What It’s Like to Finally Realize a Dream

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I’ve wanted to publish a book for as long as I’ve been writing. My first real dream was with one of the two books I wrote in high school. It was about a 17-year-old girl whose father died under somewhat suspicious circumstances when she was just a year old. Her mother had Dissociative Identity Disorder (multiple personalities) and through the course of the book the main character unravels a conspiracy… but one of her friends dies in the process.

Reality!

The entire trajectory of that book was contrived, cliched, and unrealistic. But it stuck with me and informed some of what went into The Prophets of Camlaan.

I never thought I’d actually publish that first version of the story. Of course, I wanted to, and I even reached out to a self-publishing house called Tate Publishing. I did a query letter and everything. However, my parents helped me come to the conclusion that going that route wouldn’t be the best option. There were bad reviews of Tate online, reports of authors losing all rights to their work, and I didn’t want that to happen. I couldn’t bear them crushing that dream with red tape and bureaucracy.

I also knew that going the traditional publishing route is long, difficult, and tests patience. It’s still not something I want to go through. It would mean losing the 100% creative control I have over my story when I self-publish.

Of course, I’ll listen to my editor’s opinions for structural and possibly even plot changes, because I want to tell the best story that’s inside, not a rushed one. Before I even sent the book to my editor I knew it had weak places and sections that need a lot of work… But I didn’t know what to do with it in the short time I had to finish self-edits.

Meeting My Editor

As I write this, I’m a couple days away from meeting with my editor to discuss the changes. But regardless of whatever she throws at me, this feeling of finally having taken the steps towards publishing after so long… It’s a little exhilarating!

I have a semi-clear plan for next steps—more revisions, possibly another review with my editor, and then moving on to copyedits and proofreading. Somewhere along the way I’ll get a cover done…

One thing I self-acknowledge as needing work is marketing. By nature I’m uncomfortable “putting myself out there” and I know that marketing the book will be one of my biggest struggles.

Like many other parts of my life and personality, I’m working on it!

But for now, I’m just ecstatic to have made it this far down the road of being a published author after over 15 years of holding it as a dream.

Dreams aren’t reality… We have to make them real. I’m making mine real. Are you making your dreams real?

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