It's been a pretty exciting time in my household this week, not just because it was my birthday, but mainly because I have reached a huge milestone in my writing career... I have published my first book!
It has been a wee while coming and a lot of time and effort, but my debut novel 'Four of a Kind' is now available for purchase! So pour yourself a cup of tea, grab a couple cookies and snuggle into the couch as I tell you where you can get your hot little hands on my brand new book.
Now before we get too far into things, let's just jump back to where I left you last. After I approved my ebook cover, I then got the mock up for my paperback cover; pretty much the same thing, but with one very important extra... the back cover! If you're anything like me, it's the front cover that makes you pick up a book, but it's actually the back cover that makes you buy it. The blurb is such an important component to hooking a potential reader, that I spent a lot of time on this to get it right.
I'd actually already drafted up my blurb back when I was submitting to agencies and thought this was what the 'synopsis' was - obviously I realised that this was not the case! Despite having my blurb already written, I actually ended up amending it once I had it placed on the back cover. It's not until this point that you get a true feeling of length and I decided mine was just a wee bit too long. And this is the tricky part, you want to give readers enough to get an initial idea of the story and entice them to read the full book, but not so much that you're writing a mini-novel on the back!
Then of course there's the detail; font, colour, layout, images, spine... it's amazing all the individual pieces you have to consider, each one forming the complete package of your book. After signing off the paperback cover, I was just waiting on the final formatting of the interior (both ebook and paperback), which arrived shortly after.
So here I was, all my files ready to go and on the verge of wetting myself, when I suddenly realised that IngramSpark, my other distribution channel alongside CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon paperback and ebook versions), didn't offer cream paper for the my chosen trim size. Needless to say, I had a bit of a moment; struggling through various states of duress and googling paper colours to see what the norm was. I had done this previously and discovered cream paper is standard for fiction and white paper for non-fiction, which is why I had originally chosen cream. And while there were a few to claim "it didn't really matter" and "how often do you notice the colour tint of the book you're reading", I looked at almost every fiction book I had on my bookshelves at home, only to discover they were all cream.
Now I'm not one to do something a certain way, just because everyone else is, but what I realised was it might not make a difference to others, but it made a difference to me. This one component was enough to change my book entirely from what I really wanted. So much so that, as desperate as I was to get my book out there, I knew I needed to wait a little longer. After getting in touch with my book people, I found out my trim size was actually what I needed for cream colouring, and so after signing off the interior formatting, I had all my files ready to go!
I decided to start with CreateSpace first. A relatively straightforward process having already entered some of my Title details, I then uploaded my files, submitted for review, and within 24 hours, I ordered my first proof. It's still in transit at the moment, but should be here within a week and if that's all good, then my paperback will be on sale!
Not to worry though, I also signed up with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and in no time at all, I had my debut novel 'Four of a Kind' up and available to the public! You can purchase and even have a sneak peek read, on Amazon here:
It is an amazing achivement, and I am so proud of myself, but of course... that's just one step in the journey, and there's still a few to go to reach the New York Times bestsellers list! Nonetheless, another thing I have learned along the way? Celebrate each step as it comes, because each step is special. The journey might be different for us all, but I am now an author!