I started a new chapter in my life this month. It was hard and exciting but I did it. I joined the world of self publishing and the result of all my tears, hours on the computer and a million questions to #soulmate comes out on July 12. We all know I have been missing from the publishing world for about 6 months and I actually have not been blogging as much (which is going to change as well). It was hard to figure out what to do after my publisher died and they closed the doors abruptly, leaving all of us authors with no way to continue. But, I did it. I self published a better version of Book 1. I feel a little like the way a book must feel if you crack its spine (you monsters who do that). A little broken and a little relieved. I never knew as a writer/blogger that it could be so painful at times, but it really is. And this whole self publishing thing? Kind of scary and I feel like half the time I have no idea what in the heck I am doing to be honest. But what came out of this process is a new and improved version of me. The Fat Girl Running version 2.0 I guess you could say. Let’s talk about how I came to be this new version.
You see, after my publisher Boss Bean died, I was stuck. Stuck without a way to get books, my files or even the rights to my cover art. So I was at the beginning. I actually had to cancel book signings because I was unable to get any copies of my books and I was so very frustrated. I was determined to not pull out of Book Bonanza though. For those of you unaware, Book Bonanza is one of the BIGGEST signings around and I was actually invited to be an attending author. Me. Little old me. Six months of no contact from the publishing company and I decided enough was enough and looked for my files myself. I am glad I was able to find all my files for books 1-4 on my computer. There was a pint where I couldn’t find Book 1 and I was entertaining the thought of retyping out the entre thing from a hard copy I managed to have. That made me cry for sure. No really. Ask #soulmate. I cried. Then I found the file and I cried with relief. Files being found, I could proceed.
First of all, I needed an editor. All of this stuff my publisher did for me before so I had no idea what it all entailed. Luckily, I had an editor recommended to me that was willing to take me on. That was the hard part. You see, most of my author friends are romance authors and we all know I am far from that. Before I could send the books off to an editor, I needed to go through them all and revise things, self edit, take out chapters and add new content. That alone made me want to pull my hair out. You see, part of me cringed over some of my older writing. It just sounded like a four-year old came in and wrote down some gibberish. I mean, how did you all actually stand to read it? Wait. Are you all just real life stalkers? Because that would be cool. Unless you are SOTL Man. Then that would not be cool. It would be slightly terrifying. But I digress.
Once I got the books sent to an editor, I needed to also line up a formatter and a cover designer. Seriously, I cannot thank my author friends enough for all their help in this direction either. Oh yeah. I also had to figure out what to do for my cover. I wanted to cry and be angry at the same time. Have we ever talked about what an indecisive person I really am? I finally decided to do something completely out of my comfort zone and put myself on the cover. It made me want to throw up in my mouth a little, but I called a local photographer and decided to do a photo shoot.
Can we discuss how awkward that was? I mean I am as awkward as it comes and then put me in front of a camera? Oh my heck. I cannot even imagine some of the photos she must have gotten. There were definitely some gems for sure. There had to be knowing me. My photographer was a genius. She made me do things I thought was stupid. In fact, the one pose I thought was going to look so dumb is actually the cover. Huh. Guess she knew what she was doing. We both were laughing a lot during the shoot and I think that helped me relax and be myself a little more than I would have otherwise. The pictures were all so cute that it was hard for my cover designer to actually pick just one. But we managed and all of a sudden, I was excited. Excited to try this whole self publishing thing because my new covers are the cutest. And a little sassy.
Book edited? Check. Cover concept? Check. Cover designed? Check. Formatted? Check. Next step? Actually get it set up to publish both in paperback form and e-book in time for Book Bonanza on July 19. Ack. Biggest signing of my life and I didn’t have books for it. But with the help of #soulmate, I got it all set up and approved by the all mighty Amazon. Paperbacks of Book 1 AND 2 are actually sitting in my kitchen in boxes right now. Because the lucky people who come see me at Book Bonanza get a sneak peek of Book 2 and a chance to get it early (that one comes out in August). Now for those of you familiar with my books, these are revamped editions of the old ones with new content, formatting, editing and the like. I mean I would get them just for the covers alone. So, if you want, the pre-order is already live and the book goes live on July 12. In case you need it, here is the link: Climbing Off the Couch
I still might cry on Thursday because this is the first time I am doing this all on my own and boy do I miss Boss Bean. But I know she would approve and love the direction I am going this time. And once again, my books will be available for you guys. In fact, they are better versions of the old ones. It really was a little bit what I can only imagine giving birth is like, except without the gross bodily fluids. Because let’s be honest. People coming out of other people is gross. Lots of sweat, tears and love went into this new version of my books and I really hope that maybe a few of you pick them up and stalk me. Let’s just hope SOTL Man doesn’t blow up my cover into a poster to hang in his house. Creeper.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did, however, venture into self publishing and have a book releasing this week, but I didn’t die. I am the Fat Girl Running version 2.0 and I hope you love it as much as I do. The experiment continues…