Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Birth of a Book: Becoming an Author and Publishing a Novel

The Birth of a Book: Becoming an Author and Publishing a Novel

To read the first part of the story, click here.

Ah, so where did we leave off. Yes, that's right...my epiphany of when I discovered that I truly wanted to self-publish sort of. My book is published through a publishing company, but I own that company. Hey, it still counts.

I finally had gotten through the editing. It was terrible. Absolutely hell on earth, but the final product is worth it, but I still hadn't received some helpful feedback. I was so burnt out on the editing that I had to put the book aside.

I decided to start my own publishing company and have Culture Shock's series be its very first title. I plan to take on other authors in the future, but for the time being it's only me. I'm unfortunately only one person and can only handle so much. I then became an official business owner of TNT Publishing, LLC.

I started researching about formatting and cover design. I decided not to go with Createspace author services because I figured I was smart enough to format on my own and not pay someone to do it for several hundred dollars, plus I found that Createspace will list themselves as your publishing company, especially if you use their free ISBN, so I negated that route.

I started searching around about copyrighting my book. I do own the rights to it, but never actually got it copyrighted. It's expensive, timely, and unnecessary. The book is my own and I read that if you wrote it, it's yours and I have proof if it's even brought before the courts so I didn't stress on that front.

Next came the ISBN number fiasco.

Do not...I repeat, do not get an ISBN # from anywhere else except Bowker (see link below). They are the official site. I tell you this because, I tried saving a few cents and went with a company that claimed their ISBNs were half of what Bowker costs. It was true and I thought I had beat the system. They seemed totally legit until I went to assign those ISBNs (since you need separate ones for the ebook and paperback) to my publishing company. It said that those ISBNs were already owned by someone else. So I went online and typed in my ISBNs and found they were owned by MooDoo Productions or something like that. I was P.O.ed. I couldn't believe I wasted $70 on ISBNs that I don't own the rights to and I would never want the word MooDoo associated with my book.

So I researched some more and found out about companies that do that and don't tell you up front. I knew something was fishy when they said to email them my book information but didn't ask for the publishing company.

So I went to Bowker and got my official ISBNs. I ordered 10 so all my numbers would by in sync for future projects. It cost about $250, but it was worth it. I don't have to order another ISBN for a very long time and they are mine. Or at least TNT Publishing's. Here is the link for Bowker: http://isbn.org/standards/home/index.asp

After acquiring ISBNs for my publishing company, I started talking with a photographer friend of mine regarding cover design. I knew already that I didn't want some generic cover art, plus authors have been running into problems to where cover designers are using the exact same cover image on book after book. No thank you. I want an original. My photographer friend really wanted to do it for me. I love her work, she's truly amazing but I was nervous that she would not be able to pull off what I was looking for.

I took the chance.

We drove down to Micanopy, FL which is just one town north of where Bougainvillea, FL (the fictional town in Culture Shock) is located. It's a picturesque little town with tons of history. It's fabulous. So we drove down there on a weekday with 6 kids in the back of her minivan and did the photo shoot for Culture Shock. We went to various locations. It took her about 2 months to edit about 5 phenomenal cover images for me to choose from. I was torn between two. I was hoping it would speak to me and I would know it was the one (much like my wedding dress did), but it didn't. It was tough. I was trying to choose the right image for marketing purposes, what encompasses the story and tone I'm looking for and to really showcase the main character's personality. I decided early on that there would be a theme to my covers. It would be Macy Holmes, the main character, on each cover alone with her back facing the reader to see what she sees.

I loved the image now the choose the font and placement of the title and my name. It sounds easy, but was much harder than we both imaged.

Tune in tomorrow for more of the trials and tribulations associated with the Birth of a Book.

Happy Reading,

Jeanette P

***Read an excerpt from Culture Shock, my debut novel and a love story with a dangerous edge.

CULTURE SHOCK is a witty tale of mystery and romance with a large helping of southern hospitality.
Macy Holmes is a seventeen-year-old socially-isolated introvert since her best friend's death a year ago. When her family decides to move from Manhattan to the quaint country town of Bougainvillea, Florida, Macy finds she's in a completely different world. Macy is no longer the outsider hiding behind designer clothes when she is sought out by three strange students, one of whom she is particularly interested in. The more time she spends with Chad the more things don't add up. When his true identity is finally revealed, Macy is pulled into a supernatural society with its saturation of inhabitants residing in Bougainvillea.

You would think she has enough on her plate, but no, then her dreams become infiltrated by an external magical force, Macy and her band of supernatural misfits must find the culprit behind the magic-induced nightmares. They must dodge zombie assassins, shifty shape-shifters and high school bullies in order to stop this perpetrator before Macy, her friends or her parents pay the ultimate price. Especially when Macy has the sneaking suspicion that these dreams are reality...
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Email: jdpekala@gmail.com

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