Publishing under pressure — Part 1
My transition from writer to author within a week
As I hinted at here, the writing of my novella “Yule Flight” was a little fun idea at first, when I decided to use the week before Christmas to write AND publish a Viking Romance as a gift to my friends/readers/Vikings fans … whomever. Just to get my name out there and let people see what I do when I call myself a writer.
The best — and worse — decision was to announce the publication date as “Christmas gift” — so on the one hand I HAD to deliver before the 24th, while on the other hand the pressure got immense and there was no room for delay. It was my first attempt, and when I finally put the book up on Smashwords (also a first), with a cover that was still hot from the pan, I was knackered. BUT it was the late evening of the 23rd. So I had met my own deadline. What a journey:
I brainstormed and wrote most of the story within a few days, then used the weekend to exchange it with my writing buddy and discuss “issues” with her. I then had to put in more research, to clarify said issues, and finally implemented the other changes needed.
Then on virtually the last day, I started work on the cover. My first idea didn’t work out. It was bland and not “crisp” enough for my liking. It said too little about the story. So I started over and worked closely with someone who knows how to work with these drawing/image editing programmes. So close, in fact, that I looked over his shoulder and suggested changes while he altered and fixed until I was happy. Just the choice of a font that I want to stick with took maybe two hours! It was, as I said, the late evening of Tuesday when we were done.
Finally, the time came that I had to get my head around Smashwords’s publishing guidelines, especially the formatting, which is vital to get right for an ebook. If done correctly, you get the chance to be approved for their Premium Catalogue, and be available at other retailers like B&N, Kobo and iBooks. I wanted that.
I also got my book baby a proper “christening” via an ISBN. This is a great and easy service done by Smashwords for free. Phew.
So I had the cover, the formatting and ISBN and went to publish my very first ebook! Really just a few clicks, once you have a cover and correctly formatted story!
The journey had been exhausting to the point that I spent most of Christmas flat on a sofa, but also so exhilarating! I was published properly, and within just a week from start (writing) to finish (publication)! And now just had to wait for readers to queue and download my work.
To support that and give a fuller picture, I completed an interview and author profile and did some reviews for other authors, too. These are a digital currency, as I understand it.
Did I have any expectations? As it was my first “real ebook” and I was really a publishing newbie … no. I was proud of the story and its cover and knew I can stick my neck out there and proudly call myself an AUTHOR now. Published.
All I did was promote it on Twitter, but GENTLY, I don’t want to put anyone off, but also think that as I am on there as a writer, people NEED to know about my latest works and how to get them.
I was so excited to see how my precipitately delivered baby did out there in the real world. I still am.
So far, it WAY exceeded every hope I had in terms of download numbers! It started especially strong and downloads poured in over the first days, then it started to dwindle and numbers decreased to just a handful per day.
BUT STILL! It was a great experience and I am happy how this impulsive idea worked out! 🙂
If anything, it made me turn from writer into author within a week!
If you read “Yule Flight” and want to know more about its creation or want to give me feedback on the content or its appearance, please use either the comments below or email me directly!
Part 2 of this blog is about how to get the bones and spine of the story right: the RESEARCH, and especially when it has to be done under immense time pressure. You must never let the quality of research slip under any circumstances! I’d rather delay and miss a deadline then get a book out that contains obvious lapses or errors!