Where even to begin . . .

Self-publishing is a crazy journey. Whoever tells you otherwise is lying. Not to say the process isn’t rewarding—it absolutely is. But I think it’s safe to compare it to riding a roller coaster . . . with a blindfold over one eye. You can see what’s coming, to an extent, but you’ll still experience your stomach plummeting through it all.

1: You need a tough stomach.

Seriously, you do. It took quite a while to write Catherine’s War. When I finally finished, I thought my work was over. I recognized the need to hire an editor, copy editor, cover designer, etc. I imagined giving them my work and letting them work magic (which they have, by the way). I mentally had taken off my shoes and was preparing to skip through valleys of flowers. Instead, with the first few meetings with my team, they asked questions that I never imagined needing to answer:

  • What font and font size do I want to use?
  • How do I want the chapter titles to read?
  • How do I want my name displayed?
  • What dimensions do I want for my paperback?

What????? I don’t know!

Somehow, I ended up in the front row seat of the roller coaster descending the first large slope.

So be prepared. You may have written the story, but you’ll be expected to analyze, not agonize, over every aspect of the book.

2: Trust your gut.

As you tightly grip the lap bar on the roller coaster, you’ll quickly discover that you’re not alone on this ride. Your editor is sitting right next to you. True, their hands may be in the air like a lunatic because they’ve been on this ride before, but know they’ll be on this ride with you for its duration. Make sure it’s someone you feel connected to. When I first met my editor, it wasn’t her résumé that sold me. It was her T-shirt, depicting how tragic a comma mistake can be. It read: “Let’s eat Mom. Let’s eat, Mom.” Her humor was a perfect fit for me. I loved her from the first meeting and haven’t regretted my decision to collaborate with her on this ride (and every ride hereafter). By trusting my gut, I know that the ride will be easier to handle with her next to me.

3: Trust, trust, trust . . . especially when you have no clue what you’re doing.

If your editor has a great working relationship with other professionals that you need services from, trust their recommendations. For example, I had already chosen someone to do my book cover before I hired my editor. However, as my relationship grew with my editor, they spoke with me about a friend of theirs that did great work on book cover designs. As it turns out, this “friend” was amazing. I hired this “amazing friend”, and they always leave me speechless with their work. I enjoy sitting back and watching my editor and cover designer bounce ideas off one another in emails. They have a great relationship, which makes the curves in my roller coaster ride easier to take. Seated between them, I feel safe. Trusting my editor was the best decision ever.

4: Judge a book by its cover.

People won’t buy my book because of my name (except Mom), so I know that my book cover is going to have to snag their attention. Through this ride, I learned there are many moments that will steal your breath from you. But nothing should make you gasp louder than when you see your cover design and know that it’s perfect. I had some different ideas in mind for my book cover for Catherine’s War, but some side conversations my editor and cover designer had eventually led to the book’s final cover. It wasn’t anything I had originally thought of, but when the new concept design was sent to me, I loudly gasped and knew it was exactly what I wanted. By being flexible (and open-minded) in the roller coaster ride’s turns, I came straight to a cover design that is BEAUTIFUL zovirax dosage.

5: Keep the lap bar down.

Finally, when the ride comes to an end, and your stomach is still feeling queasy, look around you at everyone in the train with you. By trial and error, you’ll learn there are some people you never want to ride with again (hopefully they weren’t behind you, throwing up in your hair). But for the ones that you realize are vital and you want with you for any future project, make sure you secure their lap bars. You’ll want them along for the next ride . . . and the one after that . . . and the one after that. Everyone else can disembark.

Karen and Jamie, I’ve secured your lap bars.


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