Unguarded: Reflection

Friends,

I hope this post finds you well and on the way to achieving your weekly goals! I wanted to reflect on the experience from beginning to end, as well as inform you of some things, so let’s get down to business.

This past weekend, Unguarded released in print and on the Kindle. It has been a wonderful seven months since beginning the writing process in June. Throughout the early summer, I planned the book in skeleton form, getting the main plot ideas down before moving forward. From June to September, I spent quite a bit of time writing, applying tips and tricks I’d learned along the way. One thing I also tried to incorporate this time around is extending the length of manuscript. This was a common suggestion in the reviews from Resistant, so I wanted to listen to that and act on it.

After completing the first draft, I gave the manuscript to two of my friends. They acted as my beta readers and editors, one of them actually being my editor on the first book. While I awaited their feedback, I contacted my cover designer and got that process moving. Knowing what I wanted this time around, I received the final cover less than a week from when I placed the order for it. If you are interested, check out BookFuel for their author services. Soon after that, my editors/readers each gave me some great feedback, helping me shape my story into the second draft. It was in that draft that much of the story kept its form, remaining that way all the way until publication.

The third and final draft (in terms of major changes to the manuscript) was finished around Thanksgiving. I rested my writing mind during the holidays, which is a good piece of advice for aspiring writers. Taking breaks is not a bad thing! I then read through the third draft two more times before the middle of December arrived, tweaking and amending parts of the story that needed it. The biggest aspect I tried to pay attention to was the dialogue. This has been an ever-changing aspect of writing for me in the sense that I have been putting much effort into trying to make it the best it can be.

I then gave the manuscript to my editor for three weeks (December into January). He sent me really helpful feedback and answered a few questions after I went through his changes. With the manuscript very close to being complete, I did one final read-through. Again, I focused on dialogue, as well as keeping an eye out for grammar and spelling one last time. I finished this item on the checklist the day before I needed to submit the manuscript to Amazon (for the pre-order).

After submitting the formatted ebook manuscript to KDP (.mobi files for Kindle, by the way), I formatted the print document. Createspace provides templates that make formatting easier on the indie publisher. You can check them out here. I wanted to streamline the look of my books, especially those in the Faces of the War collection, so I simply made the formatting for one book and saved the same document as different files for each of the books. This may take you some time, but it will help improve the image of your books, which improves the quality of your brand.

When the time came to submit the print version to Createspace, I did that with much excitement. The next morning, I received an email from Createspace stating they found no formatting errors and that the book’s publication awaited my “O.K.” I gave the final submission through my profile on Createspace on Friday evening of last week. Even though the prompt then said it would take 3-5 business days to process, the book still went live Monday morning. Sometimes is just works out for the better in that way.

Overall, I was very happy with my writing, editing, and publishing experience this time around. Writing has given me such joy, and I hope that the content I distribute does the same for my readers. I am very excited for the possibilities in store for me in 2015, and I can’t wait to get moving on the next project.

One final thing is this: if you are a new or somewhat new writer, and find yourself discouraged or unmotivated, please do not lose heart. All it takes it just to work a little here and a little there to get into a rhythm. And if you’re not feeling the writing vibe at the moment, then do some reading. Anything you can do to stimulate your creative mind will help you out. Don’t ever tell yourself you can’t do something just because it’s 45,000 words away. You can do it!

I hope you will check out my books, especially Unguarded, and tell me what you think in a review!

Until next time,

-Eli

Chuggin’ Along

Friends,

I am excited to share with you a few things. First off, the book I’m currently working on, which is also my first, is coming along very well. Since beginning the writing process around Thanksgiving of last year, I have written over 30,000 words and divided the book into three parts. It has been a fun and enriching experience to write this story, especially since it falls into my area of personal interest in terms of history. I will have a better idea on a possible release date for the book in the coming weeks. Also, getting acquainted with the self-publishing process through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and CreateSpace has been a somewhat daunting yet rewarding experience thus far. It is truly an encouraging notion that self-publishing is fairly simple and straightforward, not difficult like many make it out to be. I work with anticipation for what is still in store for me and the readership I hope to develop.

Secondly, I have just recently built up my various profiles that I will use to get the word out about my book and to maintain communication with my readers. If you have an account on the following websites and would like to look me up, here’s what you can search for:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/elikaleauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Eli_Kale

I would like to point out that this WordPress blog will be the primary tool I will use when communicating with my readers. Sure, there will be updates and other important information on Facebook and Twitter, but this is where my major activity will be. Facebook and Twitter will be used like this…

Facebook will serve as a platform from which readers can glean information about the books I have written, am currently writing, and about books that are still to come. The other main feature of my Eli Kale page on Facebook is the mailing list signup form on the tab titled, “Subscribe for Updates.” Here, readers can subscribe to a mailing list to receive (via e-mail) important updates and other information, usually before that information hits the social media sites. So it’s essentially a VIP list, if you think about it.

Twitter will serve as a platform from which readers can get important and up-to-date information on the book currently in development, as well as books previously published. There will also be videos, links, and pictures that will pop up from time to time about my books or things related to them. And sometimes, I may just post something that I find interesting or intriguing.

I will keep you informed on developments as they happen.

-Eli