Guest blog: Delores Warner – on publishing her first book

Way back in the beginning when I was first writing this blog, I was editing a book for a first-time writer, Delores Warner.  I have asked her to keep me posted on her progress since I finished with her, and she recently told me her book is being published.  I asked her if she would write a guest blog about the process she’s been through, and she has.  Here is Delores’ post:

“It was hearing about another case of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) that prompted me to get my journal out and start writing.  I had kept a journal of my husband’s progress with ALS as he battled this horrible disease.  I wanted to do something to help others.  I decided to write a book about our experience in his caregiving and his fight against ALS.  I’m not in a writer’s group.  No one walked me through the process of publishing a book, I was lost.   I stumbled through it and each time I thought I was ready to find someone to publish it someone would tell me I needed to do something else first.

After six drafts of the manuscript I was told I needed to start looking for a copy editor.  I got Lenora Good’s name from a mutual friend and when I contacted her she recommended Denise Fuller for editing.  I contacted Denise and she bravely took me on as a client.  We worked together getting the manuscript ready for a publisher or printer.  I had learned, through searching publishers that most won’t even look at your manuscript unless you have an agent to push your book.   I searched for an agent, but I couldn’t find one.  Therefore, I decided to self-publish.

In the past I’ve done a lot of photography.  I took a picture for the front cover of my book, and then contacted a graphic designer, David Kelliher of Creative Solutions in Federal Way, WA, who has done work for me previously.  He came up with the cover of my book using my photograph.  I also had him format some pictures for the inside of my book.   I had asked a few people who had reviewed my book for comments for the back of the book and he also put the back cover together for me.





Now it was time to find a publisher/printer.   Another friend recommended a man who printed some books for him.  He thought he might be willing to print my book.  He doesn’t do it for a lot of people, but with my friend’s recommendation I got my foot in the door, so to speak.  He is now in the process of formatting my book and will then send me a copy of what it will look like to do a final proofreading before he actually prints the book for me.

I had to buy the ISBN number and a bar code for the price of the book for the back cover.  That is something else an author needs to know.  The first thing I’d tell a new author is to have some money.

I was so green when I started writing.  I had no idea what I was doing; I just wrote and listened to others when they’d tell me there was another step.  You have no idea how many times I wanted to stop, but a sense of urgency kept me going.  Even my friends who have published books and my sister-in-law never told me of all the steps until it was time to make them, to get to the point I’m at now.  I think the book is on its way to completion and hopefully will soon be available for the public.”

One thing I like about Delores’ process is that she let family and friends know what she was doing and asked them for suggestions and resources.  You see in her story that she felt an urgency about writing, something a lot of authors talk about, and that she didn’t give up.  She listened to advice and was guided one step at a time.  I have been impressed with how everything has fallen in place for her.  When her book is on sale, I’ll let everyone know.

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