Shortly after Christmas 2010, I sat staring at a new computer, completely loaded and configured, and thought Now what? The question turned into an ambition to fulfill a lifelong goal: to produce a full-length, best-quality work of fiction. I wanted to write a novel.
Writing the thing took three months. Editing through several more drafts took another seven. I am blessed in that, as it turns out, I married a hard-nosed copy editor without realizing it. I pour the words onto the page, and she gets them marching in close-order drill. Research clarifies and confirms plot points, and review after review eliminates sticking points in the mind until the storyline is completely plausible. Between us, we have all the skills necessary to produce a work worth reading.
After editing, comes Formatting. To relate what I have learned about producing a Kindle title will be worthy of a post of its own one day. Coding the files that allow the additional navigational features of a Kindle book is where the headaches lie. It is doubtless the reason that most self-pub authors forgo them or hire the process out.
Cover art comes naturally. I have long experience in both art and graphic manipulation, which is where artistic expression came to reside after the advent of the personal computer, at least in my case.
Last comes the writing of the Description, one of the four pillars of a successful e-book. (Content, Cover, Product Description and Price). The Description is the first part of the marketing efforts that follow release, but it is also the principal avenue toward being found by a reader on a retail website.
Producing The Anvil of the Craftsman has taken eleven months to the day. I have not tallied the hours involved. Start with nearly a year of spare time and you will have a good estimate. The title is now in the hands of Dale Amidei Beta Readers. I look forward to hearing their opinions, but I know the product is solid. Today I have a sense of accomplishment that is fresh. I like it. I want more. Back to pounding out words, I guess.
Choose to Love, -DA