Day 43 – From Writing to Publishing

Because I’m almost finished with the second draft of Decayed, I figured now was a good time to go through my entire process. Each of these steps will have their own post detailing everything I do as Decayed hits different milestones. I’ll probably edit this post with links to each of those as I write them.

It all starts with Microsoft Word. This is the program I write in. It’s simple, it’s lean, and it doesn’t have anything in it distract me while I write. Except for the autocorrect. I complete two drafts in Word, then send the .docx file to The Tall One. She gives it a read, then returns it with corrections and notes.

After I fix all the horrible errors The Tall One found, I ship the .docx to my editor. She slogs through my crap, inevitably losing her mind because of how much work it takes to correct everything.

She sends me the manuscript back with a bajillion edits using the Track Changes feature in Word. It allows me to look at each change she’s made and accept or reject it. It’s simple and easy. The process can be a bit time consuming, because I suck and a lot needs fixed.

From there, I send the edited book to three proofreaders. Each of them excels at finding different oddities in my writing, which makes a big difference in the final product. I fix all the crap they found too.

If there’s one thing you should take away from all this, it’s that I get a lot of help to make my books readable. Without the good people around me, no one would ever enjoy my work.

After the proofreaders are done, I send the book to a handful of beta readers. They give me more suggestions and find a handful of errors that I’ve somehow let slip through.

When they’re done, I format the novel for ebook and paperback. I use a program called Vellum to automate most of this. Vellum outputs a different ebook for every store I publish with, changing the links in the back matter in each file. The Amazon file has links to Amazon, Apple to Apple, etc. This program has made formatting easy. Before switching to this, I had a lot of hurdles to jump through to get everything right.

I take the files Vellum spits out and I publish them to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google, Apple, Draft2Digital, and Smashwords. I’ll probably remove Smashwords soon though. Createspace used to handle my paperbacks, but that has folded into Amazon.

The final steps are just a matter of sharing on social media, posting to my site, and sending out a newsletter. Up until this release, that is. I’m going to try some paid promotion on the book. I’ll let you know about the results.

If the novel I’m releasing is a part of a series, like Decayed is, I advertise the first book in that series. The hope is that new readers trickle down through the series, boosting the newest release. That has worked extremely well for me in the past.

Today, I edited two more chapters in Decayed. There are ten left, so I’m almost there. Finally. I also uploaded the newest episode of Final Guys, featuring The Tall One and our annoying Schnauzer. Fun times were had.



See ya tomorrow.