After a year of writing, learning, editing, proofreading…I finally published my first novel, The Supernatural Prodigy.
It should NOT have taken me a year. A good six months of that time was spent researching and studying. Turns out writing is not simply sitting down and pouring your story into your computer. It’s a long, hard, treacherous journey from idea to publication and the hard work doesn’t end there even if you traditionally published.
A multitude of mistakes happened, all due to what I did not know before I took the next step. Look closely at the picture above. Did you notice it says “By C. L. Currie, C. L. Currie”? If you noticed, you’re the better person. I didn’t. I had to go back and figure out that I had put myself as a contributor as well as an author. It’s little things like that which take a creative mind to the brink.
Before a writer begins writing…
I bought and read dozens of books on self-publishing and most of them were awesome. I learned a lot. Nevertheless, I failed to sidestep the potholes. Potholes like:
- What program to use to type your story and why
- Where to get critiques and how to deal with them
- Where to get an editor for under $600 (you DO need an editor)
- When and where to get a proofreader for under $400
- Formatting the manuscript for paperback and e-book (NOT the same thing)
- Losing your formatting with a copy-paste from one program to another
- Backing up your manuscript so it keeps all earlier versions
- Dealing with publishers who claim they’ll do everything
Those are just a few of the things I had to learn outside of the technology of storytelling. Don’t even get me started on what I should have done BEFORE I published. Things I’m finding out now, like reviewers want your manuscript before it’s published. If you publish on Kindle Select, you really have to know about this.
If you are a new novelist…
My advice is don’t rush it. A year is not that long to learn something you’ve never done before. The biggest pothole of all is that you don’t know what you don’t know.
I doubt it’s possible to write everything a new writer needs to know in one book. I’ve read books where the author tried to cram all his knowledge into one 300-page information dump. I had to wade through the material to find the bits that applied to me.
My final conclusion was that there needs to be a series of books starting with day one, making them stage oriented instead of subject oriented. Yes, I’m considering writing that series, but I haven’t stopped learning yet, and I’m busy with the second novel and marketing The Supernatural Prodigy.
Subscribe and stay tuned…
What I’ve decided to do is blog about my experiences then, at some point, compile it into a free book. A lot of authors have done this and found it cathartic.
If you fall into the category of “aspiring author,” stay tuned. Subscribe and get the real deal on what you need to know as you progress from “idea” to “published.” Your comments and feedback will be invaluable.