Today’s Milestone: ordered proofs of Montana Rising

I still can’t quite believe I get to mark that off my list.

I’ve been writing this story since…at least 2010? That’s the oldest file I can find, but I’ve changed computers and software so many times I could have started even before that. It’s beginning to feel real…

Photo by J’Ram DJ

My plan was to use my proofs as ARCs for my beta readers. But, I was only allowed to order five copies. This means I’ll have only four to share out and those are instantly gone (if only I could remember who I’ve promised one to, besides my mom). I’ll shift to ebooks for betas. I hope my Maui Christian Writers sweeties will be okay with that!

Anyone reading this who has already successfully navigated this journey is probably shaking her head at the mistakes I’m making, but oh well! The advice on how to publish as an Indie Author is many things, including overwhelming, conflicting, vague, inapplicable, indecipherable, expensive, outdated and–occasionally–helpful. And like me, it’s scattered. So far, there has not been anything remotely efficient about the whole thing. But I am learning everyday and loving the adventure!

Now back to CreateSpace to look at marketing channels, and then to my Amazon Success ToolKit, bring the laundry in off the link, send a note to my brother (who is designing my cover, thanks ever so much, Greg!), think about dinner, work on the blog…I’d better go make a list.

Montana Rising going out to beta readers

Or at least, to one beta reader so far: my husband.

It’s been intolerable not to quote the story to him a dozen times a week, as I wanted to avoid spouting spoilers. So much of the conversation in the story, the family’s vocabulary, anecdotes and wit (or some semblance thereof) are from our own family history. I kept saying to him, “Ooh, I can’t wait for you to read my book,” while wanting to say “Hey it’s funny you mention that, I used that line in a scene where Monti is visiting her jailed student….” Spoilers.

I hope to distribute the book to my friends in our Maui Christian Writers group soon, and to a  few other volunteers, to start getting feedback. I know that just because the manuscript is as good as I think it can be, does not mean it’s as good as it needs to be to provide an enjoyable, worthwhile read for purchasers. They tell me I’m really just getting started on the work…

To get an idea how long I’ve been working on Montana Rising so far, here’s a picture of what started the whole thing. I never suspected at the time that nearly seven years later I would finally be nudging a completed novel toward the world.

original montana rising scrabble board

For non-Scrabble players out there, this is the backside of a scoring tablet. The other side has the accumulated scores for that particular game. This side shows all the words we played. “All the words we played” being the seminal idea for a story within a story…

Yes, I had the diagram upside down when I was filling it in. Sigh.