Self-Publishing: It’s a Rollercoaster

Here’s the best metaphor I can think of for what it’s like to publish a book: It’s like trying to do a craft project on a rollercoaster — you’re scared, the wind’s in your face, the adrenaline is flowing, and at some point you change from being a perfectionist to just trying to keep as much stuff as possible from flying out of the car.


When I started this whole publishing-a-book thing, I’d planned on blogging in detail about what the process was like. It soon became clear I had no time for that, so I tried to just jot down notes whenever I could. Let’s just say … that didn’t really work out, either. At this point, the best I can do is save already-marked-out checklists and hope I’ll be able to decipher them later to reconstruct the process.


Oh, I’m not complaining — this publishing thing is hectic, but it’s also hugely rewarding. I’m glad I’m too busy to write about the process, because I’m busy thanks to massive Kickstarter donations, press interest and small tweaks that will ultimately make the book better.


I know it’s important to celebrate and hold onto the really big moments, though, so with that in mind, there are a few things that have happened this week that I want to share:


Holding the first copy of The Localist in my hands

The very first proof of The Localist arrived on my doorstep Friday. (The envelope was not actually as big as the one in the picture, but I thought it was funnier.) I was excited, but I also felt intense relief — it looks fantastic, and it feels good to read. (As a book nerd, that’s important to me.) Pretty much immediately, my friend Kelly took me out for drinks at Paramount, and we shoved the book in the faces of every bartender in the place. They did a very good job of humoring me.


Seeing online book listings of the book

I want everyone to buy The Localist locally (duh), but I want it to be able to be available outside Birmingham as well. It’s fun to see The Localist listed all official-like on a site like Kobo, which is the ereader I use and love (search Instagram for #girlmeetskobo for proof).


Because of a partnership with Church Street, buying Kobo can be buying local, and it’s cool that people can already pre-order my ebook so it’s immediately downloaded on the 29th. Oh, and I’m listed on Amazon, too, although I’m not linking to it and don’t you dare buy it there! (My choice to list on Amazon is explained in the book, btw. So you’re gonna have to buy the book. See what I did there?!)


Recording the audiobook

Okay, part of me doesn’t like this, mostly because I have to turn my heat off to record (it’s too loud), and it’s very cold in Alabama this week. But because of Kickstarter, I know exactly who’s getting the audiobook, and it’s fun to think I’m reading just to them.


Recording an audiobook also forces me to slow down: I have to concentrate on the words or I’ll mumble, and mumbling does not make for happy listeners. The words, and the message, are the whole point of doing this project in the first place, but it’s easy to lose that in the midst of event planning and press interviews and Instagrams.


I wanted to take you all on this self-publishing journey with me, but I’m kind of hanging on for dear life. Hopefully once things slow down a bit, I’ll be able to make my way through those lists and share some helpful ideas. Until then, I’ll share what I can. And if you want to know more, come see me at my first book signing (at Church Street, obviously) on November 29, or if you can’t make that, at the big launch party on December 3. Or, you know — read the book. You can preorder it for your ereader (or your phone or tablet) right here. (See what I did there?!)

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