Writing a novel definitely takes work, and time – lots of time! In my case it was a prolonged period, something like twelve years of on-and-off work (I’m not the most disciplined writer – certainly I don’t write daily!).
It can also be a solitary sort of job, which might be lonely except for the company of your characters, if they’re strong enough to be good company! But there is more normal company along the way, like the people who kindly read your book before it’s finished, and give their thoughts, good or bad. And then you might get your manuscript assessed, like I did with Eddie at Angel Wings. And when you’re really ready, you will hopefully have a good professional editor take a look at your work, like Vanessa did at red.scribble.
Then (and this is assuming you don’t have a nice publishing contract with a company who’ll do all this for you), you’ll look at putting together the physical book itself (even if it’s an eBook). Cover, title page, and of course the thank you page! Then there’s the formatting, which I’ve mentioned in a previous post (The Fun & Games of Self-Publishing) – so many decisions to be made… Thanks again Rach for your massive amount of work here!
And the printing itself – it’s suggested on many helpful blogs and websites that even if you’re self-publishing an eBook for Kindle, etc, it’s still incredibly useful to have a physical copy to show people, or to give away to promote your book. I’ve done a short print run (100 copies to start with), using one of the Print on Demand services that are now available.
I forgot to add these guys to my title page in the actual book that they published, so here they are – Digital Print Australia. Hopefully I’ll have the need to print more paperbacks, so I’ll put them in then. They did a quality job very quickly, so click on their name above and take a look at their website if you’re interested.
Now I have copies to give to the people above as thanks; and also to lodge in the National Library of Australia and my State Library (Victoria). This is called a legal deposit, required under the Copyright Act of 1968. It may seem like a draconian request, but it is an excellent marketing tool as well, for authors to have their book listed in the archives of these libraries!
So thank you to all who assisted me, paid and unpaid, and especially to my husband Vin and parents Judith and Brian. Ironically, even after I said on the thank you page that it wasn’t ‘their type of book’, they’re actually enjoying it! 🙂