If I’d known then, what I know now, would I have ever written a book?
It’s a question I’ve been asking myself repeatedly over recent weeks and if I’m being perfectly honest, I think the answer would be no! That’s not to say I regret my move into writing. For the most part, I’ve loved it. It’s just that there is so much to do that if I’d known about everything, it probably would have scared me away.
I only started writing as a hobby, but even then, the hobby was more about my family history than being an author. The original intention was to give writing a go and if it was terrible, it would never see the light of day. I was about four years into the project before I made the decision to publish.
Now that I’m coming up to the launch of Hooks & Eyes, the first main book in the series, it has taken over my life. My day job is firmly in the background (fortunately, I’m self-employed and can afford the time) and I’m deeply immersed in the world of publishing.
So, things I’ve done:
- Finalised the book … or nearly anyway. It’s been edited twice and is now with a proofreader. It has a professionally designed cover and it’s own ISBN number.
- Written a blurb for Amazon / the back of the book / the website. Seriously, one of the hardest things I’ve had to do! I’ve read numerous self-help sites and books, but I think I’m almost there.
- Set up my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest sites. It’s relatively easy to set them up, but if you’re not careful they can take over your life – literally!
- Got myself a website, and this blog. It can be a hard slog adding the content, but most importantly, they have the appropriate links for people to sign up to my email list if they’re interested.
- Asked my cover designer to make banners for the top of all web based sites.
- Developed an email List. This took a long time to get going, but gradually, as my websites improved, and I released my short story (Condemned by Fate), it started to build. I currently have about 1300 subscribers, which given where I was six months ago, I’m pretty pleased with.
- Set up a number of cross-author promotions for the time of the book launch. These typically involve offering a free book to generate interest.
- Started to play with Amazon advertising. I’ve also dabbled with Twitter and Facebook post boosts, but not ventured into their advertising yet.
- Had some business cards made (opposite). Even with just Condemned by Fate published, there have been a number of times I’ve wanted to give people something to remind them of the name of the book, but haven’t had anything. Not anymore.
- Used my email list to find about a dozen people who are interested in reading and reviewing my book prior to launch.
- Set up an Amazon account and author page. This was probably one of the best things about publishing the short story. It took me hours, one Sunday afternoon to initially set up the account with all the tax information they needed. I’m so glad it’s done now and hopefully loading the next book onto the site should be easy (fingers crossed). I also now have accounts with other major eBook outlets.
- Started to take my writing career seriously. This is such an important point. If you make writing and publishing your book a priority, you’ll have a head start over so many other writers.
There are still things I know I need to do, such as figuring out what I’m doing with the paperback version, preparing some press material, working on book 2, etc etc, but for now, they’ll have to wait. There are only so many hours in the day!
As I alluded to before, the list of things that needs doing can be overwhelming and could put you off starting. Because I had no idea what was involved, I took one step at a time and suddenly I feel as if I’m about to reach the top of the hill. Whether sales will keep me at the top or have me tumbling back down the other side, remains to be seen.
My one thought of encouragement for anyone else taking this journey is to take it slowly. Listen and learn from everyone you can and focus on the things that need doing now. Don’t worry about what’s to come. Honestly, if I can do it, anyone can!
Do you think I’ve missed anything? Let me know what preparations you make for launch.