My Journey

Hey everyone! This page is dedicated to the “my journey” posts, which are the ones I posted throughout the past couple years detailing my journey of getting my debut republished. I hope it will serve as a useful tool for any aspiring authors just starting out who happen across my website, to show them what the process looks like from someone who actually went through it. I was wanting to fix the spelling mistakes in the posts, but I think I will leave them, as I think it’s good to be able to look back and see how my knowledge has changed over the years.

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May 26th, 2014: Progress is Being Made!

A wonderful person has been kind enough to provide me with a new laptop, so now I can take it wherever I go. This means more time spent writing, which equals more novels being written. The site is also being worked on. The theme is probably the biggest thing at this point.

Black and white isn’t a very exciting combination if you ask me. However, as you can see, there’s a couple more pages to check out since the last time I made a post. I’ve decided to try out something which I call “Ask CJ!”. Check it out! The purpose of it is that once I get to where I want to be regarding my author career, I want to be the type of person who personally interacts with the people who enjoy my work, because I know that most people with a fan-base don’t do that. Anyways, that’s it for now!

June 1st, 2014: Computers Can Be Annoying!

The title sums it up really well. As you know, I have a laptop that will be used for writing. Well, to actually write, I need a writing program. I’ve been attempting to install a free one for a few hours already, to no avail.

It keeps saying that something else is installing, and in order for the writing program to finish, the other thing has to finish installing first. That being said, I must mention that there is nothing else installing. I’ve had this program installed on other computers for me before, and it installed no problem, but this time it just doesn’t want to play nice.

This is annoying, because I only have a chance usually once every two weeks install things that I need/want, due to the fact that I have no internet at home and when I am able visit people I know, I go on theirs. Another thing that I’m trying to install is Windows Live Movie Maker. But the same result. In any case, I hope I can get this problem fixed before I have to go home so I can spend my evenings writing!

June 15th, 2014: Catching Up

So, soon after I had posted the latest blog (aside from this one), I had figured out what the problem was, and now I have the writing program! Now, regarding the website, I have thought of another little something to help spice it up until I start getting books published. Since there’s not much else to do on here until I get my author career going, I figured I may as well do something that I’m good at.. Write!

I’ll be writing short stories and poems and posting them on the site. Everything I write will be protected under copyright. Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s available for the taking! I’ll either make a new page for the short stories and poems, or I’ll write them as blogs (on the home page), and categorize them under “Short Stories” and “Poems”. I will also be adding a blog category called “Polls”. This will be exactly what it sounds like. I will be posting polls just asking random questions. I figured that since I will be talking about me on my website, I can also do a little something to get to know you. Now, on to the next topic, I will be starting a kickstarter project soon for my first novel.

For those of you who don’t know, a kickstarter is basically like a fundraiser. People donate money, or “pledge”, and in return, if they choose to, they can receive a reward as a ‘thanks’ for helping out. The higher you pledge, the better the reward. In this case, the rewards will be things like copies of my novel (signed and not signed), bookmarks, postcards, a chance to have your name in the Acknowledgements, posters, etc. I’m sure some of you are familiar enough with the writing process that you’re probably thinking, well why not just get a publisher? Well, publishers usually require writers to have a literary agent. And to get an agent, or even just a publisher, writers have to put together what is called a query letter.

A query letter is basically like a resume, but for writers. The letter describes the novel the writer has written (or in some cases, is still in the process of writing), and the writer’s writing experiences. Now, I absolutely suck at query letters. That’s because I suck at resumes. It’s ironic, because I’m a great writer (or so I’ve been told!). I might suck at writing queries because I have a problem with always feeling the need to write DETAIL (I think it’s because I feel like people won’t understand what I’m trying to say if I narrow it down). That can be good for novels, but trying to fit a description of my entire book into one page? Yeah, for me, that’s near impossible. So anyways, THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why I can’t get a publisher or agent. Trust me, I’ve tried. Even for the writers out there that can compose a great query letter, it takes a lot of time and rejections before a writer gets something positive.

