Take 2 – The Second Edition

19 Apr

I want to start this blog post with a warning. What follows is a truthful account of the blunders I have made during the self publishing journey. It might not be fashionable to admit that your book is less than a sparkling masterpiece but I feel it is important that self published writers share their experiences good and bad so that we can learn from each other’s mistakes and successes.

Well I’ve been busy this week. I’ve set up my Createspace account and I’ve been preparing the second edition of A Spirited Evening. It’s been an interesting experience. Firstly I’ve made lots of alterations in the layout to make it look more professional. Secondly As I’ve said before, there were problems with the original paperback I published through Feedaread. I made mistakes because

  1. I’m an idiot
  2. I’m a newbie at formatting
  3. Apparently the British education system in my day didn’t feel it necessary to teach grammar.

Boy, oh boy did I find typos. Typos galore!  I confess I knew about a couple of minor typos when I put it into distribution. Not the ones I’ve found this week though. Now, I know what you’re thinking, why on earth did I put it into distributions with a less than outstanding cover and with typos? Here’s the reason, and it’s a good one. Expense. Let me explain: The only way to get a proof copy of your book through Feedaread is to publish it ( so not really a proof at all then). Sure, you can choose to not make it available to the public so only you can buy it, at some of the highest postage charges you’re ever likely to pay for a paperback, but it is still published. The problem with that is you get your lovely new paperback; you check it and you find a typo. So what do you do?

  1. You can send that copy to the British library (because now it’s published you have to send them a copy) and start again with a new ISBN and another book which you have to pay for and send to the British library.
  2. You could revise the book, but guess what? You have to pay to do that because the book is already published. Which isn’t ideal because you have the £88 charge to have it put into distribution still to come and what if you spot another error in the new book?
  3. Or you can do what I did and decide that the lesser of three evils was to overlook the minor typo and distribute it anyway.

Don’t get me wrong I wasn’t happy about this. I didn’t take this route because I’m tight or lazy or couldn’t be bothered. I just couldn’t afford to revise the book and distribute it. If I had known then about the other errors I had made I might have done things differently. Most likely I’d have scrapped the book and started again elsewhere. To revise the original now would cost me £75 because it’s in distribution. Not an option. So, I have chalked the first edition up to experience. I was learning on the job.

I’ve learnt a lot this past few months and I’m still learning. I know there are some people who would suggest that if you can’t afford to pay a professional you shouldn’t publish. I wont go into how upsetting these kind of remarks can be. Suffice to say I didn’t want  to give up my dream because I come from a poor background. This time around I have even less money to spend because I’m out of work. (Perhaps I should write a book about my experience of mental health issues.) Perhaps I could justify the expense if I thought my book would ever make the money back, but let’s be realistic. A short ghost story collection from an unknown author isn’t going to make that much. I’m not being defeatist when I say that. It’s just the way the market is. Most of my sales have been from Kindle anyway and I can update that file for free and I have. Now, if I’d written a romance novel I might have risked the money because it’s a more popular genre. I’m sure there will be plenty of people queuing up to tell me I’m wrong; there usually are. 😉 I’m hoping that the skills I gain in doing these tasks for myself will help me become a better writer over time.

Despite finding these errors I’ve actually enjoyed learning how to do more things. I’m learning new things all the time and I love that. I’m loving watching my book take shape into a more professionally finished product. Now that this is my day job I feel I can do a better job by virtue of having more time to do things properly. (Not that this lifestyle change was through choice.)

I may have had a false start but I’m raring to start again. So if things didn’t go quite right for you the first time around, don’t let it put you off. Learn what you can from it and start tomorrow wiser for it.

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2 Responses to “Take 2 – The Second Edition”

  1. daydreaminginwords April 19, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    Reblogged this on K.B Goddard.

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Proofreading and Editing Your Own Work | daydreaming in words - May 1, 2015

    […] the mistakes I made and problems I encountered in my self publishing journey. You can read the post here if you’re interested. This post is part update and part advice. I want to share my experiences […]

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