Don’t Hit the Submit Button

This blog post is meant to be a peek behind the curtain of the writing, editing, and publishing aspects of being an indie writer and author.

This is my first experience on this journey to write, edit, publish, distribute, and market my Star O’Brien mystery series. Currently, I’m in the publishing phase for the first book, Death on Clare Island. And, I’m about 20,000 words from completing the writing phase for the second book.

By far, getting to and through the publish phase has taken determination and persistence. I’ve already described the Bowker ISBN issue in an earlier blog post. The latest snag began when I uploaded the manuscript to Amazon’s KDP for preview and a printed poof copy.

Then, the proof copy arrived in the mail.

First, the ISBN I purchased wasn’t on the back cover. “Why not?” I asked. No one, including the individual whose publishing services I’d paid for, knew the answer. So…I contacted Amazon who informed me that when Amazon prints the proof copy, they create a temporary barcode and number that indicates the book is a proof copy. They assured me that when I finally hit the submit button, the ISBN number I provided will be on the back cover.

There was much about the formatting that I didn’t think a reader would like. Such as the line spacing, justification, chapter headers, and scene breaks. The cover design was so much darker in print than it was when viewed online.

So, I didn’t hit the submit button. Instead, I reassessed where I was with the individual whom I’d hired to bring this book project to completion. Then, I reached out to my virtual assistant who recommended the eBook Formatting Fairies at Within two days, I received the mobi and epub files to review. The Vellum format looks beautiful and inviting to the reader’s eye. Next, the fairies are working on formatting the print on demand version. And, the cover design is in the hands of a freelance graphic designer for revision.

Bottom line. I’ve learned that I don’t want to put all my work into the hands of one individual who says he/she can do it all (edit, format for print and ebook, cover design). I also know that for my next book, whomever I work with for editing, there will be a set of deliverables with payments tied to due dates.

I wrote earlier in this post that it takes determination and persistence to be a published indie author. Moreover, it takes patience. Don’t be in a hurry to hit the submit button until you are totally satisfied that your work product will be pleasing to your readers.

Look for an update to the launch of Death on Clare Island sometime in mid-January.

One thought on “Don’t Hit the Submit Button

  1. I have to say that between yours and Nick’s experiences, the whole picture of self publishing is terrifying. I’m very sorry that your foray into putting your book into the hands of an individual did not work out for you. It’s discouraging. Still, it would be kind of neat to have both of our books drop at the same time. Hey, we could go on a book tour together (joking…I wouldn’t wish that on anyone).
    Good luck with the remainder of what you have left and I’m still looking forward to throwing money at you when your book is released.


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