The Journey


The journey of publishing my first novel has been a long and arduous trail.  I finished writing The Dark Line in 2007.  I sat on it for a long time before I had the courage to look at what I had written.  I got the courage to write the novel from NANOWRIMO.  I didn’t write it during November, but I followed two of the main tenets of the contest.  I wrote every day and didn’t look back at what I had written.  When I finished, I was elated and crestfallen.  I had no idea what to do with the finished project and something that I had been doing for months was now over.

The story started out simply.  I was working at a client’s office and I saw a picture on someone’s desk.  That picture conjured the first chapter instantly.  The picture was of a couple sitting on an old couch.  The man looked like he was trying to get up and the woman looked like she was having one of the best days of her life.  From that image I was able to write the first chapter.  After that I didn’t write anything more for four or five months.  Then I heard of NANOWRIMO, and took those tenets and went for it.  It took me a few months, but I finished the novel.  I was proud, but I was also sad.  I knew if I had any shot of getting this published it would take at least two more years.

I knew I had to polish the manuscript.  Then I could try to find an agent, and hope that they could sell the book.  If all of that happened it would take another year, at least, before it was out on the shelves.  Then I wouldn’t see a nickel of the proceeds for another six months.  And this was all the best case scenario.  I was under no illusions that it would happen this quickly.

Time went by and I edited the novel.  I asked a few friends to read it.  Some got back to me with helpful suggestions and praise.  Others never said another word about it to me again.  It made me sad, but hey this isn’t for everyone.

During this time I was listening to podcast after podcast from authors about self-publishing.  I was reading blog after blog, by now famous authors touting the path of self-publishing.  I was just too scared to jump into the water.  I wasn’t really prepared to do all the work.

Finally I couldn’t stand it any longer.  I wasn’t doing anything.  I wasn’t writing, and I wasn’t publishing.  I wasn’t moving forward.  I dug in and started on the process.  I edited the novel for the fourth time.  I figured out about webhosting and website design.  I designed my cover art.  I built my website, and converted my books to upload onto Amazon and B&N.  This whole last process took a long time and now I understand what so many authors are talking about when they speak of the extra stuff that has to get done along with the writing and how time consuming it is.

Now the book is out there and I have to figure out what to do next.

3 Responses to “The Journey”

  1. 1 Pamela Daugherty Nalley

    I am so proud of you. To be published is amazing! Hope all goes well for you.

  2. 2 Megan

    I’m so proud of you Ben and can’t wait to read your book again! Keep writing…

  3. 3 Carolyn Neal Pfister

    Congratulations Ben! This is so exciting ~ I truly hope it goes well for you!
    Give me ten 🙂 Your pal, Carol

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