You know the feeling of “The Day Before”? Remember the day before the big race, the day before your wedding, they day before…whatever? For me, this is the day before. Over the last 2 years (and really years before), every precious, spare, moment has been spent working on my book and now my book is getting ready to be born! The ACTUAL book will not be born tomorrow, but we will get the ultrasound. All of the marketing plans, all the website work, all the Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google+, will be out there for the entire world to see. I am excited and afraid, all at the same time! It has been and will be, a journey, and I want to share it with you.
this I know Sarah’s Confession: started on September 11, 1999 (strange but true) when I had a disturbing and wake up drenched in sweat dream. I grabbed my trusted dream journal and frantically wrote down every detail I could remember. I also sketched the intricate scenes…so dark…so real. This dream was important…I could feel it.
That dream haunted me for years and finally I wrote the first few chapters, and then put them on a shelf to wait. Years later, a dear friend read them and encouraged me to finish the book. So, I sat down at my laptop and the story just poured out. The writing part was natural. The words were my friends and I let my imagination run wild. I didn’t have to learn anything because it had always been a part of me. Writing a book suddenly seemed easy. Then, the hard work really began and I had to learn a thing or two! Here are a few of the things I learned. Maybe they will help you too.
- If you know you are going to self-publish, plan in advance. Get a general idea of what publishing company suits your needs, and then go with it. Download the template they provide, BEFORE you start writing and type your actual manuscript into that template. It will save you hours and hours of time correcting margins, fonts, and spacing.
- Oh, and speaking of fonts, kinda decide in advance what font you like, and then type your manuscript in that font. You can always change it later, but trust me; it makes your life a whole lot easier in the long run. While we are talking about fonts, also decide on the spacing you will use. I used Georgia 11.5/13.5. That means the font size is set at 11.5 and the spacing is set at exactly 13.5. It is called “leading” because it is the actual spaces of the lead strips used between font blocks in a printing press…but I digress. I am using CreateSpace (Amazon) and the 6×9 template they provide (you can download it now) should have been my “holy grail” before I typed the first word.
- Finally, make new friends and do all kinds of favors for them in advance. Trust me, you’re gonna need every friend, every family member, every string you have ever had, to really market a book. Oh sure, you can give birth to a book, but to get it out there and have anyone actually buy it…YOU’RE GONNA NEED a team of people with different talents and ideas. Most of all they really need to owe you some big favors. If you have a crazy friend who thinks they want to make movies and drives you crazy having Oscar Parties (requiring costumes)…be nice to them. They may have a big ole’ honkin’ Macintosh computer with video making programs and a couple of digital cameras in their office. Do you have a geek in your family, who has to have every neat device the minute it hits the market, and talks about gigabytes at the family reunion? Be nice to them…be very nice to them. They may be building your webpage one day. Do you know someone who corrects your grammar, points out comma use in your emails and drives you insane when you neglect to put the “I” before the “e”? Take her out to dinner, buy her fancy gifts and keep her so close to you that she “thinks” she wants to proof your manuscript.
What happened to me almost 13 years ago was a very personal, intimate, experience. Really, a dream is about as personal as you can get. Now, 13 years later this dream has grown into something different, something created only when a group of people come together and pool every resource and talent they have to help you. This baby is not mine alone. It is a compilation of every encouraging word, every hour of listening, every digital camera, email setup and critique. Tomorrow when we get the ultrasound, we will all rejoice together. We will all celebrate together. The baby is not going to born until the end of June, but when it is born we should name it: this I know….I couldn’t have done it without you.