So, I’ve decided that I’ll self-publish. I’ve done it before, and don’t want to do it again, but this time, I have the interest of a manufacturer who actually prints my book and distributes it across the country, as well as making it as an eBook. The previous printer I worked with just printed my novel, sent the copies to me, and I had to do the work of selling them, and I had to figure out how to get the book into an eBook for digital sales (which I failed miserably at). That was the wrong path for my writing and my novel, because I would never have gotten anywhere if I continued like that. I couldn’t go around door to door trying to sell my book, and bookstores won’t accept books that aren’t published by actual publishers (otherwise everyone and anyone could get their books into stores). So this way, with a manufacturer that actually distributes my book, I will get somewhere.

The problem with the kickstarter project, is that if I don’t reach my goal of [this] many dollars, I won’t get funded. So if that would end up being the case, I will end up having to go to Plan B. Well technically it would be Plan D. Plan A was self-publish, Plan B was find a publisher/agent, and plan C will be the kickstarter project. Anyways, I’ll be posting my main things on the site on weekends, and short little blurbs during the weekdays, so check back on the weekends for all the catching up, updates, etc!

On a side note, if you’re wondering why I don’t post very often, it’s because right now, I just mainly have access to the internet through my phone, and I live in a place with barely any service. So barely any service + only phone for internet access = me finding it annoying to try to go on the phone for internet for any long period of time. And me being me, I like to write long blogs. So it’s too tedious and time consuming to write long blogs on the phone everyday. So right now, I only have access to internet for the laptop when we go visit family, which is, normally, every other weekend. However, we are planning on getting a booster so that we can get tethering, that way I will be able to use the laptop to write blogs when I want. Anyways, check back on the weekends for updates!

Ciao for now!

June 16th, 2014: New Website Banner!

You may have noticed that I have a website banner now! Yay for spicing up the design a bit! You’re also probably wondering what “Dragon’s Myth” is! Well, in short, it’s the novel that I have written! When I had self-published it the first time, I had used that for the title. The logo for this was paid for to the type of folks who create… well… stuff like that! Anyway, so that logo will be incorporated into the new version.

The title of the novel itself will most definitely be different. I just don’t seem to have a fondness for “Dragon’s Myth” anymore. It doesn’t really tie in with the book much, because what what does “Dragon’s Myth” imply? Is it saying that dragons have a myth? Or that dragons are a myth? See what I mean? Also, said fast, it sounds like “Dragon Smith”. That also is a reason! Thinking of book title names has turned out to be quite difficult though! On a quick side note, I have pretty much finished putting together the kickstarter project, so hopefully I will send it in for evaluation in an hour or two. If it gets accepted, then the project will go live in around three days or so. I will post a link to it on here and Twitter. I would also do Instagram, but that seems to not be working for me (by the way, Instagram Support sucks!). Anyway, check back once in awhile for updates regarding the kickstarter project!

Ciao for now!

June 16th, 2014: Kickstarter Project is Live!

Okay so apparently Kickstarter projects go live right away! I was told it would take a couple of days. Anyways, feel free to check it out and pledge! Thank you to everyone who does 🙂

July 19th, 2014: News

So like expected, the Kickstarter project won’t reach the goal in the given time. It’s unfortunate, but I have another plan. I have talked with the publisher and proposed an idea that would potentially be much, much cheaper than the original plan. I asked if they do an eBook-only option. Instead of authors paying a large sum of money to get physical copies and eBooks, I asked if it was possible to do just eBooks. And guess what? It is!

So, whereas the original plan involved $11k, which included everything from getting the books made, editing, bookmarks, postcards, posters, and shipping, this option only costs around $2,500! That includes them making my novel into an eBook (which involves graphic design as well), editing, and also the bundle of bookmarks, postcards, and posters. I think that’s a much more reasonable and realistic goal than eleven thousand, don’t you think? I don’t particularly like eBooks, but I’d rather start with that than with nothing. I don’t like eBooks because I enjoy holding an actual novel in my hands and being able to smell that amazing scent of the new pages. I hope that real books don’t eventually disappear forever and get replaced by digital books! Anyways, you might be wondering why I insist on having the bundle of those three things. Normally I wouldn’t, but because I’m trying to raise the money on the Kickstarter site, I want to have more than only a couple of options for rewards, so that people feel more inclined to pledge. If I wouldn’t have the postcards, bookmarks, or posters, I would have at least two less rewards to give and the ones that I would have left wouldn’t be as interesting/great. I’ve deleted the other one. The link to it still works but the project is deleted and therefore people can’t pledge to it.

