Click above to see the You Tube video on my channel covering The Journey of Endless
Endless. The very first novel I wrote and self published. It’s not the first novel I ever wrote. That one we’ll discuss at a much later date. That one has it’s own terrifying history.
Back to Endless. I began writing Endless in 2005. As you know, I’ve loved writing and been writing forever but this one was different. I did research and plotted. I printed and saved so many things from the internet. I bought a huge spiral bound, hard back journal and began writing, with a pencil, my story.
I spent years on Endless, on and off. I probably finished her around 2010. I spent months writing and then months, sometimes years, not writing. For the longest time Endless lived in this notebook. (Do you want to see even more inside the Original Endless? Click Contact Me and sign up for my newsletter. You’ll get sneak peeks inside delivered right to your inbox!) Other than myself, there are three other people who have seen this version of Endless.
I wrote several of my other novels in this exact pattern – hard bound, spiral notebook with a pencil. I now call these my Novel Scrapbooks because there are so many pieces tucked and taped into these notebooks.
In 2015, I started writing more and hearing the buzz about online or self publishing. I’ll be honest. I did very little research and it shows. I went with lulu.com and I love them. I find their platform easy to use and the cost to do this is way, way low. I say I did little research because I plowed into the process like I do everything – 100 mph and no idea what I’m doing. I’ve lost count on how many versions of Endless I self published in the beginning because of flaws and mistakes I made with and in the manuscripts. Five or more maybe? That’s on me, though, not Lulu.
Flying at 100 mph leaves room for plenty of mistakes. There were tons and tons of typos, formatting issues and stuff that just made the book look like it was obviously self published. I wanted to change that but I wasn’t sure if I had the capability to do so. I let Endless sit for a few years.
In that time, I joined a local writing group and starting learning so much about my craft that it was almost embarrassing that I’d put this bad boy out there they way I had. But, we live and we learn. And we continued learning. One of the most important things I learned in this process was to know when to stop and put your baby out there.
As writers, we’re always going to be learning new things and masterning those skills so in essence our writing can change over time. A lot of people can look at their first novels and cringe or chose to see how far they’ve come. I’ve come a long way and I have a heck of a long way still to go. I’m no expert. There are rules I still don’t remember or understand. And that’s okay.
In 2018 I took the new skills I learned and re-published Endless with a flashy new cover font and sent her out again. I also started submitting Endless to traditional publishers.
As of now – the dreaded 2020 – I’ve got a folder full of sparkling rejections. I’m in the process of re-editing Endless for one final issuance before I let my baby be in the world as she is.
I could probably spend forever learning new skills and changing her over and over again, but it’s time to move forward. I love this book. It will always be extremely special to me.
I also want to mention – my self publishing journey is probably different than almost anyone else out there. I work with a minimal budget. I don’t pay for editing – I have family and friends work on it with me. I use photos taken by people I personally know for cover photos. I do all the formatting myself in Lulu. I can’t afford editors, designers or formatters. Not yet. Maybe never. So I fully understand my books will never be the high level of awesomeness that other more equiped self published authors are. That’s okay too.
I’d love to have my books in a brick and mortar Barnes and Noble, instead of just online. I’d really love my books to Lifetime movies. I’m also completely happy with having the journies that I write be out there. Someone, someday, may find them and enjoy them and that’s the coolest feeling ever.