Month: February 2014

Over-eagerness leads to…

Pffffttt 

So here we are again. 

Right before I published Damaged, I sent out a long, probably annoying blog post about how I was worried about certain aspects of Damaged. Mostly being the editing. 

Look I was well aware when pushing the publish button, nay even before then because its not just pushing the button its also formatting the book, I knew before even then that there were problems in Damaged, I was hoping it was stuff that could be overlooked. 

Unfortunately, and please don’t kill me for this….but confession time: I didn’t actually read the last copy of Damaged until it was published. *winces* I have the worst anxiety when reading my own stuff. And I realized how BAD of a decision this was. But okay i am not trying to make excuses but I really think I need to just get this out there.

Now before I go on I want to say this:

1) this is not a bashing of my friends 

2) my betas really did go over and beyond

3) In the end the decision fell onto me and it was MY fault no one else’s 

So let’s start this story 

So at the end of August 2013 I finished Damaged, the book i decided would be my first published. It was not an easy choice, but one that I do NOT regret. My friend and we are going to call her Boop, told me she was more than willing and eager to edit Damaged, she is an English Major, editing is what she wanted to go into, but she is still in college, we both were at the time, and she had a part time job working almost 30+ a week. 

So let’s add on editing a book shall we? I was so excited when she told me it would 2 weeks for her to finish at the latest. So I started the fun game of getting my name out there, started up a Facebook page, started this blog, just started. And I gave the tentative date of Dec 2013, for the final copy of Damaged to be done. (of course I didn’t realize some of the other things that went into publishing then, but I still think that was a pretty reasonable amount of time) 4 months. 

I waited for a month before I even got the courage to ask Boop how far she was. (see i am too nice, and not very brave) So again my fault…Boop was only 20 pages in… So freak out time? A little bit. So all of September I waited, and I finally decided that maybe it was time to look for help else where… I love Boop I do she is one of my best friends, but I also knew her work and school load. Another friend who I am going to be even more vague about offered up her help, i took it and she finished in about three weeks, all the while I was still waiting on Boop. Boop got to about 60 pages and we called it quits. 

I finally got it out to betas Mid-November. By now I already made the announcement to push Damaged back to January. Now by no means did I think I was so “popular” had this awesome following that was waiting on the edges of their seats to get Damaged in their hands ASAP but I didn’t like the idea that I had to push back the date. So okay. Back to the story. 

I warned my betas what had happened, and many *cough cough* all of them literally pointed out grammar mistakes, and things that needed to be changed. One in particular did a very in depth edit for me and I couldn’t ever be more grateful to her.

So after I got all my beta responses back, I added a few scenes, and la, la, la, and had one of my betas who I knew was a major grammar nazi to do one last read through. She has a life though, as we all do. So anyways she finished mid-January but I was on the verge of biting off my own hand forgoing the nails because I was that nervous, that I would have to push back the release date AGAIN. (i had earlier said early Jan but I changed it to late Jan) anyways… so got that done, and it was time for formatting, and even my formatter caught a few things – thanks to her also.

So then I sent out the ARCs…

I knew that Damaged was perfect but I thought it was good enough, and I had waited 4 months after probably at least 5 or 6 months of writing it, of building up wanting to publish this. I was tired of waiting. I was tired of pushing back the date. So I just went for it. 

I got a few comments about the grammar, it wasn’t too bad. Then a few more reviews rolled in, again we come back to more comments about the grammar. And that was the pushing point I decided to talk to my amazing, lovely, PA if she wanted to do a re-edit of Damaged, she agreed ❤ It’s in the works.

I always try to look past grammar when I am reading, I realize there are just some books that are literally not enjoyable because the grammar, the sentence structure, the blah blah blah is just that bad, like the published their first draft. So … *sigh* I get it. But I didn’t want my book to ever be like that. So that being said, Damaged is going to go through a re-edit, because of this I am going to leave it at 99 cents for now.

I don’t have the heart to pull it from amazon, smashwords, and yeah, so for now its going to stay up. But I want peoples to know that I am VERY aware of the problems in Damaged, I am taking measures to fix them. Thank you for your time.  

 

The Disillusions of Self-Publishing

So this is my week’s reflection of self-publishing, I decided to do this post so early because I want to know how I feel fresh out of publishing then a year from now maybe I can laugh at myself and be like, and you thought you were going no where fast, or maybe I will look at it with jaded eyes and be where I started. Or maybe just maybe I will pat myself on the back and say, “You go girl!”

I am beyond proud to say I self published my first book a week and a day ago. It was about a seven month process beforehand for me. I think this time around with book two things will have sped up, and anyways so it was a long torturous process,

I am not going to lie there were I think at least three times I was seriously considering just being done with it all and just go back to reviewing and giving up a life-long-ish dream.

So I’m a college student, soon to be graduate, do you think I have money?

So I was doing this on a SMALL budget, but one thing I was sure I wanted to do, and that was to do it right.

Unfortunately I had no idea what I was doing besides writing…

Even then I had my own anxieties about, I hadn’t ever let someone outside of my circle of friends read my stuff, seriously not even my family looked at it, friends only. And then people – cough cough Stephanie Constante cough cough – gave me the courage to do it, in a way. And truthfully it all came down to – well I can just never try and i will surely fail, or I can take a shot at it. To me (stupid silly past me) my thought process went like this:

1) Write the book

2) Get a cover

3) Edit the book (have my friend do it)

4) Publish that bitch

Good, Good Simple as pie right?

HAHAHA – authors you can laugh its your right!

