I have been working on a new book for the last six months or so, and I hope to have it out there by the end of the year or early January. This new novelette has nothing to do with the first one I wrote, although it’s in my plans to write the sequel to that one, but I had this other idea in my head that needed to come out, and it finally did. It has been a dream of mine, for quite some time, to write something for the Steampunk genre, and the idea took shape after a strange dream I had, mixed with hours of research about Victorian times, until it flowed from my thoughts into written form. I am happy with the results and feel very anxious to have it out there as an illustrated book.
Unfortunately, most people who have dreams and want them materialized in the right way, need some funding to help those dreams come true. Now, I don’t intend to break the sound barrier like Felix Baumgartner. I’m glad he did and he made his dream come true. Good for him. My dream is a lot less complicated. All I want to do is put my book out there. But, I have to make something clear, one does not need money to write and get published these days. Seriously. All you need to do, in order to write, is to set your mind to it, go with the flow, procrastinate about things that need to be done or fixed around the house, forget about washing your dishes for a night (just leave them in your kitchen sink and spray them with Fantastik, Lysol or your favorite germ killer), follow your muse and finish the story! You don’t need money to get published. There are many places nowadays where you can publish your work as an ebook, like Kindle and Smashwords for example, and they are for free. Now, if you want it printed, there are other places to go, like Create Space or lulu, and yes, you need some funds to order your own copies. Publishing your book with them costs $0. Once you are done is when the other, not so fun part, begins.
I’ll try and number these few things that need to get done before and after you put your book out there, be it in print or electronically.
First: You need to proofread and check your work thoroughly and this is something your computer’s spellchecker won’t do for you. The best thing to do is give it to someone else who has good knowledge, if not, command of the language in which you have written your work. Four eyes (or six, eight or a spider) can see better than two, and many times, while you’re writing, your mind wanders off somewhere in the movie played by your mind as you write, and it’s easy to leave out details or make spelling mistakes. If you don’t know anyone who can double and triple check your work for you, then it’s good advice to hire someone, and of course they won’t do it for free, so, yes, you need money to have your novel checked.
Second: If you want your book to be illustrated, then of course you’ll need to hire an illustrator or you can illustrate it yourself. Although I can draw and could make the illustrations for the book I have just written, I want someone else to do the job. Why? Well, because by doing so I can see how someone else perceives the book. Besides, I want to give this opportunity to someone I know who is an awesome artist and I asked her if she wanted to illustrate my book and she said: Yes! She already started and I loved the first sketches she made, so here is a sneak peek…
Third: You need a good cover for your book. You need something catchy and presentable, and unless you have some skills as a graphic artist, generally you’ll need someone to work on the cover of your book and unfortunately, again, you need money for this.
Fourth: Advertising and marketing your book. Once you’re done writing, proofreading, double checking, and re-arranging your book, if you don’t have a marketing plan or spend some $$ on advertising, you’ll probably end up with your book sitting on a shelf forever and ever. Advertising and marketing your own work is hard. I’ve tried to do it by myself and it’s a steep road. There are places online where you can have a press release done for free, but will they send it to the right places? If you want the word to be spread and targeted to a particular audience, unfortunately again, you need money for this. And, it’s appalling to see how much they charge for writing a good press release and sending it to the right places. Just google it, and you’ll see.
Well, I think I have made my plea and all, so if you want to help out this poor girl with tons and tons of ideas, you’ll be my hero forever and ever! I don’t know how else to put it…