On Writing and Publishing a Book
Posted on October 4, 2015
I recently released a book, HOW TO HEAL A BRUISE. After a long time writing and even longer editing, I decided to self-publish. It was hard, but it all made sense. Here’s how it all went down.
Writing the Book
Writing How to Heal a Bruise took about a year. I wasn’t writing the book full time, but I was always thinking about it. How to Heal a Bruise is about living with the autoimmune disorder Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP), and that’s just what I was doing.
The book was always in the back of my mind, as was my autoimmune disorder. I did not need to sit down for long bursts of creativity, I wrote from my life when it happened.
I did a little research, but I already knew a lot of the facts from writing and researching for three years on my blog ITPANDME.
Editing the Book
The writing process was relatively easy in comparison to editing. Editing is a lot scarier, as it’s the time to hand your work over to someone else. I was paralysed for a long time by the idea of sending the book to an editor. I kept thinking, ‘Is this even good enough for an editor to read?’
I was so nervous about sending my work to an editor that I tried to do it all myself. What a mistake! I did so much work polishing my crazy book without realising it was badly put together.
When I finally found a lovely editor in America who agreed to edit my work, she sent my book back with so many helpful notes that I basically rewrote the whole book again – but five times better.
Publishing the Book
Right from the start I knew I wanted to self-publish How to Heal a Bruise. The audience for my book is quite small, and through my blog I was already in direct communication with a large part of the ITP community. I knew a traditional publisher would not be interested in my book (rightly so) and quite frankly I would have been suspicious if they had been.
I did my research before I released the book and tried to learn as much as possible before I self-published. There were so many things to consider such as cover design, pricing and when to released.
And the Response…
Waiting for reviews was just as scary as waiting for notes to come back from my editor. I was so happy to find that people made an effort to review the book after it was out. Once the first review came in, I settled down.
Here are a couple of the first reviews that came out. I was so excited to get them I just had to share.
‘The book includes lots of ITP information such as, the science, history, tips and guides, alongside strong emotional support. It is now my own ITP Bible! I could not recommend it more highly!’ FULL REVIEW HERE from Katie Meloy
‘Beyond being a book documenting scientific and medical information, is the personal experience of Meg Brewster after seven years of living with this blood disorder and is enriched in fourteen chapters…I didn’t know what to expect on How To Heal A Bruise, then simply I couldn’t stop reading.’ FULL REVIEW HERE from Laura
So will I do it again?
Yes, I think I will. Self-publishing has been such a satisfying experience. I felt in control of the work and the process.
It was scary on my own, and I certainly had epic setbacks but it was still worth it. It’s a dream of mine that one day I am blessed with the experience of working with a publisher – but for right now, this is what I feel I should be doing.
As I prepare for a new baby coming into my life, I want to be my own boss, set my own hours and decide on my own deadlines. I don’t think I could commit to working with a publisher at this point and give them the commitment or the writing they deserve.
Maybe next year.