Adventures In Publishing – Part 2

Wood board with the words: Worth The Wait.

Hannah Busing/Unsplash

I’ve come to realize that until you have done something for the first time, it is never as simple as you think it will be. Self-publishing has become more complicated than I thought possible. Why? To be honest, part of this is due to the fact I am a recovering perfectionist.

My first novel must look professional in every aspect from the ebook to the paperback cover to the inside layout. I won’t settle for anything less. This book has my name on it and it represents me as an author, so it’s vitally important. As a result, I am being very thorough and have enlisted the help of a small tribe of people: alpha and beta readers, my proofreading editor, my Canadian Christian Writers group members, and The FlourishWriters founders, authors, and members.

At first I was going to upload into Kindle Publishing and be done with it, but that wasn’t as simple as it sounded. After laboriously cutting and pasting a few pages into an Amazon template, I watched the tutorials and downloaded Kindle Create, uploaded my manuscript, and began following the instructions once my novel was converted. Within an hour of reading and working, I ran across information notifying authors that once they uploaded into KDP Publishing, they would be an exclusive author to Amazon. I put the brakes on immediately—not because I think there’s anything wrong with KDP Publishing. I wanted the option and ability to publish on other platforms like: Kobo, Coles, Barnes & Noble, etc. If I lived in the USA it might not factor in as highly, but I live in Canada.

My novel is set in Canada and the story deals with a part of Canadian history many are unaware of. Given that, the spelling in this book is also Canadian. It’s not either USA spelling or UK spelling. No, Canadian spelling is a mixture of USA, UK, and French spelling. For those reading this who are outside of Canada, be thankful you didn’t have our spelling tests in school. But I digress…

What now? I thought to myself with a little over three weeks to launch date. Panic started to whisper at the edges of my mind, but I pushed it away and began searching for free templates that converted and had the required file endings for both the ebook and paperback. It was complicated and a few sites claimed to offer free templates if you submitted your email address, but didn’t… they took you on as their client instead. A series of emails fixed those and that was when I stumbled upon formatting software called Atticus.

For a low, once in a lifetime fee, I have the ability to format and upload to any platform. Compared to Kindle Creates templates (4 in total), Atticus offers three pages of free templates and the ability to create your own. I uploaded my manuscript figuring within a few days, I would be good to go. Yeah… that was until I discovered a 355 word discrepancy between the manuscript on Atticus and the original. Panic rose like flood waters and I took some deep breaths to quell it. Three days later, I finally discovered there were no missing words. Every error was one of extra or missing spaces. You see, the manuscript had always been in MS Word through the writing and then all the editing and revisions. This was the first time it was in a different format. So, I have to go through it chapter by chapter and make the necessary changes before I can work on the template.

Last night, I realized February 1/23 was no longer viable. That was cemented when I listened in a Clubhouse room on self-publishing and heard all of the things I should already be doing for marketing. Do I have a marketing strategy? No, I was waiting until the manuscript was uploaded into the platforms and scheduled.

God works in mysterious ways and, in the midst of all this struggle and angst, He made it very clear that I was trying to launch this novel in my own timing and not His. The moment I made the decision to push my launch date forward to March 1/23, I received an email from my editor saying March 1st might be a good idea. Once she outlined her reasons, I had to agree 100%. It also gives me time to learn as I am now able to participate in The Flourishing Writers MasterClass on Self-Publishing. Everything is falling into place and that is a relief.

So, I am announcing that the launch for Sister Lost is now set for March 1/23. March is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness month, which is perfect for my story as I can raise awareness by donating $1 from the sale of every ebook and paperback to the Cerebral Palsy Canada Network for the entire month of March 2023. There will be social media posts on all my platforms once I’ve finalized the details with this organization. I’m so excited.

Stay tuned!

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