Monday, October 07, 2013


So your book's all written, you've gone through critiques and rewrites, it's tight and about to be published into a book. What to expect in the actual process of publishing your book?

Having just spent months slogging through the process of getting publish I frankly don't really feel like reminiscing about it, reliving it here on my blog. But I know there are readers who are going to want to know what it's like, so I'm going to do it anyway. My sacrifice to you, dear readers. (Heheh!)

In all honesty it isn't really all that the rear view mirror. And having done it several times I can tell you the decisions come easier each time you do it. I think it's both because you've done it before and are developing a strong sense of what works and what doesn't, and because your confidence builds each time you do it.

The first chore is editing. Editing is different than rewriting. Presumably you've gotten all the plot inconsistencies and other story-telling flaws ironed out during the rewrites. Editing is the meticulous search for misspelled words, grammar mistakes, punctuation errors, inappropriate capitalization or lack of it, etc. This book is going out to the world and it must be absolutely dead solid perfect, because there are those who will not hesitate to go to your blog and point out every mistake in your book. Some editors I talk to do their first pass backward through the text. This takes a little getting used to, watching for spelling and punctuation backwards, but it keep the content of the text from distracting you and getting in your way. Then they make their forward passes. If possible it helps to have more than one editor take at least one pass at your manuscript if not two.

Then there's the formatting. The thing here is all the decisions that have to be made, and not just the fun one's like what the cover should look like, but the niggling little details like what font to use for the text, what font to use for the chapter headings. The text must be set to justified margins if it isn't already and this can sometimes change your pagination, so you have to wade through and make sure that the end of a chapter doesn't leave a single word dangling on a page by itself. And if so, then what do you do? You have to find some way to cheat the formatting to make it join a prior page. You must be sure each chapter ends with just the right combination of line-break and page-break so that when printed the chapters don't end up run together or a last line isn't all spaced out weird to meet your margin settings. Etc. A million little details that all have to be, once again, perfect.

I promise you that when you think you're done, you're going to find yourself going back over it again and again looking for errors. You're going to find some, and have to fix them, and those fixes may undo others and you'll have to go over it all over again. And god forbid you have pictures, diagrams, tables, charts, and what-not. These can make pagination a nightmare.

Finally it all goes to the printer. While waiting for your proofs to come back - test copies of your book to verify it looks just exactly how you wanted it to - this is a good time to think about a release date. Trust me, you don't want to just drop a book into the market without some sort of advance fanfare - ads and promotions to get the title of your book into the minds of potential buyers before it's released. You are going to want to pick a release date far enough in advance to allow for the proofing process, especially in case you find changes need to be made and reproofed, and to allow you to build some buzz about your book.I've already gone into self promotion in a prior post so I won't reiterate it all here. But promotion starts in the proofing stage of your book and doesn't stop on the release date. Indeed it never stops./

Not everyone's experience will be the same, but that was mine. Would I do it all over again? In point of fact I already am. I have several projects in the works even as we speak. I hope you keep an eye out for them!

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Tuesday, October 01, 2013


Hooray! My new novel, "Rogue Agenda," is now available on and Amazon Kindle!

In a future post I'll go into my experience with the whole publishing process, but for this week I'm just going to relax and let it settle in!

Buy it! Read it! You'll like it!

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