I’ll bet every single Indie Author has a unique story about how we came to self-publish our book, and each story has its share of highs and lows. The first high comes at the moment you type that last line and hit ‘save.’ You lean back from your keyboard, take a deep breath, and savor the moment, reflecting on your accomplishment -- you’ve just completed your novel, and it feels great.
Love, light, and laughter!
And then the real work begins: it’s time to get your creation ready to meet the real world.
You might edit it two, maybe three times, adjusting the word count, the story line, refining dialogue, scenes, characters. Then, once you feel like it’s the best novel it can possibly be, you ship the concept off to the world in the form of a query letter, putting it out in front of editors and agents. These are the people who can make your novel a reality: someday you’ll see it on bookstore shelves, newsstand racks, in the hands of people on buses, planes, and trains…and of course, on the New York Times Bestseller List.
Until that first rejection letter rolls in … then you feel your first real low. The letter is polite and has a “it’s-not-you-it’s-me” tone to it, but it’s still a “no thank you”. But it’s just one person’s opinion, so you pick yourself back up, and you eagerly await the next response, knowing the next agent will surely be smarter than the first, and see the true potential of your book. And then the next rejection comes in, followed by another. And then another. And before you know it, you have a pile of letters, all saying your work isn’t quite what they’re looking for.
At this point do you doubt yourself, and your work? Of course, it wouldn’t be human not to. But luckily you’ve grown a thick skin throughout this process. And you realize that you didn’t spend three years pouring character, detail, storyline, and scene onto a keyboard just to have a few people tell you it’s not worth bringing into the world.
So you shake it all off, and you decide to self-publish. After all the revisions you’ve done, you feel your novel is ready to roll. Some people tell you not to, saying that self-publishing will place a stigma on your work, but you’re not going to be denied: your novel is a labor of love, and it deserves to at least see the light of day, even if you’re the only one who winds up reading it.
So you pick a self-publishing partner (Lulu, iUniverse, CreateSpace, or any number of others), and you move forward: designing a cover, formatting the copy, making final revisions. It takes weeks, maybe months, but at the end, you’re holding your finished work in your hands, proud of your accomplishment, and ready to see if anyone else will think it’s as good as you hope they will.
That was my experience in getting my first novel, Code of Darkness, out there. I’m currently working on the promotional phase right now: updating Facebook, Tweeting whatever I find worth sharing, doing a Virtual Book Tour, submitting for reviews. And getting some nice feedback so far!
Now I’d like to hear from you: where are you in your publishing process, and what have your experiences been like?
About the Author
Chris Lindberg was born and raised outside Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from Northern Illinois University in the mid-1990s, he headed out to the west coast for a couple of years, where he began writing as a casual pastime.
Some time after returning to Chicago he began attending writers workshops at StoryStudio Chicago, where he wrote two character studies, both of which have since been developed into key characters in Code of Darkness.
Chris now lives outside Chicago with his wife Jenny and their two children, Luke and Emma. You might catch him working away on his second novel while commuting on his morning train into the city.
Love, light, and laughter!