My debut novel has been a year in the making, which I suppose isn’t too bad considering some writers have spent a decade writing one novel. If someone had warned me of the hours I’d spend preparing my book for self-publication that did not include writing, I’d have …
Who am I kidding, I’d do exactly what I’ve done, a hundred times over. I’ll be honest, I’ve always been a fan of tactile things (vinyl, Polaroid photos, and, of course, books), and there is something especially satisfying about holding a real, solid representation of the book you’ve spent so much time and effort writing. And on top of that, there’s even more to admire if that very book was designed and organized by you. That font, that position of design element, that color scheme … It all becomes more amazing when you are part of the process from start to finish.
I’ll admit, I’m a perfectionist. I don’t take well to handing off duties to someone who I cannot be certain will hold true to my vision. It’s why I have been ruthlessly attached to Tick from the beginning, and one of the main reasons why I have chosen to self-publish. Sure, there are plenty more qualified people I could have hired to design the interior layout of the print book and saved me hours (or days … okay, weeks) of time with trouble-shooting. Or maybe if I’d just been less inclined to have a creative eBook interior, it would have been ready for purchase a lot sooner. Or maybe if I was less of a control freak and allowed another graphic designer to create my cover I wouldn’t have stressed over it so much.
But, when it’s all said and done, Tick is a book that came from me, from start to finish (besides my wonderful and ever enthusiastic editor, and of course my computer guru husband). Who knows how someone else would interpreted my book and translated that into the cover design? Who knows what might have happened had someone else told me that the eBook layout couldn’t be done? Who knows what state my entire book might be in had some major publishing house editor with something to prove decided to go all Edward Scissorhands on my story? Maybe it would be 100 times better than it is now.
The cover you see was mine from conception to completion. The layout and design came from my persistence (and from me constantly pestering my poor husband). And the words, the story, the world of my novel is exactly how I intended the world to read it. I can say that proudly because I did not make any decisions about my book to appease any head cheese in the industry, nor did I do anything to fit inside a particular market or trend. This book is my book. Yes, it was difficult and stressful and overall a big pain in the ass to get the thing to reach completion, but there is something especially satisfying to hand it to someone and say, “Me. I made this. All of it. Take it or leave it.”