“Dying is easy, comedy is hard” was reputedly the last words of Edmund Kean, a British Shakespearean stage actor from days long past. If Monsieur Kean will forgive, my version would be, “writing is easy, publishing is hard.” This is certainly true as the latest WIP is reaching the point of becoming a Kindle book like its predecessor.
The act of writing is an extension of my imagination, always active, and the stories flow like a smooth river from the cerebrum to the keyboard. The act of preparing the book for the public ties me up in knots, like creating a Rube Goldburg machine (that graphic at the top). Each step is essential and, to me, complicated: editing, social media, marketing, converting text to Kindle, and so on. These are technical skills that I’d hire other people to perform if I were Stephen King or James Patterson.
It can be fun, too, like when creating a book cover that’ll catch the eye. I’ve used a couple of methods, from one designer (Humble Nations) to a book cover contest on 99designs. Each have their strengths, and I recommend both. Don’t let the above cover guide your decision. It was a random submission and entirely useless, as my book contains neither blazing guns or hot chicks in leather (but Kate Beckinsale from Underworld, ftw).
The actual act of pushing the “Publish It” button on Amazon brings both feelings of accomplishment and panic. One is the culmination of months, sometimes years, of planning and hard work; the other is the certainty that you’ve forgotten an important part or screwed something up. Four or five publishable books later, I’m learning those feelings never go away.
The hardest thing about pushing the button is training myself to sort of forget about the book after that. Sales never, ever meet expectations, and money is not the reason why I write in the first place. If it was, I’d be eating ramen in a cardboard box. Realistically, it’s eyes forward to the next WIP (58,990 words so far), and The Bride already asked for a third Emma Parks book for Christmas. The second book was a Christmas 2015 present.
This will be the year of publishing, with the roller coast emotions and such as companions. Some writers measure success by sales, but I go much simpler: just get the damn thing out the door. With that goal in mind, 2017 will already be a winner by the end of January.
[Postscript: the third paragraph of this blog post was changed from the original to correct grammar errors.]