As a change from a short story, I wondered if you would be interested in what is involved in writing and publishing a book.
First you need to write a book. It’s easy, everyone says so, and would do it themselves if they had the time. Okay, assuming you’ve done that bit and typed ‘The End’ you can estimate your royalties, and start browsing for your preferred choice of country estate, car or yacht.
Obviously, you would have already prepared the necessary tools of the trade, including –
500 boxes of tissues, (replenished as necessary.)
Needed to mop up tears when you receive yet another rejection letter.
10 packets of false fingernails.
To replace the ones you’ve bitten to the hyponychium while waiting for said rejection letter.
A dictionary, thesaurus or access to Google.
To look up the meaning of words like hyponychium.
Sixty gallons of coffee per week minimum. Experienced authors will appreciate this is not always enough, and increase the allowance accordingly.
To keep you awake through the wee small hours while the story is flowing.
Bottles of Champagne (in case the impossible happens.)
It’s best to arrange sale or return of celebratory alcohol, bearing in mind the minuscule odds of Hollywood offering millions to make your manuscript into a blockbuster.
A spare computer (or replacement quill pens, and a forest for future paper production if you are old school.)
Necessary to replace the laptop you threw through the window when it irrevocably lost the 50,000 words you have spent six months writing.
Degrees in accountancy, compliance law, copyright law, International law and marketing.
Required to work out how far in debt you are after receiving royalties and completing the US tax return, (living in the UK is no excuse), GDPR (back to Google) and well, you get the gist.
Now to make a few decisions.
Traditional big five, small publishing house or self-published?
Actually, don’t bother. Unless you have friends in high places or a crystal ball, you’ll probably find the decision is out of your hands.
Genre and category? Fiction or non-fiction? In one section alone, there are nearly sixty prime categories, and as each of these may have up to twenty-five sub categories, and there are several other divisions, and some are not visible, and they change regularly, you might begin to see the need for an accountant. The alternative is a very large piece of paper and a pin.
Now for your story.
You remember all those wonderful ideas clogging up your brain? Don’t worry. As soon as you sit in front of your computer to begin your masterpiece, they will all immediately disappear.
Should you actually manage to finish your manuscript, there are two main options:
Submit to a publisher, age ten years waiting for a response, and if the magical day arrives when you receive the ‘want to see more’ letter, learn to do the happy, skippy dance. Tell everyone you know the good news at least ten million times. This applies to the postman, the dustmen and the person standing behind you in the supermarket queue (even if you’ve never seen them before.)
The alternative is to go the DIY route and spend ten years learning about metadata, mobi, formatting, proof reading, editing, cover design, marketing and the difference between preparing for Kindle and paperback.
Realise you no longer have any friends as you’ve ignored them for the past year or so while you’ve been writing your book. Next you will need to publicise it further afield. This will be covered in a later post or we’ll be here all night.
Once your book is published, check Amazon every five minutes, climb onto the rooftops and shout loudly when you make two sales, and/or receive two reviews. (There is no need to announce the purchasers were your Mum and your best friend, in fact this is against the rules.)
After a while you’ll realise you have still only sold three copies, (good old Auntie Aggie) and drastic action is needed. Again, you have options:
a). Sulk and become a diva.
b). Decide ‘I’m a failure’ as per Some Mothers do have ‘em.’ Give up writing and invest in a tissue making factory.
c). Eat chocolate, wallow in self-pity, then get on with writing your next book.
Time the release of your latest book to coincide with your birthday. Throw a party to celebrate both. Realise this was not a good idea, as you should be concentrating on marketing, and not recovering from the night before.
In case you’re interested- my birthday and book birthday were the 15th February, party night 16th February, and by the way, here’s the book. Buying it and leaving a review would be a great hangover cure. Thanks.
© Voinks January 2019