Once I decided that I would independently publish "Fish and Grits", I began my journey.
- In September of 2009 I made the decision that I would pursue the publication of Fish and Grits. So began what I like to call the "parade of agents". I constructed my query letter and sent out 20-30 to the agents I thought might would fall in love with my novel and be willing to represent the book. I received about 10 rejection letters and silence from the rest.
- My next steps involved investigating the option of electronic publishing or E-publishing, studying this new avenue for the author who wants to independently pursue their novel. This I discovered was a
growing business which required no agent or even a large financial investment. I studied, religiously, the journey of other writers who have pursued this path and researched the companies who were offering this publishing options. One great cite I found in from the Createspace Blog, Amazon's electronic publishing company is http://catherineryanhoward.com/2010/03/27/createspacetimeline/#comments a terrific blog page from an author who has published her book with them. It gives a clean, clear map of the publishing process with Createspace - https://www.createspace.com/ - and convinced me that this was the company to entrust my baby (Fish and Grits) to.
I begin to study everything I could get my hands on about the electronic publishing business and the new age E-Books (I got the Kindle for Christmas). I discovered that while the print publishing business was still trying to recovered from the recession that almost devastated us, the electronic publishing business had grown by 175% and has a growth potential of 500% over the next two years.
In January 2010, I took ownership over the publishing of my own novel.
February 2010 I did an official copyright of Fish and Grits http://www.copyright.gov/
March 2010, I purchased an ISBN number un-necessarily from Ecko House publishing http://www.eckohousepublishing.com/ because I discovered a month later that Createspace would have provided me one for free. I discovered the Self-Publishing Hall of Fame http://www.bookmarket.com/selfpublish-uvw.htm which gave me courage to continue the journey. On this website they have hundreds of authors who have independently published projects and turned them into a huge success.
In April 2010 I announced the birth date of Fish and Grits and knew I wouldn't turn back. I scheduled a photo shoot for the cover at Geechee Girl Rice Cafe (It's good to know the owners of great restaurants).
In May 2010 I put my book into the hands of a professional copy editor (which I had never done before with my previous five manuscripts). IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you allow a professional to edit your manuscript if you are serious about independent publishing. If you don't know of any I found http://www.iuniverse.com/Servicestore/ServiceHome.aspx which offers the service. I can't recommend them because I did not use them, but this is just to let you know that they do exist. Also, most electronic publisher offer the service at a cost also. As a graphic designer I would design my own cover to save on cost. Having a catchy cover is one of the most important things you can do for your book since that is that first thing to attract the attention of your readers. On Facebook http://www.facebook.com/ I began the Are you In (R-U-N-) Campaign building friends and announcing the soon to be arriving Fish and Grits. It would be a 3-fold literary attack (e-book, on-demand and print) and I planned it all carefully in a business plan. The photo shoot complete, I narrowed an hundred choices down to five and designed five covers that I put on this blog to be judged by my wonderful Facebook and Email friends.
Stay Tuned - Fish and Grits has planned birth date of late June/early July.
Tina (thanks for taking this journey with me)