Writing And The Chicken
I'm testing the self-publishing process and finding it like the one I'm learning as we try to fix the outside of our house. Daily I find myself wondering "Which did come first? The Chicken or the Egg?" I want to test how to put up a file on Ingram Spark or D2D but you can't get far without an ISBN. Yes, you can use one of their numbers but then why buy your own and you can't change your mind after you select either process. We needed rotten wood fixed on the outside of the house. But that means you need to remove the gutters and paint. What else is impacted by the rotten wood repair or by choosing to self-publish?
It was time for research. I started by reading and watch videos filtering through the information for the ones that show they understand the topic based on what I heard from multiple sources. Copious notes are the only thing keeping me sane at this point. This is an exercise for the brain that will require breaks from the research to decide how I feel about the answers.
a. The brain process: Rotten exterior wood. Replace a few windows. If we're taking down the gutters to fix the wood should we just replace them while we have them down? Do we need to adjust the water flow with new gutters? Need advice from a water flow engineer with the city (wait a few days). The patio is damaged. Should we fix that before touching the gutters? Paint only the wood or do the brick also. Pick colors for paint and gutters. Dream big about the finished project. What can we afford?
b. Real process: Get estimates. Learn something from every contractor estimate. Determine budget. Compromise on dreams to fit the budget. Get revised estimates. Check referrals. Hire several contractors. Get on their schedules. Windows take 4 to 6 weeks for manufacturing. Fix the concrete while windows are on order. Install windows. Take off the gutters. Fix/replace wood. Wait... it's supposed to rain. Project delayed. Install windows. More rain. Paint. Schedule delays. Put up gutters. Pay the bills. Summer is over!
c. Results: Be happy drinking water on the patio because you maxed your budget but love the end project. Put your feet up and read or write a good book!
Publishing a book.
a. The Brain Process: I've finished the book. I can get it all set up in a day. I'll be published in a week or so. Have to set up profiles with a publisher site, copyright, and ISBN sites. (I hate keeping up with logins and passwords.) What do you mean I need the ISBN before I can set up the book to figure out the costs? The price of the copyright is more than I found in my searches. Need more money. Wait I need 3 ISBNs to cover hardback, paperback, and one for eBook? Need more money. I need more pages to make the "sheets" divide by 4 for book printing. Do I need a Table of Contents, Dedication, or Fly page? Save contents in the correct file format. More money for software. I've written a 2 book non-fiction set and a 15 book fiction set. Calculate costs. Need more money. Talk with my self - do I really want to self-publish? I just want to write. Sigh. How long would it take to find a publisher that really wants to take this on? Focus self. You can do this now or spend the next couple of years trying to find a publisher.
b. Real Process: Finish writing and editing your book. MUST BE FINAL. Set up your login and passwords for the selected publishing platform, copyright, and ISBN site. File for copyright (What? wait 3 months?). Buy ISBN. Finish cover with ISBN (a couple of weeks for tweaking). Receive copyright and add it to the book the file. Determine price points. Upload book and cover to the publishing site. Did I miss something? Advertising needs more money. Keep promoting and waiting for people to buy a copy.
c. Results: Post on social media and tell everyone you meet that you are now a published author. Advertise. Start writing the next book because the voices in your brain are angry that you ignored them during the publishing process. In the end, you spent your money to have the satisfaction of saying I'm A Published Author.
Here are some of the lessons I've learned:
1. Only the brave should try either one.
2. Research. Make notes. Research. Research. Make notes.
3. Determine a budget and timeline. Revise both.
4. The hurry up and wait world will teach you patience.
5. The mind begins to spin questions every day and will drive you crazy. What don't I know? Did I miss a step? How long will this take? Can't I just clap my hands and have it all done?
6. The slow journey has a few bumps but the end result is worth it.
a. Did I make the right choices so the house changes will last a long time?
b. If I only sell a dozen books will I still be happy?
Life is all about learning. The test isn't on paper with grades. It's are you happy with the results. Thanks, Pat Sawtelle