January 1st brings new adventures and resolutions. Each year I try to shake up my writing routine in one way or another, whether it’s a move to poetry, taking on a new editing position, or in 2017 – deciding to self-publish.
While I’ve enjoyed a fair amount of success with my shorter pieces, I never placed a novel in the right spot. Twice I got close (I liken it to *almost* walking down the aisle but getting cold feet last minute and racing away with my book under my arm). Neither publication offers were right. One was lucrative but the compromise in my work was too great. The other publisher didn’t offer the enthusiasm for my novel that I wanted. And after a brief moment of regret, in both situations, I was comforted by the fact that a first book only comes out once, and I wanted it to be on my terms.
On the flip side, I’ve always held a dim view of self-publishing. As a freelance editor who worked with authors taking this path, I was often turned off by the speed with which people wanted a manuscript released and the flippant attitude towards deep editing, a ‘real’ book cover, and other staples of the publication process. Amazon is swarmed with self-published eBooks that don’t necessarily represent authors’ best works. Pair that with the fact that it’s expensive to do the right way, and self-publishing had no appeal.
Enter working with a for-hire editor who was just amazing last year, and my ideas shifted. I first heard about her at a SCBWI conference, and together she and I rummaged through an old manuscript of mine that was really brought to life. It was the first inkling for me that while I would have to shell out some cash for the moving parts of the process, I could actually produce a novel to my standard. But unlike some of the flash jobs I’d seen, I could devote a year to the process and really put my heart into what I was doing.
In other words, 2017, let’s do this. I’ll be blogging alternately about the writing process but also the steps I take to self-publish my YA book. And I promise to include the good, the bad, and the ugly in the hopes that if, nah make that when, I am successful, my how-to from a novice perspective may offer assistance to other folks planning to do the same.
I hope your writing goals and resolutions all come true in this upcoming year. Happy holidays, and keep writing!
A mother, teacher, and writer who enjoys all good stories and believes in the magic we can make every day by telling them.