The Publishing Process… It’s Habbening! – Becoming an author part 3.

The Publishing Process… It’s Habbening!

So at this point by now, you would have researched and found at least a couple of publishing companies that you were interested in. After you make contact, typically by phone, but could be by email or a “contact us” form… The first thing that you are probably going to do is submit your “manuscript” or story to a representative at the publishing company, I emailed mine, emailing the document is more than likely the preferred method, but I’m sure that you could send it in a different way if you’d like. The publishing company will let you know.

As I’ve mentioned on my book’s website ( www.squirrellymcnut.com ) and in previous blog posts “Becoming an Author” articles part 1 & 2, my book publisher is Christian Faith Publishing. So when I sent in my manuscript, it was forwarded to their “Review Board” to see if what I sent in was good enough to be published and if it was something that they might be interested in. This took about a week or two, and I was called and given the good news. And for me, it was an AMAZING phone call, I of course was THRILLED!

And so it begins.

So just to give you an idea of what kind of time frame to possibly expect, I signed the contract / agreement in June 2019, and my book was actually published in January 2020. The paper work from Christian Faith Publishing (CFP) was pretty straight forward and easy enough to understand, even for someone like me who had never done this before. Although I did have questions along the way simply because I didn’t know the terminology and it was my first time going through the process.

I was assigned a Literary Agent / Publication Specialist and CFP also has an online “Author’s Portal” so I was able to logon anytime to check the progress, updates, or for any questions and concerns that may have come up. Although, my Literary Agent always kept me informed and up to date with what was going on. Also, everyone that I worked with at CFP was always quick to respond back to me to answer any question or concern that I may have had.

Everything gets approved by you!

I’m now going to lay out kind of a timeline of the chain of events as the process gets rolling. And, every step of the process had to be approved by me before moving to the next step.

Editorial Review: An editor will thoroughly proof your manuscript for grammatical errors, spelling errors, and redundancy. They will identify any issues with sentence structure, word usage, etc. This process could take a couple of months to complete. The “editing” part is typically considered the most grueling and hardest part of the process for writers. So try to be patient.

Typesetting: A typeset artist will lay out the pages of your book and implement elements of typographical style like for example font, font sizes, line spacing, and page breaks to enhance the style and overall aesthetics of the book. Basically trying to make the final product the best that it can be! Your typeset artist will also properly place any illustrations, photographs, etc as needed. This part of the process typically takes a month after the editing is completed.

Cover Design: After your approval is given for the typesetting phase, an artist will start working on your custom book cover design using your input.

Illustrations: The rest of the illustrations are completed as well. There was a form that I filled out describing each character and every scene in detail, the more details and descriptions that you can give will help the artist doing the illustrations bring what you have in your head to life. This part could take 2-3 months, really depends…

Printing: Once your cover design and illustrations are approved, you are sent a digital file of what your book looks like all assembled and ready for distribution. If everything looks good and you approve, it will then be sent to the printer to make a small first batch. This takes approximately a month.

Your Copies: Once the first small batch is printed, you will be sent copies. The number of copies that you will get depends on if you wanted your book to be paper back or hard cover, it makes a difference (you get less with hard cover). Once you receive your copies, you should inspect every one of them to make sure that they look good. You will need to give your approval that they printed correctly, no grammatical errors, illustrations are correct, no smudges, etc. Once you give your approval, now it goes public and can be purchased!

Hooray, you’re a published author!

You are now a “published author”, congratulations to you! Can you believe it? It was a long road to get here, but you did it. But also, the process isn’t quite over just yet…

Video Book Trailer: Even though the book is actually published, Christian Faith Publishing is still working for you. CFP creates a customized book trailer that will highlight your book’s theme and will add a little visual excitement to your title’s online listing to help increase it’s online advertising potential. The video trailer will be on their YouTube channel, their website, and used in your book’s press release. CFP also creates an “author webpage” for your book on their website as well, which will have your book’s video trailer.

eBook Creation: After your printed books are completed and the video trailer is created, they begin the process of converting your book to the various eBook formats and upload them to online merchants like itunes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. You know, for those folks who like to just download a digital copy of books to read on their ipad, Kindle, and other devices.

