Monday, 9 July 2012

And once again I face the red pen of doom (aka. the mss has been sent for editing)

A terrifying sight
Part of this blog's new mission is to document the process of turning my manuscript into an ebook. Today I completed a very important step: submission for professional editing!

Back in March I blogged a piece of very good news, namely that a literary agent had contacted me with a very positive message, asking for the entire manuscript of The Only Genuine Jones to read. Unfortunately that was the closest I managed to get to legacy publication, but it was still an important step for me as it was the first genuine exposure to professional scrutiny my work had experienced.

I received positive comments, but ultimately due to the dire state of the traditional publishing industry (plus the fact that, believe it or not, other people ARE writing better fiction than me ...) I got no further.

Today is another important step.

Since deciding to self-publish electronically nine days ago, I have been working immensely hard. I've thrown myself wholeheartedly into the adventure of self-publishing, convinced at last that it might actually result in success (and just possibly even financial reward for my years of effort!) Since July the 1st, I have read two books on electronic self-publication, tried my hand at cover design, decided I wasn't any good at it, obtained quotes for getting a cover done properly, and found an editor willing to look at my work with a professional eye (Clare at Textsmith). I've also been putting a lot of effort into finding out what I'll have to do to market my book.

Things I have discovered so far:

  1. You have to put far more personal effort into self-publication than if you have an agent and publisher to look after you.
  2. Parts of it are scary and downright complicated.
  3. Did I mention the extra effort?
  4. For all that, you have almost total control over the publication process. I'm getting used to the idea that I will no longer be subject to the mysterious whims of marketing departments, design departments, and other nebulous entities I will likely never meet.
  5. If I put the effort in, there is a greater chance of success in the current climate, thanks to the rise and rise of digital technology.
So today my book has been sent off for professional editing, and when it gets back the real work can begin. If the red pen of doom is kind to me, that is ...
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