Ok, so I’ve taken on a new project. I’m still committed to Enduring Armageddon, I have around 20,000 words to go until I feel that it could be properly called a novel… but the absolute frustration that I’ve experienced over the past couple of weeks trying to get the formatting correct for the hardcopy of “Zombie in the Basement” prompted me to write a help guide for self publishing based on my experiences. I know that it’s been done before, but I feel that I’ve done some important discovery learning during the last year. Anyways, I initially thought I’d do a little 15-page booklet, but I’m already at 22 pages and I haven’t even gotten to the formatting section yet (the main reason I wanted to write it) and after the formatting I have a laundry list of over topics regarding self-publishing/marketing. Here’s the rough draft of the intro section for my new guide, don’t worry I talked to J.L. Bourne and he said it was okay to mention him!
Much like 95% of the population I’d always dreamed of writing a book. I’d dabbled with starting something for years with varying levels of success. I thought my career as a U.S. Army officer and role as a husband and father took up most of my time on a daily basis. I rationalized with myself that I simply didn’t have the time to write seriously.
Several years ago I happened upon the first book of the Day by Day Armageddon series by J.L. Bourne . It was a great read and when I finished the book I was floored by what I saw in the “About the Author” section: J.L. was an Active Duty Naval officer. I thought to myself, Wait a minute. If he was able to write around his full-time military career, why can’t I?
So I put my nose to the grindstone and made a commitment to myself to write. I also told my friends and family that I was going to do it, which turned out to be a double-edged sword. Most were supportive, some were derisive and others were simply unimpressed because they “were writing a book also”. I urge you to look beyond all of that. If you’ve decided that you want to write and you have the commitment to do so, this guide may be of benefit to you.
My flights of fancy finally became a reality in May 2013 and I published my first novel GNASH. If there are mistakes to be made in the self-publishing process, then I’ve probably made them and I want to pass along the info that I’ve learned so that maybe you won’t make the same ones that I did. Maybe you will, but hopefully my experiences can help steer you in correcting your mistakes without continually running into a wall like I continually found myself doing.
Since publishing GNASH I’ve also published Zombie in the Basement, a children’s picture book, and as of the publishing of this reference, I’m in the final editorial stages of my second novel Enduring Armageddon. The impetus for me to write this guide was the picture book. The novels were fairly straightforward – don’t worry I’ll cover those too – but the picture book was a difficult piece of work and took a very long time to get the formatting correct for the different publishers.
Obviously, this guide is based on my experience and is nowhere near all-inclusive. Maybe I’ve been lucky, but the companies that I chose to work with have all been great. I’m not being paid by some company to ghost write a review of their product; I’m just trying to help others avoid some of the mistakes I made and would have made the process easier if I’d known about them. The few websites that I’ll provide for you, or discuss my experiences with, will be accurate as of the date of publication. However, even if the website address changes or the company goes out of business, you’ll at least have an idea of what to look for and can do and internet search for comparable services.