I’ve submitted the new Kickstarter project already today. It has to be reviewed before possibly going on the site. I’m not entirely sure why, since the first Kickstarter project I did didn’t have to be reviewed. But oh well! If it gets accepted, I’ll post the link here. It’ll take around 2-3 business days to get reviewed and possibly accepted, so check back in a few days and there’ll be a blog post about it.

July 22nd, 2014: New Kickstarter Campaign is Live!

My latest Kickstarter campaign was reviewed and accepted, and I launched it a few minutes ago! Feel free to check it out, and if you’re feeling generous, please pledge! Keep in mind that backers do not get charged until/unless the project meets its funding goal. Every dollar counts, so even if you donate a couple of dollars, it still helps! To all people who pledge, you have my deepest thanks! Here’s the link to the campaign:

September 3rd, 2014: I’m Back!

So with this last Kickstarter project, I got a couple more backers, and got a higher project completion percentage than the first one; which makes sense, since it was a lower goal. It’s unfortunate that no one else pledged, but I’m not surprised, due to the lack of people I know and the lack of other material I have out. However, even though both Kickstarter projects failed, I’m not giving up just yet! I still have the option of saving up for the printer with my own money, or learning how to format manuscripts into eBooks myself (which I’ve heard is really, really irritating). If you’ve recently checked out the Novels page, you’ll have seen the update that says my book will be published in approximately six months. I’m still aiming for that, but of course there’s no promises.

On to other things, if you’re wondering why I haven’t posted anything for awhile, it’s because I haven’t been able to get on the internet for awhile! Anyways, I’ll be adding a couple of new things to the website soon. More categories to sort the posts into so it’s easier to find the ones you’re looking for/interested in. I’ll also be offering my proofreading and editing skills to anyone who wants an extra pair of eyes to check over their work. Lastly, as stated in my last post, I also created a Facebook page. Right now it’s a “personal” page, not one where people can only click “Like”. You have to actually send me a friend-request. If you’re not sure which profile is mine, my profile picture is the same as some of my other social media accounts.

I’ve thought about starting another Kickstarter project, but I don’t think I will; not on Kickstarter anyways. I’ve already tried crowdfunding twice on there and both times I didn’t get even 25% of the way, so I think if I try another campaign, it will be on a different crowdfunding website like Indiegogo or something like that. If I do, I will post the link on here. I thought it would be a little silly to try campaign after campaign, but really, there’s nothing wrong with it. I have a goal; I’m trying anything possible to achieve it, even if that means doing multiple crowdfunding campaigns. That being said, even if my campaign projects always don’t get funded in time, at least the people who DID pledge will then know of me, my website, and so on.

I’ve also finished editing/proofreading my novel! Generally, fantasy novels should be no more than 140k words. When I was done editing it, it was approximately 160k words. Due to that, I decided to split the book into two. When I chose a good spot to end the first half (which will be the first book), it was around 111k words. I’m editing it again as I wait for internet to be able to continue researching eBook formatting guides and such. My goal is for the first book to be around 120k or higher. I also have a new name for the first book, as well as having thought of a name for the second.

I’ve been rewriting my query letter as of late, and in doing so I will be searching for literary agents once again and try my luck. I’ve spent quite a bit of time redoing my query and I will continue to work on it much more, because I want it to be as great as it can be when I find agents to contact. Looking back at my original query, I understand why the agents I contacted declined my query. It could have been much better. And that’s why I’m in the process of fixing it. That being said, if I do find an agent that wants to work with me, I will post two pictures. One of my original query, and one of the query that got me an agent, so you can look at the differences and use it as a basis to work off of for your own query letter, if you’re an aspiring author.

If you have any ideas of what could spice this website up some more, please let me know and I will definitely take your ideas into consideration! Please keep in mind that this is only a WordPress-run site, so I can’t make it completely how I would like it.