Press Release: Finally! The final step in the CFP publication process is to issue a press release announcing to the world that your book is now available for sale. It has arrived! I mean, technically it’s maybe been out there for sale around 2-3 months already, but there’s a lot of people who just don’t know it yet! You will get the press release “draft” around a month after the eBook versions are done. And oh yes, you will need to approve the press release before it is actually “released”.

My experience in a “Squirrelly McNut” shell…

So I mentioned earlier that “editing” is typically the most grueling and hardest part of the publishing process for writers, but for me editing was a breeze. Really the only thing that was suggested to be changed during the editing process in my book was going from “present” to “past” tense, which I was fine with. There was one thing concerning peanut butter in this one line though… They thought that I made a grammatical error, but I had to clarify that I really meant “pea-nut butter” and not “peanut butter”. My main character is a squirrel, and he’s from the south, and it’s his favorite snack. I needed it emphasized…

For me, the illustrations proved to be the most challenging. I think because I knew what I wanted in my head, I just had to convey it properly to the artist doing the illustrations. It took a couple of times, but then it was perfect.

Everyone at Christian Faith Publishing has been great to work with, they want to make sure that you are 100% satisfied with the finished product. I look forward to hopefully having a long relationship with them continuing my Squirrelly McNut series.

Also don’t rest on your laurels, or hardies, when your book is “done”. Start creating a buzz about your book while it’s in the process of getting published. And while a lot of times we focus on and equate success with the book launch, yeah you want to have a good launch, but think about long term. Long term is where the sustainability is…

If you want to be successful, you need to market your butt off!

If you liked this or if it was helpful in any way, please share this or any of the other blog articles that you like with friends and family. And for more information about getting published, please visit Christian Faith Publishing. Thank you! And Good Luck!

So you wrote a book, now what? – Becoming an author part 2.

So you wrote a book, now what?

Now that you’ve created a piece of literature, it’s time to think about getting it published to share with the world. So you’ve written your story, your memoirs, your novel… Congratulations! You created something that came directly from YOUR brain, woo hoo! That is an amazing achievement all by itself, but, it is just one part of an adventurous equation. Breaks over, let’s get back to work!

So what comes next?

Research! Well almost, not just yet… For me personally, I first did a little thinking and reflecting about what I actually created and what direction I wished it could go in. I mean, I would love to be a “One hit wonder”, that would be awesome! But, I didn’t write the “next best novel”, I wrote “Squirrelly McNut Goes to School”, a children’s book. For my path, in my mind, I envision a “Squirrelly McNut series”. So hopefully, fingers crossed, the first one does well.

That being said, thinking about the bigger picture of what I hope it will become, I tried to create what I felt was an iconic main character, as well as an iconic supporting character. I wanted them to be adorable! And according to my wife, among others, mission accomplished! I mean, see for yourself. What do you think? We can definitely see them being on apparel at some point in the future.

As I said starting out, there are a few different pieces of the puzzle and equations to think about, so you do your own math on that, and think about your direction. And speaking of math, it is not one of my strong points. The last time someone asked me to subtract, I just walked out! When they asked where I was going… I told them that I was minus-ing 1. Math joke! Ok sorry, back to business.

Is there a Publisher in the house?

Finding the right publisher. Besides having adorable characters, my book “Squirrelly McNut Goes to School”, like all of the future titles and stories to come, is centered around innocence, wholesome stories, and Christian values. Since my book has to deal with teachable faith based moments, that guided my research as well. Now this is just my personal journey and things that I considered to be factors, I just wanted to share my thought process. Yours could be different and you may not even care about any of these factors at all. I guess in a “McNut” shell, I just want you to consider the possibilities, the potential and think about the bigger picture for your personal path. What you created, what you have, what it is, and what it could become.

Have a backup plan!

Have choices and options, do your due diligence. When researching publishers, you’ll see there are several options and a lot of information out there, and some disinformation as well. Don’t let the disinformation enthusiasts and negative Nancy know-it-alls discourage you. And believe me, I know that it can seem a little daunting, but steady the course! You can do this!

