Friday, May 24, 2013

Writing a Novel: Part 2

Yesterday I talked about the writing process of the NaNoWriMo competition. Today, I am going to talk about the aftermath of the writing, which is the editing and publishing process.

I decided to take the whole month of December off from working on my book. I needed a break from my characters, because they were kind of getting on my nerves. It's like those people that you see much too often. Before you know it, every little thing they do starts to annoy you. That's the way I felt with my characters. Plus, December is always a busy time for us anyway. If I wanted this book to be fun and not a chore, I needed to take some time off.

I started editing about the second week of January. It seemed to go well at first. I just had to read through my story, fix any misspelled words, and any sentences that didn't sound right. I also added some paragraphs to make it flow better. I had gotten about halfway through my story in about a week. I was on a roll. I knew I would be done by the end of January, and that I could publish it in February, which was my original plan.

That fell through.

See, one day I was really stupid when editing, and forgot to save my work. Well, I left my computer on when I went somewhere that day, and while I was gone, a "required update" was performed on my computer. And to complete the update, it had to restart my computer. So when I got back, I nearly cried when I saw that half of my editing had been erased.

I was so not wanting to go back and edit what I had already done. So, I decided not to. I stepped away from the computer, and once again took a break. I finally decided to continue editing several weeks later. I would work several chapters a day so that I wasn't overwhelmed. There are about thirty four chapters in my book, so I decided to take my time with it. By mid March, I was finally finished.

The publishing was probably the easiest part of the whole process. I had to wait a week or so after I had finished editing to start it, because my parents wanted to look it over to make sure it was secure. Once they decided it was alright, and that everything was what it seemed, I started working.

The publishing consists of a few different parts. The first part is the cover. You can do a lot with that. The CreateSpace website has a lot of pictures that you can use for free on your cover. If you decide to use one you find online, make sure it isn't copyrighted. If it is, you could have you book taken down, and possibly have to pay a fine. I found my cover on a royalty free cover website, but you can always use a picture you've personally taken. I am planning on changing covers sometime in the next year once I decided to hire a photographer for a cover shoot. (and a model, and a backdrop, and costumes...It's gonna be awhile.)

The next step is the inside of your book, which is your actual story. That is the part that took the most amount of time for me to figure out. Depending on the size of your book, you might have to change the template of your book. All the information about that is on the website.

Then there's the back cover. That's what everyone is going to read first. You want it to look good, because people will be more likely to read it, if the back of the book interests them. I just took a paragraph from my story to put on it, but you don't have to do that. You can try to describe your book in a paragraph or two, or you could come up with your own ideas. Just make sure that they will capture your audience, or you won't go anywhere in your sales.

I also had to set up my Amazon.com and Kindle account so I could sell the book on those websites. It was kind of a hassle, because I had to get my banking and tax information, but once I had all that info, it was easy enough to type it all in.

Once everything looks perfect, then you can submit it. This process takes 12-24 hours. You will get an email when the process is over which will let you know if everything meets its standards. I had a few rejection emails the first few times which drove me crazy because I couldn't figure out why. I later found out that it was because I forgot to add the header to my book. It was a simple enough problem to fix.

Once it was FINALLY excepted, I think heard angles sing. It took about a week for the books to be available on Amazon.com, and a day for the Kindle Store. It was immediately on the CreateSpace website, which is where I purchased my copies.

Because I finished the competition, I got five free copies of my book. I got them about a week later. It was so cool to see my writing come to life.

I have had to order about 80 books so far, and I have personally sold about 90. That means I need to order more soon. I'm not sure how many people have bought it on Amazon.com, or the Kindle store. I know there's a way to look, but I'm still trying to figure it all out.

So that's what I have done so far. Like I said, I still don't have answers to everything, but I feel like I'm learning more and more everyday. As I continue to learn, I hope I will be able to share my new found knowledge with anyone, (whether on my blog, or somewhere else) about this whole wonderful experience I've gone through. And I hope that if you decided to do this competition in the fall, you will have just as great as an experience as I did.

2 comments:

Crystal Bush said...

You see how many you sold online by going on the membership dashboard on createspace.com. Beside the title you are checking on, click the detailed royalty report and it will tell you how many copies you've sold online and in what form they bought it in. It also shows how much money they owe you at that moment.

It doesn't update immediately so it might take a day or two for orders to show up.

Anonymous said...

Lucky you! Are you planning on writing more?

-Lee