(**Note from me in the present** – This blog post received a comment on it, which I found highly amusing so I wanted to mention it here. The person said, verbatim; “You’re offering editing and you don’t even know a period goes inside quotation marks.” — Now, I made the area he/she was talking about bold so you can see what he/she was referring to. Situations like this I find insanely amusing because it’s ironic when people try to talk down to others about something when they themselves aren’t even correct. I replied to his/her comment saying, verbatim: “Hi! I read back on the post and saw what you meant about the quotations. But you’re not entirely correct. It’s the American convention to have ending punctuation inside the quotations. I, however, find it (in this instance and others like it) illogical. The only thing that should be inside quotations is the stuff being quoted. Because the period there wasn’t being quoted, it’s not required to be inside the quotations. This is known as the British way, although I don’t write specifically one way or the other. So, sorry, but I advise you not to be condescending and rude, especially when you yourself aren’t 100% correct. Thanks!” — Always be sure you’re correct before deciding to be an arse! (A better option would be to completely skip the “be an arse” part!))

November 11th, 2014: Life is Moving Forward!

Although life is hard sometimes, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel if you work towards it. Even though I wanted to publish my first novel in six months (probably four now, since I mentioned that), I don’t think it will happen that soon. I’m impatient, but I know that all good things come to those who wait. Things don’t have to happen the second I want them to. Right now, life is still moving forward. Debt is being paid off, and we are currently looking to buy our first house(!), which is amazing. We are looking for a cheap one so we have a nice chunk of extra money to get started on our careers and finish paying debt off. My guess is in the next year or so I will have my novel published. I want it published sooner, but I think it’s smart to focus on the things that are happening right now. Anyways though, things are looking bright, and that’s what matters! I will be posting another article-type blog soon. I have nineteen lined up! I just need to finish writing and editing them. Stay tuned!

March 29th, 2015: Goodbye Social Media!

I have officially decided to delete my Instagram and Twitter accounts! Why, you may ask? Well, there’s one main reason: both are pointless if you have Facebook. Instagram’s sole use is the posting of photos. Facebook can do that. Twitter, you mainly post statuses. Obviously, Facebook can do that as well. What makes Facebook better at posting them, is that I’m not limited to so few characters. In reality, there’s no reason to have more than Facebook. That’s my opinion anyways. There’s so many people out there who have even more than those three. There’s Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Flickr, Foursquare, etc. To be honest, I don’t even know what half of those are. And that’s not a bad thing. Who knows, I might change my mind eventually and make new accounts, but I doubt it. Too much hassle to have more than one, when one can do the main things (status and picture posting). So this will be farewell to Twitter and Instagram!

April 23rd, 2015: Why I have This Website Right Now

I know I haven’t posted anything “exciting” recently, maybe even at all(?). I’m sure my life isn’t fantastic to read about right now 😛 But the reason I have my site up right now without even having any books published yet is because I want to track my progress as an aspiring author.And I hope that when my success (getting published) comes, my journey as an aspiring author will inspire and motivate other aspiring writers who are struggling to get published. It would also be great to be a bit known before I publish my debut, so I will already have a handful of people ready to buy my book 🙂 Anyway, I am still aiming for publication this year. Due to some unfortunate happenings in life recently, it might not happen, but I will try my best!

May 12th, 2015: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Hey everyone! I haven’t posted anything for awhile, and I will tell you why! If you have been reading my posts since the beginning, in 2014, you will know that I got a new laptop. That was almost exactly one year ago, right? And considering it was a brand new laptop, it should still be working, right? Nope.

Unfortunately, my laptop’s hard drive crashed. Normally, while it would be a little bit annoying, I wouldn’t care. However, this time is different. Because it was still basically new, I, being apparently dumb, didn’t back up my book for like half a year because I thought “Hey, the laptop isn’t going to break because it’s so new. I’ll just back up my book once in a blue moon.” So basically, all that work that I did is gone. I tried to get stuff off the hard drive, but it was just completely dead. So, moral of the story: ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR WORK!! Even if you JUST bought the computer. Technology CAN and WILL fail; it’s only a matter of “when”.

The latest version of my book on my flash-drive is at least further than I hoped, so that’s good. But, I might not be able to get published this year like I was working towards. If I really buckle down and get to work, it’s still definitely a possibility, but it really depends on how busy I am with other things in life, as well as the financial situation as well. Life is always changing, and sometimes plans get uprooted because of that.

I post updates on the progress of re-editing my book in the months to come. Hopefully I can make up the lost time and work quickly!

