For those who aren’t in the know, I finished writing a book about a month ago. It took me six years to write and finish this book. I actually rewrote three times over because I wasn’t happy with it. The final time writing this book only took me six days. I immediately felt a sense of relief and thought the hardest part was over. It couldn’t have been further from the truth.
My original editor had to back out because of a busy season of her life. We agreed for her to edit my book before I even finished it. She’s very talented and knows what I want to get across since she knows me pretty well. But last minute, she had to bow out, and I understood. I found a freelancer who has a doctorate in English to edit the book, and she did a great job. The editor also immediately notified me that there are EIGHT books that have the title “Work in Progress” and she suggested I change the title of the book. I agreed. I changed it to “Never Complete.”
After all the editing and getting feedback from friends and family, I was ready to record the audiobook. I read a book on self-publishing and read a bunch of articles on self-publishing to get ahead of the learning curve and do it the right way. I also watched an hour-long video on what to do to record my own audiobook. Many referred to having a professional do it since doing your audiobook isn’t as easy as it seems. I mean, how hard can it be to read into a microphone a book that I wrote myself? I bought a professional microphone and all the tools needed to record the audiobook. I spent three hours recording the first four chapters. I thought that was easy, only to realize the next day the file wasn’t saved right. The audio file was corrupted and couldn’t be used. It was for nothing and had to be recorded again. I then hired an audio editor specialist to help me edit the audio file and to give me tips on recording an audiobook since I clearly wasn’t as prepared as I thought I would be. I recorded another three hours the next day and sent him the files to edit. The audio specialist realized something right away. I was recording with both my professional microphone and computer mic being on at the same time. Because both were on at the same time, it made the audio file muffled. I had to do it all again or accept it wouldn’t be as good as I wanted. I sucked it up and recorded again yesterday for three more hours. I now have a little more than half the book left to record. I’m afraid to keep going if I’m being honest.
All while this audio recording trouble was going on I was trying to upload all the files to Amazon to get my book published on there. I was doing this so I could start the presale process of my book. The uploading process has been a nightmare. Every file has to be perfect for it to be uploaded. It has to be formatted a certain way, and I had no idea what I was doing. Which color do I use for paper? Which font size do I use? And what font do I use? No it’s Times New Roman either. And I guess all this stuff matters when it comes to publishing. I had no idea how much thought goes into formatting, fonts, sizing, and what size book I should use. There are so many options and they MATTER. I spent a day just on these decisions. I then had to format it all a certain way. Once I was done, I had to upload it and realized my formatting was off, so I had to figure out how. I’m getting aggravated just typing all this up.
The book cover is a whole other story. After going through so many options and getting everyone’s votes (Thanks for voting everyone), I finally chose a book cover and had to write the description for the book. I had to read some articles on book descriptions and get that edited, as well.. So much thought and strategy is put into book descriptions and sales descriptions online. I had no idea and had to really think about what I wanted to get across. More time then I thought had to be put into that area of the publishing process.
I then got the book cover to upload and realized 24 hours later it wasn’t formatted the right size and had to be a certain way in pdf format. I had to wait on hold yesterday for almost hour to talk to Amazon to find out what was wrong with the file. It had to have a very specific bleed. The spine had to be formatted to a certain size based on how many pages there were and what color the pages were. I can’t make this stuff up!
After four attempts on the book cover size and having two graphic designers edit the book cover size, I am crossing my fingers that we finally have it right. I will know tomorrow from Amazon.
I seriously believe training for a marathon in six weeks was easier than doing this book. My patience has been tested so much the past couple weeks. I am already sick of my book since I read it twice out loud while recording my audiobook. I did all this while writing my second book, designing another book cover for that book, running my publishing business, and speaking business all at once. How ironic is it that the title for my second book is “How To Feel Empowered When You Are Overwhelmed”?
One of the chapters in that book is “Look for the Gift.”
Unfortunately, I’ve had to practice what I preached in that book lately. There has been a lot of frustrations. I seriously thought about just forgetting about the book and putting it off since I was being overwhelmed by the work and mistakes.
But if I did, I would have missed out on the gifts during the frustration.
If my original editor would have edited the book for me, I would have missed out on getting someone else’s perspective…an unbiased source who didn’t know me, so she could read the book without a prior opinion of me and what the book was about. Because of that, I could see new perspectives I couldn’t see before. I also gained a new editor for my blogs and future writing. She’s been a great editor for me. More than what I could hope for.
Because I read my book practically twice out loud in my home office, I know my book even better and noticed some errors I didn’t catch before. Also, since publishing has been taking longer than expected, one of my sisters had a chance to read my book. She caught an error, as well, and I wouldn’t have been able to fix it if I wouldn’t have had such a hard time recording the audiobook or uploading it to the Amazon. It’s been a blessing that the uploading process took longer even though I am so impatient and want it done already.
Since my original book cover designer has been busy this week, I had to reach out to another graphic designer to help me size the book the right way since I wanted a unique size for the book. He made a suggestion for the back cover I didn’t think of before, and we went with the change. I loved the change. What a gift when I was so frustrated with formatting the book cover so many times already.
Even though my book still isn’t done yet, it’s been a great experience. Through the hardships, there have been plenty of gifts to make up for the frustration and anger with publishing my first book. I could practically write a book for first-time publishers with how much I have learned the past two months. And I’m not even officially published yet!
Fingers crossed, it will happen by this weekend, and I will be placing an order for 1000 books to sell when I am speaking across the U.S. in 2018. Stay tuned and like my Facebook page to be one of the firsts to order my book. The people who preorder my book before it comes out will receive my audiobook for free. Thanks for being with me on this journey. Thanks for supporting me. This will all be worth it.