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First of Many



Here it is. Four long years later. Finally, published (self-published on Amazon) just after my birthday this year.


(If you'd like the short version of this detailed journey, check out my vlog.)


I was working on a very important screenplay back in 2017. In my free time, I developed some short stories to test the waters and see where they would take me. Some of them were pushing me to go further, and one or two of them weren't going where I wanted. They were eventually scrapped. I worked steadily on them in my free time and a few developed into something exciting.


Fast forward to 2019. I was attending Book Con and realized all of the potential there was for people to read my book. I was overwhelmed by how many people were still buying paperbacks. I met several people through the convention, whether it was publishers, other authors, and fellow readers, that I went home telling myself that I'd be back to sell my first book there. I knew I had a long way to go still.


The summer came and I was still writing my screenplay and my short stories had progressed quite a bit more. I headed down to Virginia to attend Scares That Care convention and I felt like I won the lottery. So many authors, so many indie releases, and they were all so welcoming to hear my ventures towards becoming an author myself. They gave their input and I bought many of their books to dive into their stories.


It was exactly the fuel I needed. I knew there was a market for my short stories and people would come to me instead of throwing myself at everyone else. I kept in touch with many of the authors while meeting several more along the way. I've read so many of their books since then that I can probably open my own small book store.


2020 was a disaster for the world, but I was able to focus solely on my stories and get them to where I wanted. I was out of work for about 6 months, so I spent a lot of time writing away, putting forward more effort to write a certain amount of words a day. Stories were getting finished and the book was starting to look like it would happen in the near future.


I read as much as possible and then I would write until my fingers hurt. I often told myself a certain page count was the write goal to get to, but after so many stories started to come together, I knew it was more about where I could say 'this is the last story of my book' and let it rest.


The end of the slow 2020 brought me to my conclusion of my stories. I felt I had a firm grasp on what I wanted in the book. It wasn’t too long or too short, a personal dilemma I often troubled myself with. The first week of the new year I sent off my first draft to the editor and got working right away once they came back to me.

Now, there was a slow period between first draft and final product. First, my wife and I bought a house in the third week of January. Most of the month finished with our move and the end of winter to most of Spring was unpacking and settling in.

To make things worse, a month after we moved into the house, my father passed away. Besides dealing with the immediate services, tackling his entire estate and it's future occupied all of my time. I seldom felt creative after having that grief and sadness on my shoulders.


Still, after finding my footing again, I was able to chip away at finalizing edits and notes from proof reads.


The book was done, but it wasn’t ready yet. I still had to get my book packaged nicely. There was a particular designer that did several books that I had read recently. I decided to reach out for my cover. He had the aesthetic that was appropriate for my ideas.


We worked together for weeks finalizing my design. I was fortunate that he gave me a few options for my concept, but one in particular was exactly what stuck out to me for capturing my words perfectly.


With formatting and tweaking the cover, the whole process took just a little over a month. I submitted everything to be published on Amazon, and it all worked out just the way I wanted it.


The book went live the day after my birthday. I was finally there, finally ready to show everyone who I had done for so long. Ready to open that new book, revel in that fresh smell (who doesn't love the smell of a brand new book??), and dive into my words.


I’ve gotten some kind remarks regarding the book so far. I don’t think anyone has finished it yet, but I’m happy people are giving it a chance.


It’s been a joy to share all of my experiences with this book, from start to finish. I’m going to keep going with it for quite some time. I have a few more ideas regarding sharing my book and I plan to do so until my next is ready to talk about.


Until then, thank you for taking the time to read this post or read my book.


More to come very soon!


-Joe


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