Well, it's done. The proof arrived and was perfect this time, thanks to help from CreateSpace and the program I bought to embed italics in the text. Another small purchase for me and a big step toward publication. For whatever it is worth, Among Women is now a live book and ready for sale. I bought the first twenty copies for myself and for reviewers.
There is no doubt when I began this journal six weeks ago that I had no idea what I was doing. All I had to rely on was the knowledge gained from more than twenty years of experience in writing, research and publishing from a completely different angle. I had more than enough experience in putting together newsletters, magazines and articles, but this was a big undertaking, and one that I am glad I decided to pursue. All that experience and knowledge went toward my own publishing freedom and I feel a bit heady from the experience.
There are lots of self-publishing companies out there willing to take the money of the inexperience, naive and gullible and I avoided those traps. I could have spent a lot more money than I did. Most of the money I spent was on marketing, which is always the biggest part of the budget, especially when self-publishing, but it has been worth it. I learned a lot of new things, figured out how to work the system to my benefit and produced, with the help of some really good people, a quality book. I didn't do it alone. From the editing to the cover art and to the knowledge I borrowed from others more experienced than I am, this project that has meant so much to me for over thirty years and now flying free. That feels like a big success, and it is. Whether or not reviewers and critics and, most of all, readers, think of the book at least I know it's the best I can do. I may change my mind in a few years, but as it stands, I'm satisfied.
Going it alone has been a scary but exhilarating experience and one I will pursue again, next time with fewer errors and slow downs because I know how to do this. No wonder so many traditionally published authors with much more experience than I have are deciding to go this route. What took my last publisher nearly a year and what would have taken a much bigger publisher two years to accomplish, I did in six weeks, notwithstanding the writing, editing, rewriting and polishing of my book. The next book will be better for having done the journey once.
One thing I know is that without the technology available and the help of my friends, I would not have made it this far. I also would not have ventured so far into unknown territory had I now read Joe Konrath's blog and followed his example. He was the first of my contacts, but not the last, and I am grateful to all those who have gone before. After all, someone has to blaze the trail and I hope my trials and tribulations will serve to provide a clearly marked trail for the others who will eventually follow.
From concept to manuscript to ebook and now into print, Among Women has made it. Now all I have to do is provide siblings to share the space and the wealth. This is one dog that certainly hunts.