Another 3 Things I’ve Learned from Publishing My First Novel

Well, the learning curve continues to grow with my “published author” status. I’ve been mum on this for a while, honestly because I was a bit embarrassed about it.

But, I might as well confess: I’m revising and re-publishing The Warden of Everfeld: Memento.

I suppose I am fortunate that my novel does not need sweeping changes, or a complete rewrite. But I still don’t like the fact that I have to revise it.

A couple of readers pointed out some basic proofreading errors that were juuuust a bit too much for me to let slide. There are not enough errors for me to publish a second edition or anything, but there were too many.

So, I had someone proofread my already-published novel. I contacted Red Raven Book Design again to see what it would take to get revisions made to my CreateSpace and KDP files. And I sent a list of more corrections than I’d like to admit to my book designer to implement for me.

I’m happy that self-publishing has given me the flexibility to submit new manuscripts for my book without actually going through the entire process again.

However, in light of this experience, I have a few more lessons I’d like to share that I’ve learned from self-publishing.

Hire a Proofreader

I had read countless blogs and articles about hiring one person for the content editing, and a totally separate person for the proofreading of my novel. It made sense in my head. Why not have an extra set of eyes on my story?

I didn’t listen. And I didn’t do enough on my own to prepare my manuscript. My editor was great, but she focused on the narrative and the characters.

Next time, I’m definitely hiring a proofreader after my content editor is finished.

Don’t Rely on Your Content Editor to Proofread Simultaneously

Again, my editor was fantastic. I will absolutely go back to her for future stories. However, I didn’t pay her to be both a content editor and  a proofreader.

Maybe she could have proofread my manuscript after I had made my revisions, and she had some separation from the story. She probably would have done a great job. But doing both in one shot is just too much to ask.

Don’t Be Afraid to Revise at Any Point during the Process

I rushed the publication process a bit. I mentioned this in my original lessons from publishing, but I contacted my book designer too early and committed to a time slot for him to format my manuscript — before my manuscript was completed.

The deadline came up too fast, and rather than pushing back my book design, I scrambled to finish the manuscript and send it to my book designer. Next time, if I’m in danger of missing or rushing a deadline, I’ll know to call off the next step until I’m truly finished.

Lessons Learned

I’m really excited to re-publish my novel with these changes. I feel much more confident that my novel is a worthy buy and read.

It just would have been nice to feel this way from the start — and be right. Good things are coming, however. Stay tuned.

Steve D

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