Today I wanted to write about my recent success of releasing my new book, Daygar Legacy – Templar Five (which you can see on the sidebar if you scroll down a bit). Releasing that book was one of the greatest moments I’ve had since my accident. All the blood, sweat, and tears I put into making this and it finally was on the market.
I should know that both Journey to Darlet and Templar Five are the first books I put on Smashwords. Much easier than I thought it would be, though sadden I could never quite figure out how to hand code the books like I do with Amazon, but very proud of it nonetheless.
For those who don’t know, Journey to Darlet acts as a prologue to Templar Five. People tend to ignore the prologue of a story, but this one was very important, so I decided to expand it to be a more complete story and released it for free, so you can read it, decide you like it, and buy Templar Five for $2.99.
However, this article is not so much about my book release, but the benefits of ebooks. Whenever I meet new writers, there is always a discussion if they want to do Traditional Publishing or Indie Publishing. Next to all of them want Traditional Publishing, because it is having your book in a bookstore. I get it. Hell, I hope one day to do Traditional Publishing for that reason (among others of course).
Few ever really consider doing Self-Publishing. Doing it yourself doesn’t really get you into bookstores (though you could still arrange that), nor does it have the same prestige. For some, it comes off as being more of something a hobbyist would do than an actual author.
As a Self-Published writer, I have five books to my name. In a world where everyone wants to write a book, I’ve done 5 books that (some) can be purchased, all while I am disabled. It is quite the achievement that doesn’t exactly get the same fanfare.
However, there are benefits to Self-Publishing can give you that Traditional Publishing can’t. One of the strengths to Self-Publishing, which is also its weaknesses, is that it is easy to get it on the market. With Traditional, you’ve got to make sure it the absolute best it can possibly be (and even then it might not get accepted).
To do that, it requires editing. Most writers can’t edit their own work properly, so you need a professional. Most of the time, an editor will find problems for you to fix, but it will require their use several times. A few editors might do a second pass for free, but most will still charge you. That can get quite expensive.
If you’re like me, you are extremely limited in your finances. The only reason I got a professional editor was thanks to a crowdfunding campaign, and the use of an editor ate up most of what I obtained. So, I could only my editor to look at my work one time. It definitely helped, but, it still wasn’t good enough.
Part of my problem was my hubris. Terran psychosis only took me a month to write, so I assumed that Templar Five would be the same. I was halfway done with Templar Five when I did my campaign, so I figured one month of writing, one month of editing, and then release. I was sorely mistaken.
It took me 5 Months to release my book from when I received my money to getting the book out, and I wish I took more time. I made a promises that I would get the book out by June, and ended up having to delay it. Fortunately, my supporters didn’t seem to mind, and trust that I would get it out. I wish I had set myself an expectation of 1 year rather than 2 months.
The problem I encountered is that I pretty much finished my book and give it off to my editor. She mostly got my first draft. Had I done it the way I should have, she would have gotten my 3rd draft of my book, not the first. Likely, had I done that, she wouldn’t have had so many red marks on it.
Having made the corrects she told me to, and reworked the book, I put it through Grammarly to make sure everything was good to go. I made the corrections and published it. Very proud moment.
I started to look for other authors to do review exchanges, so I could get some positive reviews for my book. One author told me that he couldn’t review my book, as there were glaring errors in my book. I looked at what he meant, and he was right.
At this point, I had used all my resources and didn’t have the means to get a professional editor once more. As I searched online, I did find Ginger. A free tool (more or less) that would help me scan through my book and make it better. Like Grammarly, it is far from perfect, but Ginger does help in a pinch. It does make it easier to find the mistakes that Grammarly overlooked, and has helped me improve my story overall.
Now, had this story been printed and sitting on a bookshelf, and it was discovered to have all those errors, then you would have a poorly written story for the world to buy and hate. You could get a new copy out, but that costs money. Likely, for a top publishing company, my book wouldn’t have been released, but perhaps a smaller one, it could slip through the cracks.
However, with Self-publishing ebooks, if a mistake is discovered, I can edit my files and upload a new copy. From there, anyone who purchases my books in the future won’t see the old copy. Technically, old copies should also be updated. The benefit of ebooks is that I can make changes when I need to.
I was lucky to have someone email me and tell me some of the problems. But even if I got a low review score, I could release a new copy and respond to those criticisms that I fixed them. You can’t do that with a book.
With Traditional Publishing, what you publish is forever, but with ebook, it is not so permanent. And with a limitation of resources, I can make changes as they come up with my ebook, and perhaps one day in the near future, I can get a hard copy of it and have it in a bookstore.
I am still working on both books, and hoping to get Templar Five re-released this week. I may decide to do a special sale when I do. Then next week, I will re-release Journey to Darlet. I will do a small writer up on this blog and likely post on my twitter when that is available.
Even with the errors, it is still quite the achievement to have 5 products on the market with my name, 5 books that I wrote (though 1 was a compilation). I continue to work hard for my readers and not letting this setback keep me from my dreams.
For those who want to be an author, do consider doing Self-Publishing to start out. There are many benefits in doing so that can help enhance your career in Traditional Publishing down the road.
Best of luck out there to those participating in NaNoWriMo.
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