In Part Two, I talked about how The Field finally came together through the feedback of a trusted editor. The manuscript was ready, but I did nothing with it for two years.
The story continues…
The Field was ready to go, but I would occasionally open the Word doc and tweak little things occasionally. However, I knew it was done when the ideas I had late at night for lines of dialogue or sequences to include were already in the book. I knew then that it was time to take the next step in publishing the novel.
But I was afraid. I’ll admit it. After releasing The Field to the public, I was terrified of dealing with social media trolls. I left Facebook and Instagram in 2016 during the election cycle, so I was overly cautious about jumping back into the social media fray as a new author.
And so, I waited…and waited…and made excuses…and waited.
And then, one day, as I was getting my haircut, Rosa, the woman who cuts my hair, asked me for the 100th time how my novel was coming along and why I hadn’t published it yet. I finally told her why: I was afraid of the response on social media. She looked at me in the mirror and said, “F**k those trolls! Publish your damn book!” I agreed it was time since she had clippers next to my head.
And she was 100% right. It was time to publish the book.
That weekend, I went home and started to research how to self-publish. Previously, I had sent out query letters the traditional way years before to no avail. I knew that eBooks were popular – I certainly have a Kindle full of them – so I initially decided to publish my novel only as an eBook.
And so, the process began; I would self-publish The Field as an eBook. I began to research different methods and companies specializing in turning a manuscript into a professional finished product. After looking at their site, I knew BookBaby.com was the company I wanted to partner with.
I emailed my editor, Kathleen, and told her that after long last, I was going to publish my novel. She suggested I reach out to cover artist Steven Novak at http://www.novakillustration.com. I did, and after several email exchanges, I decided to use his services for my book cover.
Things were starting to fall into place.
Steven sent me a list of what he needed to understand how the cover should look. This being my first time doing this, I went WAY overboard with the materials I sent him. Luckily, he whittled my over-the-top ramblings into an initial cover concept. We then worked over the next two days to fine-tune things into the final cover for The Field.
I was very excited with the final product and was excited to share it with people. Now that I had the cover, I could take that and the manuscript and begin the process on BookBaby of creating an eBook.
But before I moved forward, I copyrighted my manuscript. This is a crucial thing to do that I highly recommend to all self-publishers. While you retain the rights to your work when you publish with BookBaby, it’s always good to have the official copyright on your side, just in case.
Visit the site here: https://www.copyright.gov/registration/ (FYI, it doesn’t let you do it on the weekends or holidays)
Copyright in, I submitted my manuscript and cover to BookBaby. But this was only the beginning.
In Part Four, we’ll discuss the self-publishing process.