I Finished My Novel… But The End is Only the Beginning

I finished my first novel. It is done. I even wrote an epilogue yall. Experience author friends (EAF’s from here on out) cover your eyes for a moment while I speak to the others. For your non-authors, the epilogue the part that comes after the main story is over. Like a ‘lil update and whatnot. ***Whisper’s to EAF’s*** They’re so precious.

I took some time to celebrate (I ate until I was disappointed in myself and went to Atlantic City with my hubby). Now it’s back to work and I really can’t shake this nagging feeling of “Oh, now the work begins!” All the administrative stuff, the design, the marketing, the branding. Ahhhh!!! It’s the switching off of the creative brain and the powering on of the business brain. Now, if I can only remember where I left that damn business brain. 

I’ll be going through the first step of the publishing process which involves getting this beautiful baby angel of a book proofread and edited. I plan to go on on the interwebs and find a talented and experienced professional who hopefully won’t take me for all the little bit of coin that I have. 

I imagine sending my manuscript in to the editor along with the hefty payment. Three days pass and I get an email in my inbox. My manuscript was horrific and they feel guilty taking money from me to edit this abomination. Don’t do this to yourself, they write in italicized font to show their sincerity and seriousness. The world doesn’t need to see this. I burn my laptop on the roof of my apartment building by moonlight and put the embers out with my tears. End scene.

Alternatively, I imagine sending in my manuscript. Two hours later the editor emails me begging me to call them. They provide me with a number. An area code I don’t recognize. 2-1-3. Where could that be? I call and it’s Steven Spielberg on the other end. Athena…may I call you Athena?…Thank You, Queen…this is brilliant. We need to bring this straight to the big screen. How soon can you be in Hollywood? He says in italicized font to express his sincerity and seriousness. I’m already here. Look on your lawn, I tell him. End scene.

It’s important to me that this book be a real finished product. Not rushed and underdeveloped. I know there’s a ton of work ahead but surprisingly… I’m really excited about it. I feel like I’m about to crack a code and share the treasure with so many people who didn’t have access to it before. I’ll be doing my final edits on the book in the coming week and then off I go to Fiverr — which I heard is a great place to hire people for their services. Ooo, it sounds dirty! 

I’ve also been reading a few books about self-publishing that have been super helpful in demystifying the publishing process. The links to those are below. 

But overwhelmingly, it all comes back to one thing–telling stories that people connect to and get lost in. I love this and in the end, nothing else matters. 

Well…a couple of dollars wouldn’t hurt either. BAZINGA!!!! 

Want to be a Beta reader and give feedback on my WOI? Read “Say When” for free on Wattpad and tell me what you think:


Stuff that helps:

Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book in ebook and print (Books for Writers) by Joanna Penn

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