How I Wrote a Novel: Part 3 – Doing Everything Wrong on Purpose

Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash – A visual representation of my mood.

I self-edited and self-published my book.

I’m not going into detail about how I did it, because it’s not a process anyone should emulate.

However, I regret nothing.

I wanted this novel to be as much a product of my own doing as possible. I wanted to see how people responded to the most raw form of my work – edited to the best of my abilities, but not influenced by anyone else. I did have one person proofread for me to have a second set of eyes for typos.

The editing process was torturous. For example, finding an obvious mistake during the fifteenth read-through. Then, once I thought everything was okay, I’d move on to the typesetting stage and discover yet another mistake, then have to go back to Word, fix it, and import it into Kindle Create again. Even after I got sample copies of the paperback (which I still haven’t finalized), I found errors.

I wanted the struggle. I wanted to know what parts of book production I don’t want to do myself. I wanted to know what I didn’t know.

I’m going to self-publish at least two more times: the second and probably final installment of Dark House, and a poetry book.

For my third novel I will be *drumroll* trying the traditional route. I don’t want the full burden of editing, publishing, and marketing my work. And while traditional publishing is by no means easy, and I may never be traditionally published, it’s worth a try.

My ultimate advice in writing and publishing is this: if it appeals to you, try it! Don’t be afraid of looking like an amateur. Fortunately and unfortunately, no one cares.

Editing and Self-Publishing help:

Most of this is editing help. If you self-publish with Kindle, the process is pretty straightforward and there are a ton of articles to refer to. Kindle Create is fine if you want to publish an extremely basic book, but I don’t think I’ll be using it for Dark House 2.

Reedsy Blog: I tried the Reedsy typesetting tool – I didn’t have enough control over the formatting, so I tried Kindle Create and liked it slightly better. However, Reedsy has a great blog. I referred to their articles many times. They post about writing, self-publishing and traditional publishing.

Grammarly Blog: I used Grammarly’s editing tool – it was kind of helpful – didn’t love it. But lo and behold, like Reedsy, they also have a very helpful blog. I used it quite a bit for grammar help.


Self-Editing for Fiction Writers

The Best Punctuation Book, Period

Elements of Style

The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need

The Chicago Manual of Style (you can just google the specific guidelines if you know what you’re looking for, but I did end up buying the big ole’ hardcover)

Final Thoughts:

If there were to be another installment in this series, it would be about book promotion, but since I didn’t do any, this is it. I got to the point where I needed this book to be done so I could move on. I’m proud of my book, but I do feel I seriously dropped the ball with promotion, which is, in part, what convinced me that I might prefer traditional publishing. Self-publishing requires a lot of energy that I just don’t have.