Assessing and Reassessing Without Giving Up

Yeah, I know, the title of the blog post is long but it completely describes how I’m feeling and what I’ll be writing about. Every year around this time, I look back on the previous year and think about my accomplishments as well as how much time and money I’ve spent on my writing/publishing journey.

Writing takes up a lot of time but that time can be controlled. I do the majority of my writing on the weekends. During the week, I read my work-in-progress on my phone or iPad, use the note function to jot down what parts I need to edit (for example, word doc auto-corrected “perfection” as “perfusion”), then edit those parts in the evening after my day job. I’ve discovered it’s easier to find editing mistakes reading on my phone than I do reading the manuscript in a word document.

Cost associated with writing/publishing can also be controlled. Ways to lower costs include buying premade covers (I’ve included links below to my favorite cover designers), using editing software to get the manuscript as clean as possible before sending to an editor (link included for the software I use), formatting your own ebooks (I’ve included information on the formatting tool I use), and uploading your own books and bypassing a middleman.

The learning curve for formatting a book (I format my own ebooks and print books) is high in the beginning but after learning it the first time, it’s like riding a bike. You never forget. I’m glad I took the time to learn. Gives me more control over how my books look as well as the content.

There are a lot of books out there as well as other avenues of entertainment vying for people’s time and money. When I think about how ebooks don’t take up physical shelf space and that this electronic form of entertainment is “forever” in addition to the hundreds or thousands of new books added each day, each month, being an author can seem depressing. How to stand out? What if only a handful of people buy/read my books after I’ve spent months (years) writing the book? But when I think of giving up writing, that’s also depressing.

I’m a reader first. I love reading. Reading transports me to other worlds. Gives me a different perspective on life from reading other peoples’ real life experiences. I also like engaging my creative brain. That’s what writing does for me, and why I won’t give it up. Someday, it might not be worth the time and effort to publish my stories, but I’ll still keep on writing. The manuscript will probably be a mess but if that mess keeps my imagination alive and engaged then I figure it’s a win-win.

Pursue your creative dreams if that pursuit makes you happy! Here are the links to favorite sites for cover designers, editing software, formatting tool, as well as the three distributors I use to upload/distribute my books.

Cover designers: Romance Novel Covers Now, Premade Ebook Cover Shop, Jacqueline Sweet Design, Cormar Covers

Editing software: Prowriting Aid

Formatting tool: Jutoh, DIY Publishing–great book on self-publishing with great content on using Jutoh from my writer friend, Maggie Lynch

Distributors: AmazonKDP, Smashwords, Draft2Digital