Oddly enough, before I was able to even finish editing my first book, Laguna Sector, a new idea jumped into my head and I just had to get started on it. Within a day I had already written close to ten thousand words and the story was going strong. So I gave up the idea of editing Laguna Sector so I could get it published and just went with the new story. Less than ten days later, the majority of the story was done. The newest one was called Cally’s Dream. I had written two books in less than three weeks. For someone who never dreamed of writing anything other than what related to the sport of darts, I thought it was a pretty impressive accomplishment. Yes, I am tooting my own horn and patting myself on the back.
Deep down, I am a perfectionist, so I spent the next two weeks editing, editing and more editing for both of the books. I wanted to make sure they were perfect before I had to take the time to get the publishing part done. I am not going to lie. This was the part that intimidated me the most.
But there was a slight detour I needed to take with the first book. I was still under contract with the publisher for The Ultimate Book of Darts and there was an option clause in that contract for a book #2 of any type. So off went the first manuscript, Laguna Sector, to the publisher. Now normally an author would be sitting there waiting with baited breath to hear back from a publisher about them wanting to take on their book. I honestly did not want them to. I also knew that the chances were pretty slim that they would because they do not publish anything in the romance genre. So I spent that time editing and editing some more while waiting on word and working on creating my cover art. Thankfully, my buddy the author is just a great guy that does all his own cover art, and he took a little time and created two really awesome covers for me.
Then, after a couple of weeks, word came back from the publisher. They tried, but just did not have a spot for it. Was I sad? No. I was actually quite elated! Because they said they tried to find a spot for it. To me, that meant they considered it worthy enough to actually try to find a spot for it. It was a huge boost to my confidence as a writer. So while most authors are bummed out about rejection, I was on top of the world.
During the whole process of waiting, I was conferring with my buddy, who was the one that talked me into this madness to begin with, about the self-publishing process. He was a great help, but unfortunately, he had paid for a program to format his books. I didn’t have that kind of money to do that. So I went to my newest best friend, Google, and punched in a query about formatting an eBook. I came across a website for a free program called, Calibre. It had a couple of videos to help learn what to do and it ended up being very simple to use. I was rather intimidated by this prospect because I am technologically challenged, but even I could figure it all out on my own.
Now it was time to conquer Kindle Direct Publishing through Amazon. It is a little time consuming at first when you don’t know what you are doing, but it is explained pretty well and there are a lot of help topics available. The eBook process was pretty simple since Calibre did all the formatting for it for me. I did have a little trouble with the margins of one of my covers and had to edit it somewhat, but that was the hardest part of the eBook process.
Next came the formatting for the paperback version of the books. Now that the covers were edited and uploaded already for the eBook, that part of the process was taken care of and I could use the same images. When setting up for the paperback, you have to choose what size book you want to start off with, along with fonts, paper, etc. It was suggested to use 6×9, as that was the most popular, so that was what I went with. I was using Microsoft Word for my stories, and I learned it is important to remember to format correctly for all pages, not just the first page. This was a struggle for me because I could not figure that part out right away. KDP will let you upload a Word doc, but your margins have to be spot on, or it will not print correctly. I learned that I needed to change my page size to 6×9 to start with. Obviously with the start of a chapter, your top and bottom margins are going to be different than on the regular pages, so you have to go in page by page to make sure these are set correctly before uploading. Trust me; I had to upload about a dozen different times because I was stuck on the margins process. But I learned, and when it came time to upload book two, I knew what the margins had to be, and everything went off perfectly.
After a few hours of struggle, I was officially a self-published author for not just one book, but two! The amount of elation and the sense of accomplishment were huge for me at this point. That night, if you were to tell me I would not sell one darn book, I would not have cared one bit. I was on my way to greatness and that was all that mattered. There are so many times where life’s challenges kick you down, but when those great moments show up, it makes everything that much more worthwhile.
Thanks for stopping by again as I continue my writing journey and I hope somewhere along the way, another author reads this and it was beneficial for them. When you get a chance, head on over to Amazon and pick up a copy of Cally’s Dream and let me know what you think of my second try for the romance genre. I appreciate any and all feedback.
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