I have a confession to make.
I started writing the Maggie stories simply as an experiment. I have been working with self-published writers for about a year now through Clicking Keys. I have worked with them on editing, proofreading, formatting, and some cover art.
The thing I didn’t understand fully, however, was how the process worked once my work was finished. What happened next? What sort of challenges might the author face once they had a formatted and edited document in hand? Those are the things I wanted to know and to experience firsthand.
Thus, I decided that I would self-publish some of my own works, not only to help me be better at my job, but also because I enjoy telling stories. I have learned a lot from the process. I’ve learned what challenges a writer faces when it comes to figuring out KDP’s royalties, what types of files KDP likes best (and doesn’t like), and I’ve been able to experiment more with formatting without the fear of screwing up someone else’s work while I play around with different options.
However, I’ve actually learned more about writing than I expected to learn. I’ve done the entire process from writing to cover art by myself, except the editing part. I have a wonderful editor friend (Yay, Sharon Stogner!) who proofreads my work for me because no writer should ever edit their own work. She gives me wonderful tips and loads of advice. I am forever grateful for her. Through this process, I have learned what kinds of editing marks might be confusing to an author, what the changes look like on the receiving end, and that writers don’t have to accept any suggestion I make. I also learned how nervous writers can be when waiting for their email inbox to ding and see the edited file come back and how great it can feel to read something as simple as “you’re getting better.”
They always say (as much as I dislike the all-knowing “they”) that you learn best by doing. They also say that if you really want to understand, put yourself in someone else’s shoes. So, that’s what I have done. Through this process, I have created characters that I love, but I have also learned so much more about the writer’s side of publishing than I ever expected.
I hope that this experiment will make me a better writer, and I know it will make me a better editor. I am still working on a novel that I hope to publish traditionally, but I plan to continue writing stories in Maggie’s world. Once this set of stories (the first year or season, if you will) is complete, I plan to explore CreateSpace a little more and self-publish the collection in hardcopy.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for joining me on this journey. I’m having a blast.