So You've Decided To Self-Publish...
This was literally the first thing I thought when the amazingly lovely comments and well wishes on Twitter started to calm down.
I've made this big statement about what I'm going to do, now what do I actually do next?
It's no secret that I've self-published before, and while I'm still proud of those stories, I took them out of print a while ago.
Why? Because after more experience I can recognise they just weren't ready. They didn't go through as much of a copious re-editing process, no beta readers, no line-edits by any external pairs of eyes, and the covers were very much homemade efforts. This time around, I want to give this book every chance of being the best it can possibly be.
So, my question to myself now is what am I going to do different? And where do I start?
Always a big fan of a list, I did just that - opened up a spreadsheet and started putting all my thoughts and points in neat little boxes. Then I copied and pasted to sort them into order. If pen and paper's more your thing, I can imagine that doing the same with post-it notes and a nice big wall would be really satisfying. You could even colour code the post-its - 'things I can do, things I need someone else to do, promotional things' etc!
So, I sorted my list from Launch Day (date TBC) backwards, taking into account all the lofty ideas I have about launch party giveaways, the cover design, which platforms I want to publish on and which I still have to check out.
Alongside, I built a notes column to catch anything I have to research or double-check (like 'how on earth do I choose a trim-size?!')
I also put a timeframe column in, so that I can start building a to-do list that I can just stick to without getting in a flap.
Now I have a step-by-step plan to follow. My mental health has also been see-sawing due to various commitments and non-writing situations, so I'm finding having everything listed out is a huge help to combat the inevitable sense of overwhelm!
First things first, make sure my awesome editor and I have the best version of the story - I've learned this is important to get right as early as possible, so that sizing doesn't become an issue later down the line:
massive changes = change in page numbers = change in printed book width = misalignment of cover if it's already been made = I'm learning already!
I'm also investigating the previously mentioned trim-sizes, which I'll cover in more detail when I get to the actual 'how to format a book' stage.
But the most exciting thing is that I've spoken with a cover designer already and I. AM. SO. EXCITED!
These first steps will be somewhat quiet while I'm plodding on, but until then - happy reading and writing, and if you've read this far: