OK, so now I had a completed manuscript… It was time to look into editing.
I didn’t know anything about book publishing, and had no idea what an editor even did. I know publishers have editors, and authors work with editors, but what did they do? I started poking around online and found some independent editing companies that will go through your work and comment on story concept, story development, character development, sentence structure, imagery, spelling, grammar, and a whole host of things. Fees seem to range from $700 to $2000 and up…
This was not in the cards for me. I have no interest in having to recoup that kind of money. If this book was a bust, I would be stuck with a big financial loss. So I turned to my big sis, Enger. Enger is an elementary school teacher, and was top of her class in high school, and college. And to boot, she loves to read young adult fiction. I begged her to be my editor and she finally agreed. She did an amazing job of polishing my writing style, and when she was finished, the book had a much better “flow”. Thank big sis!
It took a bit of time for Enger to complete the edit, what with her job and her volunteering to try and save abandoned pet’s from being euthanized. So while I waited, I stumbled across a “book trailer”. I had never heard of this, but I guess it’s become common place. With my background in the film and TV business, I decided to jump right in. I wrote a little script for my book trailer, that could use stock photography (no need to shoot anything), and started editing it.
While all of this was going on, my friend Lizzie pointed me in the direction of her good friend and published author Robin Brande:
I had done some research on the traditional path to finding a publisher, and was eager to talk to Robin about her experience. She pointed me towards some great resources, and the trend of “self publishing” or becoming an “indie author”. Her help and knowledge was a huge help. One of the best resources was Dean Wesley Smith’s blog “Think Like A Publisher”.
I won’t go into any detail, because I couldn’t do a better job than Dean’s blog, but self publishing seemed like the way to go. Using createspace.com for POD (print on demand) and ebooks through kindle, pubit, and smashwords seemed like the way to go. I started developing, and quickly finished a cover for my book, and prepared myself for the indie world.
Then my computer crashed, and my genius at the Mac store was Nick, a friend I had met about a year prior when he had newly entered the movie and TV business. Turns out, he had done a book trailer for a local publisher, Pants on Fire Press. Nick put me in touch with the owner, David.
David got hold of my manuscript and cover.
The first thing he pointed out was that I would need a new cover. My cover screamed “INDIE AUTHOR”… He had a unique approach to publishing in which the author uses Pants on Fire’s contacts, vendors and expertise to self publish their book under the Pants on Fire brand. I loved this idea! My book could look and feel like it was published by a “big”, but I could retain a much higher royalty rate. The first step, however, was making sure the Gasparilla’s Treasure was a fit for Pants on Fire. David read my book, and was confident the story would be a good match for Pants on Fire. He sent it to one of his editors to see what she thought, and she too liked the story, but felt the writing would need further editing. The $2000 editing price tag was a deal breaker for me, and the necessity for editing was a deal breaker for David, so we decided not to move forward. He did however connect me with an amazing artist, Natasha, to do my cover work. As of this writing, we are in the middle of the new cover design, and it’s amazing!
So now, I am back to self publishing, and I am eager to get the book out there. I am just waiting for Natasha to finish the incredible cover art.
More on my createspace, smashwords, kindle, pubit, and smashwords experience to follow: