Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Dream Come True

I've always loved writing.  I was one of those nerdy kids in school who loved English, Grammar, Literature.  And I always felt that I had a certain ability to put things down on paper.  It came in really handy writing papers in college....I was always able to write my way into a decent grade.

One of my dreams was to write a novel.  I always had ideas floating around in my head.  Finally, for no good reason whatsoever, about 5 years ago I sat down and wrote a book.

I don't know how other writers do it, but this book came forth on its own.  When I began the story I had no clear vision of how it would end.  I just started writing at the beginning and finished when it was done.   450 pages later.

And then I went online to try to find out how to publish it.  It turned out to be impossible.  I signed up for a website that gave me the names and addresses of a whole bunch of agents.  I wrote them each individual "inquiry letters".  The only responses I got were "no thanks".   I'm very aware that some people send out hundreds of these letters and they're all denials, so I kept trying and trying.  I couldn't even get an agent to read a couple of chapters.

So I put the book away, figuring it would always be just a dream.   Until Hubby came along.   He went online and somehow found CreateSpace.   It's a company that is affiliated with Amazon, and is a way to self-publish your books.

I had thought about self-publishing  - or using "vanity press" as it used to be called.   But  A) it was exorbitantly expensive and B) I felt some sort of shame that I would have to resort to if it wasn't good enough for a "real" publishing house to accept it, then it probably wasn't good enough.

Reading up on CreateSpace, I was amazed to see that you are not required to put any money up front.  Not one cent!!  You do everything yourself.  And then it gets put up on Amazon and they only produce the books as they are ordered.   So there's no "stock" that has to be pre-paid.   It sounded too good to be true.

And by this time, I'd gotten to the point that I knew if I wanted my book to be out there for people to read, I had to do it myself.   Perhaps I am deluding myself, but I think my book is better than half the books I've read....and I read 3 or 4 novels a week.  If those books can get published, then mine should be published too.

I spent a couple of months re-writing.  Then Hubby read and edited it.  Then my daughter Jamie read and edited it.  Then I re-wrote a bit more.  Finally you get to the point where you can really over-think things, and I knew at that point it was done and ready to be published.

Hubby was kind enough to do the cover art for me.  Create Space has pre-made cover art, but it's so ordinary...I wanted something that would stand out.

The book was published last week and is up on Amazon right now!  If anyone wants to buy a copy, here's the link:
Little Boy Lost by Karen Vennard

I was also able to get "author's copies" which I can order to have on hand and sell personally.  I ordered 50 copies  (hope I didn't overdo!) and was able to sell them to my friends and family.

Last Friday night was one of the most exciting nights of my life.   Hubby and I attend an Open Mic every Friday night, and we've made very good friends with lots of the regulars there.   Hubby brought champagne, they announced my book, and people came over to buy copies and have me sign them!   I felt like a celebrity!  They even offered my book as the raffle prize for the night!

I'm so very happy that so many people wanted to buy my book.  I love the support from friends and family, and especially from the music community.  You guys are awesome and I love you!

1 comment:

R Cooper said...

It is nearly impossible to get an agent until a publishing house has already shown some interest in the book.