I would recommend picking out a few different publishing companies that coincide with your narrative or who just makes you feel comfortable. For me, after researching for about a week or so, I had actually narrowed it down to two publishing companies that I was interested in. And I figured that if those didn’t work out. I could always contact others. My first choice who I submitted my book (“manuscript”) to was a Christian company, because of my type of book and message, I felt like they would be a good fit for me and that’s the direction that I wanted to go in, if possible. I have to say that I was totally surprised, and a little shocked that the first company that I chose… Actually chose me! I mean, this is my first book, I’ve never done anything like this before. I was so honored and grateful that Christian Faith Publishing liked my story and made my book a reality. I feel very lucky and blessed because I know that it doesn’t always happen with the first publisher that you contact, especially since this was my very first book ever! So that’s why I’m saying, have options, and if the first publisher that you contact doesn’t work out, then contact another. Hey, if at first you don’t succeed… try, try again!

Also just a heads up, please remember that things are not like we see on TV. Unless you’re some big time, well known writer or celebrity, you are not gonna get some big check in advance, so let’s be real and keep things in perspective… Publishing a book will cost you money!

I hope that this was helpful, and if you enjoyed it, please check back soon for “The Publishing Process… It’s Habbening!” Part 3, the last part, of “Becoming an Author”. Also, please share this or any of the other blog articles that you like with friends and family. Thank you!

How I did it! Becoming an author…

A little background.

So if you don’t know, the “How I did it” pic comes from “Young Frankenstein”, an older comedy which is one of my favorite movies. I try to have a good sense of humor about everything, and I do consider myself to be somewhat witty. I mean, I make my self laugh all day long! But, what I never considered myself to be… was a writer.

I’d love to say that I took creative writing in college, or read a ton of books and I’ve always wanted to be a writer… I know that this is probably the case for a lot of Authors, and that’s Awesome! But it’s just not my case, I probly don’t fit the “typical Author description” so to speak. Like Homer Simpson, I’ve always said my favorite book is… Magazines! And I’m usually reading some sort of “how to” or tech manual.

It’s kind of funny, but I sort of equate becoming an author to my time in law enforcement, meaning neither occupation was anything that I ever really thought I’d do. But I happened to do both pretty well! I’ve also been an “Operations” type person for many years, creating training manuals, daily user guides, as well as implementing and streamlining business processes. I have also written some funny headset tech blogs.

Idea for, Squirrelly McNut Goes to School.

So one day, I just had this name pop into my head… “Squirrelly McNut”. My first thought, as with most things, was how to use it in a joke! I joke about everything, including making fun of myself. Yep, I’m that off the cuff funny guy! It’s so dusty in my house right now, the Dust Bunnies ride around in dune buggies…” Anyway, weeks go by and still no joke. And one night it just came to me, put it in a story. But I’ve never written anything like this before, could I even do it??? So that night I just started typing, running different plots and scenarios through my head navigating a path. The character, the content, and the story line just seemed to pour out. And by morning, my “Squirrelly McNut” character and book “Squirrelly McNut Goes to School” was created! Now of course, this is no novel. But this is where my path led to, short wholesome stories for children illustrating innocence and Christian values, with plans on it being a series. Who knows where your path could lead…

Hold up Santa, all in one night? What about writer’s block?

True, writer’s block happens a lot. Everyone’s gonna have their own way, but it may not always work the same way every time either. So don’t get discouraged. I don’t always get it done in one night. For me, when I’m getting ready to try to write, I’ll let the ideas marinate in my head for maybe a week. Then I have to clear my head and be mentally relaxed, and I’ll find my writing window in the middle of the night. I like that it’s dark, no TV, no distractions, it’s my quiet and creative time. If I’m feeling stressed or like I’m forcing it, that’s no good, I walk away and get back to it another day! But when I’m in the zone, I’ll write all night long!

You can do it!

Every Author is gonna have their own “creative processes”. For many years I’ve been creative, and I usually have processes for just about everything I do, but I never thought that I would or could write a book, much less having it published and available almost everywhere! So I hope this just shows that no matter what your background is, if you develop a passion for writing or if you are blessed with a message to share… Don’t be afraid, put pen to paper. You can do it!

I sincerely hope that this blog post inspires the Author in you! If this was helpful and you liked, please leave a comment if you want, and share the website. And also follow for upcoming blogs such as “So you wrote a book, now what?”