Writing and Publishing an E-Book is Easy!

Overheard at a coffee shop two days ago:

Woman to her male companion: “I’ve been thinking about writing a book now that publishing is so easy.”

Male companion: “Yeah, you know, I wouldn’t mind trying that. I’ve had this good story idea for a couple of years.  I’m thinking maybe I’ll do something with it and put it out on Kindle. Sure would be nice to quit my day job!”

Woman: “That’s the truth! Some of these, what are they called? E-publishers? I think that’s right … Anyway, they’re making a bundle!”

Fortunately for the sake of this pair, yours truly had to pay her check and leave for an appointment without hearing the rest of this scintillating conversation.  As I drove away from the coffee shop, I wondered just how many others “out there” share the couple’s oh-so-misguided belief that publishing a book is both easy and a sure route to fortune. “Fame” hadn’t yet been mentioned before I left, but I’m sure it probably came up 🙂

Lots of people spend lots of time — sometimes even a lifetime — daydreaming about writing “that book.” Nothing wrong with that. America’s greatness was built on hopes and dreams and aspirations.  But, for those who’ve only nibbled around the edges of articles written about e-publishing and who haven’t ever discussed the topic with an author, there are some things you should know!

First comes the writing. Your idea may make a great story. It may be original and shiny and new. It may appeal to both men and women, to both young and old.  But before your idea becomes a story, you’ve got to get it down on the paper.

Some say that the writing is “the easy part.” First, there’s the story, itself. On average, a novel these days consists of some 60,000 words.  Let’s just say that you’re able to pump out 2,000 words a day on your word processor. You do the math. That’s a commitment of thirty days, with no break, in order to achieve your 60K.  Piece of cake!

But wait.  Let’s not forget that, within your 60K, you need to construct a character … or several, in most cases … with whom a reader can relate on some level. You’ll need to name him or her or them, come up with physical descriptions, figure out his or her history on this planet (perhaps on another planet if your story is sci-fi!), how much of that history is important to your story, and when in your book to reveal that history. Your characters will need to be “fleshed out” — to become people in whom your reader is interested!

Oops. We haven’t mentioned “the plot.” The action is the part that makes your story readable and relate-able and keeps your reader turning the pages of your 60K. Is your plot interesting? Is it believable and logical without “plot holes” — missing pieces to the puzzle?

If it’s a mystery, is it mysterious? If it’s meant to evoke emotion, does it accomplish that? If it’s meant to be humorous, will most readers find humor in it, will they “get it”?

Then, there are those little picky things to examine, the things that make you wish you’d paid more attention to in English class: speling,  gramur, and punktchoashun. Have you checked for redundancy? Do you know if you just can’t write a sentence without just using the same word over and over again until you just can’t use it any more?

In order to accomplish all of the steps after you’ve spit out those 60K words, you then must edit and edit again, then edit again! Once you’re done with your editing, you’ll need to find some “Beta readers” — trusted friends (hopefully, there are some writers among them) who will give you honest feedback about your content as well as your speling,  gramur, and punktchoashun.

If you haven’t yet thrown in the towel by the time your Beta readers have completed their mission, then it’s time to edit again until you’re sure your manuscript is faultless. Now it’s time to hire an Editor! Yes, you read it right. Any author who wants to publish a top-notch book hires an editor. Sometimes two.

Are you an artist as well as a writer? No?!? You’d better get to work finding a cover artist! Once that manuscript has been professionally edited, you’ll want an attractive cover that will attract prospective readers. Some authors, it’s true, design their own covers. Some are successful and some, sadly, are not.

Ok! Now all you have to do is upload that book to the kind folks at Kindle or at Nook and that’s that. Oh, wait! You haven’t had the book formatted for e-readers? You’d better get that done first!

Finally! Your book is available for download. You can see it on the pages of Amazon.com or on Barnes and Nobles’ web site. Wow! How many do you think you’re going to sell today? That depends upon how well you’ve marketed your book….

