Friday, October 30, 2015

Oncewhere Walked the Whale: Published!

Yay! This afternoon I hit the “publish” button on my book on Amazon Kindle.

It takes twelve hours to get approved by the good folks over there. Then it will be available for perusal and purchase.

I will post a link to it tomorrow.

Personally, I’m feeling a bit weird. Normally, based on the past experience of finishing a novel, short stories, or exceptionally pleasing blog post, I would feel a potent combination of pride, satisfaction, and relief. Basking in the glow of a job well done. I’m not feeling that right now.

Could be nerves from the Bigger Picture: Will the book sell? Will it bomb? Did I do something wrong? Embarrassingly, humiliatingly wrong? Yeah, it’s all part of a big learning experience. As far as my main overriding goal, to create an entertaining work of art I’d love for you to check out, that I’m confident I’ve accomplished.

The ideas for the novel came to me in the early 2000s. I used characters left over from notes from my first novel, written in 1999. I began Oncewhere Walked the Whale the first New Years Day after my first daughter was born, January of 2005. Took me seven months to complete the first draft. Copied it to a CD-ROM, and it sat in my desk drawer in the basement for five years.

During my first major bout with health issues and unemployment, I spent a couple of weeks editing it for the first time. Let my step-father and my mother-in-law read it, and both came back with the observation that the ending meandered and kind of lost its way. Too rambling at 15,000 words, I pared it down to a third of that, tightening it up and wrapping up all the loose ends in a satisfying way that still gives me goose bumps.

My other father-in-law knew a lady who knew a literary agent and she looked the novel over. Said it was good, but said I needed a track record to get it published. Needed to get some short stories published. I had written something like fifteen short stories, and sent out what I thought the better ones were to various magazines. All came back rejected, so dejected, I stopped that plan.

Fast forward another five years, to May of 2015. Had an encounter that inspired me to self-publish my works. I have three finished novels, and figured I could combine my four best longest short stories into one package. That’s what I’m working on now.

So to get Oncewhere self-published I spent something like 230 hours over the past five months reading, researching, editing, re-writing, formatting, buying this and that, signing up for this and that, uploading, editing and formatting yet again.

I’m pleased with the final product.

Next up – have to get the Author Website online and running, and get Oncewhere available in Nook and iBook form. Then figure out how to get a soft-cover version working, and how to promote the darn thing.


Anonymous said...

Good luck, Hopper and God be with you!

Anonymous said...

Hooray Hopper! This is an incentive to charge up my Kindle and I will! AuntRO