Hello Treasures! It’s a good Monday morning, starting off the last week of April. Can you believe April is already over?
Let’s get to it, because I don’t want to small talk today. XD. Writing and getting ready to publish Playgrounds and Black Markers, the sequel to my debut Dewdrops and Butterflies, opened up a lot of things I realized and learned from my first experience. For some reason it’s soooo much easier to move forward with this book than it was with the first! So without further ado…
The 12 things I wish I knew while writing Dewdrops and Butterflies.
- Write chronologically. Normally this is a no brainer, however, for the third person past chapters, I did not write chronologically because I wasn’t sure what I was doing with them. The hassle that came with trying to arrange them in a timely sequence AFTER the book was written, and STILL make it make sense with the chapters that were chronological was a PAIN! It took me SO LONG to edit those chapters and make them work.
- It’s okay to rest, but don’t stop! Knowing that reaching the end is actually a potential would have been amazing. I have a problem with committing because I’m afraid of not finishing! I didn’t commit to writing Playgrounds and Black Markers until I was 50k words in. But when I got to the point that I knew I would finish it, it was so helpful to keep going!
- Publishing is not impossible, even though some people say it is. I had already published authors telling me how painfully difficult it was. I had nightmares about the things I just knew I wouldn’t be able to do. Who am I to get published? I’m a homeschooled author with a tiny community. I don’t share my own face online, which makes it twice as hard to do online marketing! How in the world would I even do it? Well… I did it XD
- Editing will kill you, but you can do it! (and also, you don’t have to hire an editor for your first book.) I’m an author, not an editor. I get mentally drained from editing. It taxes my brain without offering the outlet that actual writing does, and that was so hard! But I did it! In fact, from the book I’m reading right now, called Published, the author reminds us that no book is perfect and done is better than not. I didn’t have the funds to hire an editor, but I didn’t let that stall my process.
- Listen to the people around you. Take it with a grain of salt! The alpha and beta readers may feel like stabs into your heart, but take everything they say into honest consideration. Apply what makes your story better, but don’t be scared to decline suggestions. After all, this is YOUR story and YOUR writing style, and you know it best of everybody. Suggestions are just that, suggestions.
- You do not need to purchase your own ISBN. ISBN numbers are EXPENSIVE and as a brand new indie author, this was one of the hardest parts for me. I was told that I had to budget at least three hundred dollars for an ISBN number. That almost broke me. I was working as a babysitter for 8-10 hours a day for $35 a day, and three hundred dollars seemed impossible. But, DO NOT FEAR, AMAZON IS HERE. Amazon’s indie publishing help allows you to simply select the fact that you NEED an isbn, and they will automatically assign one to your book when you submit your manuscript. (I’m not affiliated with Amazon. XD That came out sounding kind of like a commercial) After doing a lot of research and asking several people and seeing what people did, I decided that at that moment there was no reason why I should need to buy my own ISBN. Even in the future, it didn’t seem necessary in my case. I could have been spared so many dreadful tears had I known this.
- You don’t need to hire a blog tour coordinator. I’m not saying anything against my coordinator, she did amazing and I’m very happy with the work that she put in. However, I already have a blog, I already have an Instagram and a following, and if I had taken the time to organize my own blog tour it would have simply saved me money and I don’t feel I would have lost anything. I seriously was going back and forth if I should hire a blog tour coordinator, and in the end, I decided that was one thing I would be willing to invest money into. It was not a bad experience, but I can do it myself this time.
- Have your publishing/marketing plan written out at least two to three months in advance. This will allow you to collect the people you need to share your book without being desperate and on a time crunch. It’ll also allow you to build up the anticipation for your book for months before it actually comes out.
- As fun as a huge giveaway sounds, it’s unnecessary. I did a giveaway with a total of five winners, all of them with a paperback copy. This was both expensive and time-consuming. I had a blast shopping for it, but all in all it came out costing me about $100 of my $400 budget for publishing! This time around it’ll be a bit smaller, though just as much fun. XD
- It will not be perfect. Your book will not be perfect no matter how long you tweak it. But it will come to a point where it’s ready for the public. When you get to that point STOP TWEAKING. Finish, and then publish. If you come across things in the future that need to be adjusted that you and your betas somehow missed (grammar errors, or inconsistency errors) you can always edit your manuscript and then publish the new file. Amazon makes it very easy to do that. But this also gets your book out into the world and into the public eye, which makes SURE you cannot change your plot and chapters and everything YET AGAIN.
- Important people will come into your life to propel you forward, but they will not always stay to see the outcome. Isn’t it like this in everything in life? Paul even says in the book of Romans, some will plant, some will water and some will harvest. It’s like that with everything So thank you for the people that helped push me forward and yet never stuck around to see the final outcome. You were a blessing!
- Never quit. It’s common sense that if you are determined to never quit, you will reach your final destination, even if it takes forever. My determination to never quit was firmly set and in times of weakness held together by my mom and dad. They believed in me without a doubt, and that rubbed off on me. They knew I could do it, and guess what? They were right! So with whatever you’re doing in life right now, determine not to give up. Psalms says Commit your ways to the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. When your heart is set in God’s will, you will reach your goals because they will be in line with His.
BONUS POINT: This is something I think every author should determine before they publish their story. Is all this work worth it to you if you only reach one or two people who needed your story? For me the answer was Yes! It’s even in my dedication. However there is another aspect that I realized just recently. Are you willing to take negative response to your hard work and story for the sake of reaching one or two people who needed it? My answer is still YES! And that’s what keeps me going.
That’s all for today! Thanks for reading!