Marketed? Me?!?! Yes, you, Mr. or Ms. Prospective Author. “To market, to market” you must go. Book signings. Book fairs. Blog tours. Blog posts. Interviews of all kinds, both in-person and on the internet. Pre-publication. Post-publication. Continually. YOU must market that book!

You’re looking a bit chagrined. Have I said something that surprised or upset you? Gosh, I didn’t mean to, really I didn’t! As a matter of fact, I left out a bunch of stuff. I just wanted you to get “the big picture”: Writing and Publishing an E-Book is NOT EASY!!

Oops.  I think I left a word out of the title 😉

This entry was posted in Authors, Books, E-publishing, E-readers, Humor, Kindle, Nook, Publishing, Writers, Writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Writing and Publishing an E-Book is Easy!

  1. And yet, there are the few of us who still despite all the odds and all the research into said job of actually writing, editing, marketing and publishing a book, still actually want to do it! We stand there proudly holding our little bundle of joy with hair standing on end! Pen stuck in hair somewhere, sweat pants stained from coffee and other unknown substances from sitting at desk for hours on end! I promise that nervous twitch in your eye will clear up! I really did love the article though! take care.

  2. I’m at the writing a rough first draft part, I think I can, I think I can . . . . chug, chug. Be Well, Claudia

  3. Archon's Den says:

    Ouch! And this is what you were urging me to expose myself to? I’m just going to hide out in my den and wave my paw at those kids on my lawn. If lightning strikes twice, and someone actually wants to know about “stuff” in the Bible, they can stick their head in and ask. I won’t bite,unless they pay extra.

  4. Yes, but the more who attempt it, perhaps the greater the number who will eventually understand the difficulty. It’s not always such a bad thing to be slightly delusional, that’s how dreams and aspirations start and one of those (unfortunately probably only 1 of the millions dreaming this dream) will actually become a bestseller as a result. Anyone who actually sits down and at least attempts to write a story gets a tick in my box. 🙂 Didn’t we all start that way? It’s a bit like the person who goes out for a run after being lethargic and inactive for years announcing they might attempt a marathon.

    Great post, and I don’t think it shoud put anyone off, if anything it might make those who are serious more determined! But I am glad you didn’t shatter their dreams, that conversation woud put a smile on my face, because its so much easier to dream and fantasise than face reality.

    • cwc6161 says:

      I agree, Claire! That tick in the box says a lot! More people should go for their dreams, even if they know deep down they might not get there — you never REALLY know until you try! Love your marathon analogy 🙂

  5. Lynne Favreau says:

    I’ve assured my friends that should the need ever arise I would perform brain surgery on them. I’m sure I could do it. I’ve watched medical shows my whole life. Marcus Welby M.D., Emergency, St. Elsewhere, Doogie Howser M.D., Chicago Hope, E.R., Nip/Tuck, House M.D., I’ve learned a lot. Alas, no one has taken me up on the offer yet.

    • cwc6161 says:

      LOL Lynne, so you’re planning to e-publish a “how-to” book on brain surgery? Go for it! Who knows, it might be turned into a screen play and you’ll be set for life!

  6. I’m shattered and DESOLATE (hint hint) I now relinquish my position as the next best story teller of all time. That dream, that I was following, has now found reality in its way. Candice you are a Lioness amongst Sparrows.

    • cwc6161 says:

      Oops! Poor Danny:( I should’ve posted a warning that the content of that post could be detrimental to one’s mental well-being. Hopefully, you’ll recover your morale soon and I promise to alert you next time 😉

  7. Wow, you’re starting to make it sound too much like work…and what’s that about checking redundancy? And what’s that about checking redundancy? No really, you make some good points, now let me go find an edittur to help me wit my speling, gramur, and punktchoashun…

  8. What a fun post, even if you maybe just crushed all my hopes and dreams. 😉 But I think it is important for people to know that it’s not that simple, because the people that make it work deserve recognition!

    • cwc6161 says:

      Yikes! Another victim of my truth-telling:( So sorry, Jessica! 😉 And yeah, that recognition sure is a necessary part of it all. Thanks for your visit and please visit again soon!

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