So after being quickly disillusioned by this idea, then began the real process (Am I allowed to be telling this or is it author secret club only?)

Step One: Gear yourself up for some writing!

2) Edit that bitch BY YOURSELF FIRST, not necessarily meaning grammar stuff if you are like me and suck at all things grammar – yes i realize the problem of this (don’t worry i got a pile of Grammar for Dummies books that I will soon become best friends with so its easier on my new editor Sammie who I love – she is post Damaged)

Usually ends something like that. So after you have ripped out all hair that you could without going bald because you will be some more for later books I’m sure 😉

3) Send to Editor.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

And wait.

(maybe this was just me)

And this will be a new process for me for book two – Healed

(but i am assuming there might be the need for some more changes if you agree with what creatively your editor says – grammar wise you ALWAYS LISTEN they are smarter than you I promise you that)

4)  BETAS – I know not every author does these, but I couldn’t have done anything without mine, they saved my life, and I bow down to them, for realzes

^^^ that’s me to them^^^

So after they tell you want they feel needs to be done, choose what you want, for me I ended up adding some things and cutting others.

5) Edit ONE.MORE.TIME.

6) Have you gotten your cover yet?

Damanged by Becca Vincenza (Amazon)

So after getting that And after paying a much more talented cover designer then yourself at least that is how it for me because the only software I have access too is Microsoft Paint, and my cover designing skills are non-existent.

So now you got your cover, now you have reveal all this stuff, I was sort of part of the community already asking friends and other blogs I knew to help me out, easy peasy, not so much when you are coming from the outside completely, you have to gear yourself up and pull up your big girl pants and start emailing, pleading, pretty much selling your soul

So that’s done. Let’s try to get you a following now, oh right , they don’t know you from Adam. Seriously 😐 why read someone’s books that I don’t even know what your style is, I have no references its like applying for a bad job. But in the end its a bit worse because in the end (thankfully hasn’t happened to me yet) people can hate your stuff, and they can be really, really mean about it. Sometimes its hard to remember there is a person on the other side who – totally doesn’t – stalk Goodreads/amazon/booklikes/facebook/google themselves looking for any new reviews someone might not have posted on any of those said sites.

7) Did you know that you can’t just send in your Word Doc to KDP and say, make it a mobi now?

(honestly I thought so – I thought it worked like magic)

So if you want to send hours (I have sources) doing this, or you can find yourself an amazing formatter who will be willing to torture themselves in exchange for your *money* which is fine by me! But if you are trying to publish on a budget it means looking around for the best price and someone who isn’t going to rip you off – thank the lords I had friends in high places who were willing to work their own magic aka connections and help me out.

8) So after getting that done, gear yourself my loves, its time for the RELEASE DAY

Here is the hardest day of all. I went into this day trying to not to get my hopes up too high, I tried not to be like, “of course I am going to sell over a 1000 (cough cough 100 cough cough) copies today” Because well I have seen plenty of release days, I have seen those high numbers and my eyes were shining and I was allowing myself to dream….

And I crashed pretty hard that night…luckily I had a friend who sat with me, told me that I was being stupid, and stop being so damn hard on myself.

This was only the beginning, it was one day out of a million, and not everyone is going to be selling over 100 copies on their first day. Most of the time, you are going to have to work your damn ass off. (paraphrased of course)

So I pulled myself out of my dumps and starting working my butt off, I contacted blogs that I knew who were interested in Paranormal reads, as its difficult now being that the “hottest trend” right now is Contemporary Fiction, and ahem it seems in my circles – BDSM Erotica – and being that I can’t help but giggle – seriously laugh – everytime I read “Master” nottt really my theme – I am willing to try them out just not right this minute because there are authors that I ADORE that are writing that kind of stuff, and its not because they are selling out, but because they are branching out and trying something new, they are going with the flow and putting themselves out there. And I say “Fuck yeah!!” but I know for a FACT, that I do not write very good Contemporary Fiction, in the future maybe after I have played around with it more I will do that, but for right now I am sticking with what I know.

so moving on

9) Watching those around you succeed.

And right about know you are thinking: Oh my god, did she just say that? Is she is going to say what I think she is going to say?

Uhh no. Probably not, unfortunately I have this horrible disease called: I’m too nice for my own good.

I am so damn proud of everyone around me who were my release day buddies, they are doing amazing and reminds me that one day I can be just like them, I can have that awesome day where I feel like nothing can touch me! (I already did but maybe a 1000 times more)

Is it wrong of me to think this way?

No. and if you think so then I don’t care. Is it wrong that I want to succeed in the career I had only dreamed of ever having? Absolutely not.

10) My final point of the Disillusions of self-publishing

In the end, success is what you make it. I am fortunate enough to be in my first week of publishing with 13 (it would be 14 but that would be including my own rating 😉 ) 5 stars, and 4 – 4 stars all together that is 18 ratings (including mine) and 14 reviews (all either being 5 or 4 stars)

So there will be that bad rating/review waiting for me around the corner I am sure, but for right now, I am riding my high of awesome-ness.

So what I didn’t end up selling so many books, so what I didn’t actually make back what I put into this book. I got 17 people (correction – there are 5 currently reading peoples)  22 CONFIRMED readers, and I know there some even from my home life reading it. That is 22+ people I never had read my work before. That’s all sorts of awesome.

The biggest thing here though, is my journey through my first self-publishing wasn’t all that terrible, I had people backing me up, I had friends who were more than willing to help me out every step of the way.

And the biggest disillusion of self publishing is thinking that you are alone.