They say that good things come to those who wait, and I am taking that advice to heart as I get through the final processes of getting In Sleep You Know ready for its big debut! The chances are good that you don’t really know what it entails to get a novel from idea to manuscript to proof to book. Add in all the various forms in which one can release a story – hardback, paperback, epub/mobi, audiobook – and the work really starts to stack up. And if you aren’t versed in this, it can feel like a daunting task… especially if all you really wanted to do was write stories for people to read.
I’ve found that I already had some of the “extra” skills that one needs to publish a book independently, which gave me a good start. I am used to creating my own graphics, marketing copy, and press, thanks to my other job as a fiber artist at Three Ravens Studio. I can also take passable photos, thanks to years of shooting my yarn and fibers. That’s definitely more than a lot of writers have in their skill sets when starting out.
The key to success, in my mind, is getting an understanding of what I don’t know, and then either learning how, or hiring someone skilled in those areas to be on my team. In this case, I am both taking my time to learn more about formatting and proper setup/layout for printing and publishing, and I hired a fantastic designer and book coach to help me through the process. I can’t say enough good things about Leesa Ellis of 3 Ferns Book Design and all the work she’s done to make In Sleep You Know go from a weirdly formatted .doc* to [almost!] finished book. If you are an aspiring author looking to self-publish, do yourself a favor and invest in hiring someone like Leesa to help you though these steps. You need editors, advisors, designers, and other professionals on your team. It’s important that these people are not you! Getting that outside input is vital. Trust me when I tell you: you are too close to your work. You need a team. Even if that team is Beta readers and trusted friends – though don’t rely on them to do your heavy lifting. You truly do get what you pay for.
*I add a lot of extra paragraph breaks and spacing when I write, because it can be difficult for me to differentiate dialogue, etc in my working manuscript otherwise. Finding all those things to fix them later is a pain and my editing team are saints.
In the coming weeks, I’ll talk more about the tools I use, what I’ve been doing during the pre-launch-countdown time to prepare, and of course I’ll be sharing some more short works. By the way! I am writing a short story that goes along with In Sleep You Know and will be offered for FREE to those who join my mailing list! It won’t give away the story, but you will learn more about one of the characters and get a feel for the world of the Eleriannan before In Sleep You Know hits the shelves. Want in? Just sign up for the Mailing List and as soon as it is ready, you’ll get it in your inbox!