(**Note from me in the present** – I found out the reason why the hard drive crashed was because in basically the entire year I had the laptop, I almost never actually turned it off; I just closed it so it went to sleep. So it was running for almost an entire year straight. So guys, always turn off your laptop when you’re not using it! It’ll keep its life long and healthy.)

May 22nd, 2015: Technology Sucks Sometimes!

If you read my last post, you will know that the hard drive on my laptop crashed, which made me lose a bunch of progress on my novel. Yay, right? Not. Anyways, I had written that post via my desktop computer, with tethering, since that’s the only internet I have right now (I can’t get high-speed due to where I live). So guess what happened next? My desktop stopped working!

It’s apparently not broken, but I need to install a cleanup tool for the hard drive. In order to do that, I need another computer (obviously). And I don’t have another. So, I can’t continue working on my book, which means I lost a bunch of work on it AND I won’t be able to catch up until I get a new computer. So publication this year is looking very unlikely.

And that’s not all that happened. When my first cellphone finally failed, I got a new one. The new one is the one I was had when my laptop and desktop broke. That phone was terrible. It was an LG Optimus 3D. Sounds cool, right? The fact that it could play games and take/view pictures in 3D was completely negated by HOW FLIPPIN’ MUCH THAT THING LAGGED! It was terrible! As you have probably already guessed, that broke, too. It started lagging so much until it just decided to give up on life. It lasted less than a month… So anyway, I had to get another phone. I’m currently writing this post with my new one, and let me tell you, while I adore Sony Xperia phones (that’s what my first one was, too), typing a long post out on mobile is just simply a dreadful experience.

Although I love technology (as long as it doesn’t go to our heads and ruin the planet *cough cough*), I seem to have a knack for breaking it. Now that I think about it, I’m surprised my Xbox 360 has lasted this long. Four or five years at least so far. I think that’s a record for me!

Anyway, as mentioned, writing posts via mobile is extremely tedious, so I won’t be posting much until I’m able to get a new computer or fix my desktop. Hopefully it’s soon. I miss writing!

July 11th, 2015: Up and Running Again

Good news: I’ve got a new hard drive for my laptop now! I’ve had it for at least a month now, actually. I just haven’t had the chance to get onto the internet to post this until now. The funny thing is, that I don’t really know anything about computer parts and such. So when I bought the hard drive and, after wading my way through the steps of figuring out how to take out the old one and put the new one in, I turned the laptop on, and it still didn’t work. So, naturally, I got frustrated because I had gotten my hopes up. I eventually got told that it needs an operating system on it, since hard drives don’t come with one unless you buy it already in a laptop (duh, right?). I had been kind of worried that I had broken something while putting in the new hard drive, or that something ELSE was wrong too, but thankfully that was not the case! Anyway, so, I can get back to writing now and catching up on lost progress.

I have checked on my book, and it doesn’t appear that I’ve lost a huge amount of work like I expected. I’m not sure exactly how much progress I’ve lost, but at this point it really doesn’t matter. The past can’t be changed, and so all I can do now is continue working on my book. A positive of the situation though, is that now I can go through it all again and make it even better.

To all you aspiring authors out there, I know how much work goes into a novel, so PLEASE, whatever you do, ALWAYS back up your work! It doesn’t matter if you’re just going to be gone a few minutes. You really never know when technology will fail, and you don’t want what happened to me happen to you. With that said, if you’re backing up via flashdrive, make sure you have more than one. Flashdrives can break, too. Luckily, mine hasn’t yet, and I have yet to get a few more to be safe.

On another note, I have been looking into getting internet. As (I think) I’ve mentioned before, I can only access the internet through my phone at the moment, and places with wifi for my laptop. Unfortunately, the town that I live in isn’t serviced by big-name internet companies, so I think I will have to settle for satellite internet. I grew up having high-speed internet, so it’s a pretty big bummer, especially because I also enjoy playing MMOs, but satellite internet is better than no internet.

Anyway, I will continue to post updates and Topics now that I have a working computer, so stay tuned! Feel free to submit poems or short-stories, comment and like posts, send me a friend request on Facebook, and share posts to help get the website more known! It’d be great for more people to be able to read the fantastic poems and short-stories that people have submitted so far! And if you have a suggestion for the site, please let me know. I’m always looking to make it better! Have a blessed day!

August 1st, 2015: New Ideas in the Works!

