The Process of Publication
Updated: Mar 2, 2019
I published 14 Needles through Amazon Createspace. What’s great about it is there are no down payments; as a starving artist, it’s the biggest selling point. However, there is no team. I’m unsure as to how the big publishers work, maybe one day I’ll get first-hand experience with one, but I imagine that all the little things I’ve had to do, either in preparation or after the fact, would have been handled by a group of people.
As it is, myself and Erin Fong are working in a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants operation. I’d like to take the time to outline some of the steps we’ve taken during this process. Should you ever find yourself wanting to self-publish, maybe this can serve as an informal guide.
First off, I had to write the thing; obviously, but I still felt like it should be mentioned. Once the manuscript was completed, I had to get it edited. Erin Fong and I did all that, with the use of an extremely useful tool/ap, “Grammarly.” It helps identify any and all mistakes and allows you to pick and choose if you wish to keep or change your current sentences. (It’s worth noting that sometimes the parameters on Grammarly do not match your writing style, so you should not just accept it’s suggestions at face value).
Once I had a product worthy of being shown to people, I showed it to people. I chose four no-bullshit friends and asked them to read my work and let me know any mistakes I missed, or plot points that didn’t make sense. When they gave me their feedback, it was back to the writing and editing process. It didn’t take too long because I’d obsessed and reworked my manuscript for the better part of a year and a half. There were changes that needed to be made, but nothing too crazy.
While my stories were in the hands of my beta readers, I had to get some cover art done. Erin Fong and I are both not artistic in that sense, so I had a good friend of mine, Abby There Tattoos, design the cover. Once I was satisfied with it, I got it tattooed on me, (feel free to skip this step). Next was the cover layout, and we got a digital designer extraordinaire, Gabrielle Turcotte, to work her magic.
Okay. So now we had words and an image associated with our book. Next was to input everything into the Createspace account to see if it followed their parameters. I wrote the manuscript on google docs, so we had to change the format over to Microsoft Word. I understand the necessity, but I absolutely loathe Word. My biggest pet-peeve is that it’ll change your formatting randomly, and then construct a labyrinth to navigate through when you try to change everything back. Alas, it was done. We were given an ISBN (from Createspace) and were even equipped with a sexy barcode for paperback editions. Things were looking up!
Next, we ordered a proof copy through Amazon. It allowed us the chance to view it and to see if there were any formatting issues. I also did a final final final final final final edit on it; mistakes are much easier to catch on paper than on a computer screen, I find. All the while, Fong toyed endlessly on my website (created through WIX) and got all the links working, and blog posts submitted.
With all that complete, we clicked the “publish” button. My book was finally out into the vast world of literature. Yay!
So, that was my process. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask them in the comments below and I will respond with whatever information I have that may help.