As mentioned in one of my previous blog entries, I decided to publish a book this year in honor of my upcoming milestone birthday.
The cover art was done by my lovely friend Eileen Laitinen. And I am very proud to say that I did design the cover myself!
Writing a book was one thing, but bringing it to publication was a process of its own….
To anyone who is thinking about writing/publishing a book, here are some pieces of insight I have for you:
1.) Consistency & commitment – I consistently wrote a little bit at a time daily. It helps that I journal, write letters and blog regularly too, so the habit of writing regularly didn’t seem as daunting of a task. This meant finding time to write between appointments with clients at times. And I also took a prolonged break from dance classes to focus on this project.
2.) Know when to hire a professional – I was able to design the cover myself due to my previous experience as a yearbook editor and knowing how I wanted my cover to look. But I am so glad I hired Eileen to do the illustrations. It doesn’t mean I don’t know how to draw, but having a digitally compatible artwork ready to be used is not something I am an expertise at. The photo of me that I used is also one of my modeling shots that was taken by a professional photographer.
3.) Setting deadlines (aka lifelines) – Since this is a “turning 30” project, the goal was to complete the book before my 30th birthday. It really helps to have a timeline of when you want to get things done by.
4.) Proofread, proofread, proofread – Eventually, you need to let it go. But until then, try to be very thorough with the proofreading. And try to find other people to do the proofreading for you. If you have the option of having a printed proof, proofread that too. It’s not always grammatical errors either – you have to make sure the format of everything looks consistent and that things are in the right place.
5.) Be ready to change your mind – I added SO many things to this book than I had originally planned. I didn’t even have a subtitle until I decided to start formatting the book. Until then, I didn’t even have a cover art in mind (the cover art concept came to me upon deciding on a subtitle). In fact, proofreading will have that effect on you of changing your mind about things constantly…
6.) Enjoy the process and fall in love with your book – As my book kept nearing completion, I couldn’t help but smile at the joy of it all. Once the cover was designed I was so proud of it and shared it with friends and family. I admit that there were times when I questioned whether the book was a good idea or whether it was done well…. I still have these thoughts right now as I type this. I do talk about the analogy in the book as well, but the importance of sometimes doing something is the fact that you are doing it and giving it your personal best even if it isn’t better than everyone else.
I don’t know if I’ll ever write a sequel or another book. Then again, I never thought I would write this book….. (See? I did change my mind!)
For now, I will enjoy the fruit of my labor and ask you all to join in on the celebration. Please get a copy or two!