It took me more than ten years, but I finally finished my book “Starting at Goodbye.” I think I hesitated and dragged it on for so long because I was terrified about dealing with publishing.
In the many critique groups in which I participated, I asked those who’d finally completed their books how they had gone about the publishing process. One woman said she actually got an agent who was interested in shopping her book around to different companies. She waited months and months and, finally, the agent told her no one was interested. In the end, she published it herself.
Wanting to spare myself a similar frustrating experience, I decided to skip the whole agent and famous publishing house deal by self-publishing. In this day and age, it seems like the easiest and best prospect for those of us who aren’t BIG named authors.
I found a guy on facebook in a writers forum who said he had just started his own publishing company. For $1000.00, he’d edit it, format it, design the cover, and then send it to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. It sounded good to me, so I corresponded with him for several weeks. Allegedly, he had a partner who was the talented artist and who would design my cover.
The longer we were in contact, the more suspicious I grew. He was just too lackadaisical about the money thing (“You can pay me on a payment plan whenever you want”) and so on. He said he was based in California, where I live, but he wouldn’t divulge the exact location.
We spoke on the phone a couple times, and he sounded more nervous about it than I did. In essence, he wasn’t very professional, and I began to smell a rat!
After working on my book for so long, I was not about to deal with an unscrupulous publishing business. My gut was screaming “run for your life!”
When he suddenly picked up and moved out of state with his “partner,” I was about done. Then the partner started pressuring me for money so they could pay their rent. Really?!!!
I decided to quit while I was ahead. I wanted no nasty repercussions, so I simply told him I planned to go with another option. He didn’t argue and just begged me not to share my experience of him and his business online.
I looked into other options and queried other writers who’d been through self publishing. None was willing to give me a solid recommendation.
While I’d been writing the book, I kept emails from different sources that offered publishing options. Most seemed to come from Book Baby. I held my breath, did some mild meditation, and decided to contact someone from BookBaby. The whole deal sounded so professional and straightforward, especially after my previous experience.
So I did it! I went with BookBaby. The whole thing, including 25 hard copies of my book, cost over two grand. Now that I’ve gotten those books in my grubby little hands, I feel like the whole thing was worth it. The books are beautiful! The cover, which I helped by suggesting themes and by sending three photos taken in a cheapy fair photo booth, looks wonderful.
I have already sold out those first 25 copies, giving a few copies to family members for free and saving three for myself. On November 26th, the books go on sale on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Nook, and some online companies I’ve never heard of.
You can buy an ebook for $4.99 and a paperback for $16.99. Of that amount, I’ll probably receive about $1.50 for each paperback book sold.
I didn’t write the book to make money and to be famous. I wrote it to share my life and my experiences with others. So far, my friends have told me they “love it.” Several read it almost non-stop, saying they couldn’t put it down. I may decide to market it, after all.
In my next post, I’ll share the first three chapters here. If you are interested, you can buy the book afterwards.
I’m ecstatic! I finished a major item on my “bucket list.” I hope others here will enjoy the journey.