Writing a book is the easy bit. Getting it into the hands of readers is another story. How hard could it be to publish a book?
The first draft was completed at the end of July and the lease on my apartment was up at the end of March the following year. That seems to be enough time to publish and organise a book tour.
From this premise, I embarked upon a journey that has been both fun and more like the cha-cha-cha than a 10k run.
While the book was being edited, I turned my efforts to organising a book tour starting in April or May.
I had attended a few “Meet the Author” events in local libraries so that seemed like a good place to start. As this point, I had no detailed plan, no route, and no timings apart from something vague. I rang a few libraries and was asked questions that I hadn’t thought about like ‘Do you have an extract of the book so we can read it?’ and ‘We’ll have a look at your website to find out more.’ Of course, neither were readily available.
This is part of the cha-cha-cha, a step forward, one back and then one to the side. The side in this instance was setting up an author platform. Fortunately, I had a website with blog posts published intermittently through the year. All I needed to do was increase the posts relating to the topic of the book. That really wasn’t hard. Phew! I could become an author, yet.
Creating an extract was simple, but it needed a cover as well. I am not a designer and all the webinars on indie publishing said ‘Don’t design your own book cover.’ I thought it’s only to give an idea, what’s the harm? Using Canva, a browser based software; I set about creating something simple, just to tide me over. Have you ever done this at home and ten years later still using that temporary thing? Well, it couldn’t happen here, could it?
I sent out emails to those who requested the extract along with a huge caveat that it was still in the process of being edited. A week later I had my first booking.
Doing a happy dance was an understatement. I am unsure I would be as excited if I had won $100,000.
This gave me confidence and momentum grew. Then, another library wanted a synopsis, author biography, photos of the book cover and of me by the close of play. Firstly, I needed to find out what to include in a synopsis and one that was only one paragraph. I sent my attempt off to Lori-Jay of the Queensland Writers Centre to see if it passed muster. A few amendments later and the library confirmed the booking. Things were starting to move.
There is one gap, an RV. Last week, a publisher appeared out of the ether, keen to publish and can meet my deadline of the end of January.
My level of excitement is high. I have four events booked, 26 more to go. I am also booked to speak at a networking event with 30 people in March.
My goal has always been to get the book in as many hands as possible and to take the book tour to places that may not be on the usual track. I will achieve this. All I need to do is promote the virtual book tour using social media before March 2019.