Most people are curious about the entire process of being a published author and ask me questions about how a person actually gets published.

 

I like questions.

 

Sometimes the answers surprise the people asking them because the truth is, it’s not a glamorous job. Fulfilling, yes. But there’s a lot of effort that goes into the actual process of writing the book, and sometimes years can pass before any interest is shown at all by a publisher.

 

Even when interest is shown by a publisher, it’s not an overnight thing getting your book into the printed form.

 

To be truthful, my first novel, Summer Rain, has been a rough ride for me. It’s a work that I poured a year and a half of my heart into and a work that I enjoyed writing very much. I learned a lot about the writing process with this one.

 

And I don’t mean just about “writing”.

 

I learned a lot about computers, about formatting, and I learned that you don’t switch platforms in the middle of your book!

 

When I first began to write Summer Rain, it was on my Millennium-edition desktop and about halfway into it, my husband bought me a laptop for our anniversary. So I saved my novel on a disk and gave that computer to my daughter, finishing the novel on my new laptop with Vista.

 

Guess what? It’s a great thing that I had printed off the first half, because when I saved the second half on the same disk, somehow (my computer guy understands this far better than I do) – the two platforms are not compatible and my entire novel did not get saved. I had printed off the novel, thankfully, to read to my family as I finished each chapter – so I was able to piece it all together.

 

I thought it was going to be just fine.

 

Until my manuscript was accepted by a publisher that only works digitally … and all I had  was my manuscript on paper. I thought about retyping the book so I could save it again, but that wasn’t even close to being an option, because I had by this time begun writing three other novels and was half-way through one of them. Time wouldn’t allow it.

 

With my manuscript box tucked under my arm,  I marched into a print shop and with not a problem, they converted my manuscript into a PDF format and handed me a new disk!

 

And I was still not home free.

 

My publisher couldn’t edit a PDF file and needed it in word document form.

 

I downloaded literally seven programs into my computer to convert that PDF, and none worked. Finally after driving fifty miles away from home to a large chain printer, it was converted from the PDF disk to a word document.

 

But during the converting process, the formatting was turned completely upside down. The final project was not on the font or size I’d originally typed it on. Paragraphs were not indented. Lines were only sometimes double-spaced, while other lines were crammed up against the ones above and below.

 

Is all the effort worth it?


I say it is; my debut novel, Summer Rain, is still in the production process at the time of this posting, but I am proud to say that it IS in the production process!

 

While waiting on this book to be released, I’m putting the finishing touches on one of my other novels – and yes. I did type the entire work on the same laptop this time!

 

Robyn