Hey everyone! So I had thought of a great idea a little while back. I’m going to write short novels and put them up for sale on my website for people to order. They’ll be for sale as both eBooks and physical copies. They’ll be around one hundred pages each (approximately) or less, so longer than a short story, but shorter than a full-length novel, hence the name “short novel”. Eventually down the line I will publish my full-length novel as well. I’m hoping next year now, since this year is looking unlikely, but life always takes dips and turns so I can’t really promise or hope for a certain date when it won’t be for awhile yet.

Anyway, so I have a lot of brainstorming to do! I already have a few ideas in mind, though, which I am very excited about. My goal is to publish my first short novel in the next few months. I’m hoping that I can actually stick with keeping them short, because I love detail! But anyway, I will post updates when I can, so stay tuned!

January 21st, 2016: What’s New

I haven’t posted on here in ages! It was a mixture of forgetting about it and also not really being too worried about the lack of new posts, since I’m sure no one really reads this! Ah, that’ll change when I get published I’m sure. Anyway, so I know I said that I would be posting some novellas, but I decided not to. Every time I think of a good story, I think of how much the story would be lacking if it was only a novella. So I decide to keep that idea for a full-length novel. I’m not really sure when I will get my first novel published. I’ve decided to not keep bumping up the date, since finances do not always cooperate with when I want to get my debut published by and it doesn’t make sense to keep setting a date but having to bump it up. I will post the date when I know for sure when it will happen. Until then I will just keep blogging my progress.

I’m done editing the first two books in the series (I split the first into two (I might change that back but I’m not sure yet)), and now I can finally do some writing since for the longest of time I was just editing the first/first two. Since posting last, I have also moved into a way better house (it’s in the country!), as well as started up my own business.

Looking back at my posts, I find it funny how often I used to use the term “anyways”. A couple of months ago I saw that it wasn’t actually a word, so I started training myself to say it the proper way, “anyway”. It took about a week. Same with terms like “right aways”. I had to train myself to say “right away”. I got my boyfriend to do the same, and it took him a couple of months to say it properly, which was amusing. I’ll have to go back on my posts and edit them because it makes me cringe seeing “anyways” now!

I have also noticed that my contact forms don’t seem to be working. I tested them by sending an emails to myself and never got them. So I’m not sure if anyone has tried sending me a poem or short story submission or anything else, but I will try to fix it when I get the chance. For now, just send anything to “cjembers (at) outlook (dot) com”, without the quotations, and obviously manually enter it in.

February 11th, 2016: Book Update

I have decided to self-publish again the way that I had previously. I didn’t think I would, but I don’t really see why I wouldn’t at this point. I’ll still be saving up for the publisher, but in the meantime, I may as well sell some copies. Traditional publishers have a problem with books being self-published previously (I really don’t know why but whatever), but the publisher I will be doing business with is more like a manufacturer/printer (authors pay to get their book published). Like self-publishing, but better since it’s done professionally. Plus these guys are even better than normal manufacturers because they actually distribute the books as well, instead of doing what the other printers do, which is make copies, ship them to the authors, and then the authors have to sell them.

Before deciding to self-publish again, I was working on my second book, but since deciding to self-publish until I save up for the publisher, I have been going through my book one more time. I’m hoping to start the publishing process this coming weekend, as long as I don’t run into any bumps along the way. The new version of my novel will be available to order here on the website once the publishing process is complete and once I’ve ordered some copies. Here’s to hoping that everything goes smoothly!

March 5th, 2016: Novel News

Good news! I have officially submitted my files for review, so I will hopefully know sometime tomorrow whether they are approved or not. If they are, then I will order a proof (basically like a non-official copy) to make sure everything is good in physical form. If it is, then I will order some official copies and start selling them! Which means I will be setting up an online “store” on here (quotations because I’ll only be selling one thing for now). Anyway, I’m super excited because it looks so much better than the original! In my opinion, I rushed into publishing the original, and even though it’s been approximately four years since then, I can’t say I’m upset I’ve waited. I’ve learned a lot since then, and therefore my grammar is much better. The layout of the book will also be better. Everything in general is just better about this version!

