to the Self-Published Author – Part I

I thought it would be a good idea to start taking down some notes as my wife nears self-publication of her first book. My first shouldn’t be far behind, and I’m learning as much as leading in this endeavor as I help her to reach this very exciting stage.

Obviously, the first part of the process is largely done now: The writing. She has gone through a first draft and a complete rewrite on her story, as well as one editing pass on her behalf. The story weighs in around 73,000 words. Now the ball has been placed in my court as I provide my first editing pass.

Currently I’m focusing on content, picking out readability, sequence of events, factual correctness… my goal is to keep at a pace of at least a chapter or two a day. After we’ve hashed that out I will move to punctuation, a final look at grammar (God help me) and so on.

It’s at this same point that we need to be starting some marketing push for sure and trying to get some word out. We’ll be selecting some sample chapters and making them available for reading online, and tossing some press releases and news items around a few places. I expect to have a Facebook page for the book created soon as well as we look into the push that social networking can provide.

One consideration at this stage is that we cannot be like so many other self-published authors when it comes time to leverage social networking. I can empathize with them, for sure, but we cannot be trying to influence her book by starting to hound and beg for people to purchase it, shamelessly flooding and spamming the Facebook and Twitter spaces. Yet by the same token we can neither afford to be silent. It will probably be a fine line to walk to stand out without being obnoxious.

There are a great many things fighting for the attention and money of people today, between games and apps that actually send you notifications asking you to play them, friends and family that put you under the constant barrage of game and activity invites, new independent games and stories being released faster than ever; not to mention the approaching holiday.

It’s a stressful – and exciting – time for us humans.

~Meredith Purk