Self-Publishing

I have heard many questions from many people about how I came to publish my book,  or how I came to write it. So hear is my story.

I have written since I was little. My mom and dad say even before I could write, I drew circles and squares in my mother's journals as if I was trying to tell a story, lost in translation.

In about sixth grade, the genre of books that I was reading sort of changed. I went from reading children's books and mystery, to reading fantasy and medieval. I really think that when the kinds of books I read changed, it really had an influence on my writing. That is when I started changing my writing.

Nearly three years ago, in 8th grade, I began writing a story, like every other story I've written. By the end of the first week though, I already had about thirty pages! I knew that this wasn't going to be a normal story. I have always wanted to write a novel, but I didn't expect it to happen this early. When I began writing this book, it was called "The King's Battle". Looking back now, it still sort of fits, but the original version of my book had a completely different ending then the one you know and have read (hopefully).

Writing is a passion, and I surely intend to continue it throughout high school and into college. It might never be my main career, but I know I will always find relief and a sort of relaxation in writing. A big point for being a writer is keeping an open mind. Very important, actually! I realize now that if I hadn't had such an open mind back when I began my ninth grade project to publish this book, I would have never done the things I did which have gotten me here. I am proud to say that I talked to many self- publishing companies on my own. I talked to artists and companies about getting cover images, and I was able to talk to other adults who managed to help me make the connections, or see the connections that I had to get my editor, and proofer. It is this new found courage that is important for a good beginning.

With book one of the Hidden Secrets trilogy now published, and book two with my proofer, I have begun to write book three. Despite the two times already that I have started over from scratch, I find joy in rewriting situations that turn out much better the second or third time around. I've even started another entirely new book which I can't wait to enter into a writing competition this fall! that is another thing. If you are super passionate about writing, enter some of your work in competitions. Most are free, and even if there is a small fee, go for it! Because the worst that can happen is that you don't win something. If you don't, you always have more time to work on your writing (a lot of competitions give feedback for next time), this criticism is great! I've gotten a lot of it before, and at first I was a little comprehensive, but trust me, it is worth it! Hey! If you do win, you have chances at many prizes! Plus, this way your name will be out there, and someone else has read your work; because all work is worth reading. :)

How long did it take to write your book? 
It took me about ten months to write book 1. And it took me about 5 1/2 months to write book two (which is longer). I don't really have a life outside of dance and school, so I have a lot of free time on my hands. I would write whenever I had free time, when it got to a point where I had just a constant flow of ideas, I would write till midnight or sometimes one in the morning. Don't get me wrong though! Socialization is very important, and I'm not encouraging you to lock yourself away in your bedroom like I sometimes wish I could undo ;)

How many times have you read your own story?
     Well, fully? About three or four times for book one.  As for the first two chapters of The King's Daughter, I have probably read over a hundred times, and rewritten it about twenty. Haha, and I keep all of the variations that I have made changes on. About once for book two though. For some reason I haven't brought myself to read it all again since I wrote the first draft. I suppose I'm a little scared about it.

Do you have the original doc?
Yep... I have every copy that I have ever written or changed, and digitally also.
-- This also poses a problem at least it did with book where I sent to my editor, I had about six different versions, and I accidentally had 200 pages printed of the wrong manuscript.... Woops. ;)

Series?
Well it is going to be a trilogy, called Hidden Secrets (I know... think about it until you figure out what is wrong with secrets being hidden....) Book two is being proofed and then published, and starting on writing manuscript for book three.

Can you relate to your characters? Or are they entirely made up?
Well I can, on some basis, relate to the characters. Just so I clear one thing up, I have a great relationship with my father (keep in mind for book one). I was actually worried when I first published The King's Daughter, what people would think whether my dad was cruel or such. haha no, he is actually really great and supportive :)

 I do relate to my characters I think partially because that is the only way to really get a feeling for them. Ara, I think is actually the farthest from me personality wise because she is so bold and independent and sort of stubborn (tell me if I'm wrong), but Krea, in book two is more settle, a little apprehensive when it comes to what others think of her. She also has a hard time trusting people until Gaven comes along :)
    I hope the readers can relate to the characters, since there is such a wide variety of them male and female.

Self-Publishing process...
Long. Very long I have to say (in my eyes at least). The steps basically go like this.

1. Write first draft.
2. Revise it yourself and make alternations (all that good stuff)...
3. Send it to be edited. I now have two people as my editors. One which does the major story line edits and large grammatical, spelling whatnot. Then I send it to my other one who is more of a proofer and catches all of the small things. (I didn't have this at first so that is why there are two editions of book 1)
4. Have a cover created, whether you do it yourself or have a professional.
5. make revisions/ changes to the manuscript given back to you by editors.
6. Format the manuscript according to guidelines for publishing company (I despise this step)
7. Get a proof copy! (Please do spend the extra 5-10$ on a proof copy, don't do just the digital. Trust me, I have learnt from my mistakes.
8. Make changes to proof.
9. Submit final manuscript and cover. :))
10. Takes about 1-2 weeks to be available online stores.

If you've any questions, ask!

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