Going through the publishing process was actually quite a bit harder than what I expected. The first time around I had definitely not encountered as many issues as I did this time. It literally took days to even get the silly formatting to show up properly on the book’s preview online. I ended up having to resort to emailing the company, and that made everything take longer as well since they usually only respond once per day. But alas, I am grateful that they answered every single one of my questions. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when I ask more than one question in the same email/text/message, and the person responds only answering one of them. Thankfully, this company is not like that!

Anyway, I will post another update tomorrow (or whenever I get the email) to say whether the files got approved or not!

March 6th, 2016: Success!

My files were approved, and as such, I have officially ordered a proof to see how it looks in physical form. I should receive it in about two weeks!

March 18th, 2016: Proof is Here!

So I have good news: I received my proof! And I must say it looks amazing! So much better than the original. I would have received it sooner (late last week), but the shipping company was incompetent. Here’s how it happened: I put the shipping address as my boyfriend’s work so someone would actually be around to pick it up. He has gotten other things shipped there and there have been no problems. Anyway, so I get an email late last week from the manufacturer I went through, saying that the shipping company wasn’t able to deliver my package and they needed my contact information to get a hold of me. So I complied, and when I got in contact with the shipper, apparently the reason they couldn’t deliver it was because they couldn’t find it… A shipping company “couldn’t find” a location… They “couldn’t find” a place that has many things shipped there regularly…

So I asked if I could pick it up. Their location in Manitoba wasn’t open on the weekends (I was going to the city where their partner-facility was, the next day so I figured I could just pick it up then), and I didn’t want my boyfriend to have to take time off work to pick it up.

I asked if they could ship to my P.O. box. They don’t ship to P.O. boxes.

So by this point I was extremely exasperated.

Then I asked if they could deliver to my house without needing a signature since we would be at work. That wasn’t a problem, so I gave my *clearly rural* address (rural being only a mile away from a town, mind you), and even said “It’s a mile away from [town].” The representative didn’t say anything about that aside from setting that up as the address for redelivery. The next day, I check the package tracking information and it still says the same thing, and it was updated the same morning so it wasn’t like it was from a different day and hadn’t been updated yet. Sure enough, I have an email saying that they don’t deliver to rural addresses! Here I’m thinking, “If that’s the case, the representative should have said that!!”

So they don’t deliver to P.O boxes, rural addresses, can’t find an address along a highway, and aren’t open on weekends. Honestly, if a a good shipping company doesn’t have one or two of those options, they have the other ones. Not having any of those is ridiculous. Anyway, so I was able to go pick it up after my boyfriend got off work since they closed at a time that allowed us to do that. Didn’t appreciate being forced to spend $30-$40 in gas to go pick it up though. When I emailed the manufacturer though, they said that they have a handful of different shipping companies that they go through, and they choose which one depending on location, speed, etc. And they said that if I have a P.O. box, I should use that next time. I don’t really know why I didn’t do that the first time. I think I didn’t think of it. But alas, if one of their shipping companies ships to P.O boxes, I’m definitely doing that for the official copies! Anyway, so now I will read my proof and check it for any errors and go from there. I’ll check the free digital proof after though, instead of ordering another proof. The only reason I ordered a proof was because I wanted to see how it looked in physical form.

I will post an update when I have ordered the official copies!

August 9th, 2016: Almost There!

I know it’s been almost half a year already since saying my proof was delivered! Crazy how time just seems to pass by so quickly sometimes. Because I received the proof just as spring was coming around, my book stuff got put aside for a while because there were lots of spring things to do. There’s still lots to do, but a lot has been done already. I ordered another proof about a month ago to see how the cover looked in a different type of finish. I like them both, and each have their cons, but I think I have decided which one I’m going to go with.

I was actually planning on ordering the official copies a couple weeks ago, but an emergency situation came up and the money had to be used for something else. So, I have another date in mind, but I’m not going to post it since I want it to be a surprise to the people who are waiting. I’m not sure if they read my posts here, but just in case! And also in case something else comes up of course. But anyway, I will be posting an update as soon as I have the official copies!

October 6th, 2016: Done!

I am officially done the new version of my first book. I ordered the first batch earlier this week, and I’m expecting them to arrive next week. I will be updating the website in the form of cleaning it up, setting up a little online store, and basically just making it more of an official site than a blogger site, since I’m done posting about my journey of working towards my debut being published. I will still be posting important news and updates, however.

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