Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Self-publishing 101 (2): Getting Ready

First, you need to have a story. Typed. From the beginning to end. Finished. There’s no way around it. If you want to be a writer, you need a story. A good one, preferably several. I never lack ideas, but deciding which one to write first turns out to be a little problematic at times.

I usually write 1,000 words per day, except for the weekends, when the entire family gathers at home and it’s harder to focus. I prefer to catch up with my reading during weekends instead. It means I can write a 30,000 words novella in a month. Three months for a 90,000 words novel, but novels are trickier because they’re harder to plot right. Of course, we’re talking about the first draft here. Getting to the final draft and having the manuscript edited too can take twice as long.

Once draft 3 or 4 is done, it’s time to send the text to the editors. Since English isn’t my first language, I’m a bit paranoid when it comes to grammar and phrase structure, so I have all the texts go through several hands before publishing them. Waiting for everyone to edit and return their parts, and going over the comments and changes is a tedious job, and by the time everyone is done with their bit I’m so sick of the story that I never want to see it again. But hey, the good news is that the language in my stories is much better than anything you’ll find on this blog!

The last part of the creative process requires a different kind of artistic ability since it deals with the cover art. For “Human Instincts” I knew from the start that I wanted something with a light bulb. It reflects the idea behind the plot so when I found that photo I instantly fell for it. The colors were just right, and the entire atmosphere suggested a gritty life, perfect for my story.

It was a little more difficult to come up with a cover for “Blue MoonCafé Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks”. Fantasy book covers tend to have a certain look and feel, and although I tried various covers featuring a moon, a wolf/dog and a crow, none of them seemed to fit the mood in these stories. There’s no epic romance in them, it’s about bits and pieces of mundane (for them!) life, with shapeshifters struggling to survive in a modern city. The cartoonish look felt much more appropriate to me, and once I had that, I also had a book trailer, even if I’m not a big fan of those.

For the Impaler series (I’m still looking for a title for the entire series so bare with me) I have some awesome covers already made. I can’t wait to show them to the world, but, well, each in their right time.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about distribution platforms. Until then, check out “Blue Moon Café Series: Where Shifters Meet for Drinks” (Amazon, Smashwords), discounted from $2.99 to $0.99 during the holidays, and let me know what you think.

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