Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nerves of steel, I think not.

I am new to this writing and publishing world, though I am not new to this world, I have 4 grandkids. They tell me that I am just a big old kid.
I tried writing many years ago after reading The Hobbit. (Best Book ever - by the way). I wrote about 3 sentences and it stopped, (shortest story ever- by the way). I could not put my thoughts on paper. Trust me, there are a lot of thoughts in this head.
It was not till recently (3-2011) I decided to take the book I wanted to write and make it a children’s book. Now, all these characters are popping up in my head and I can't type fast enough to keep up with my thoughts.
I know now that I was not meant to write for adults, just kids. Although, many adults who read to their kids are also enjoying my book. In two weeks time, I typed 126 pages of fun. I was laughing most of the time. I could not believe the stuff coming out of me.
I thought to myself, that was not too hard. I like this writing stuff. It’s fun and easy. Little did I know that the first draft is the fun and easy part. After the second draft, I started to realize that it was not so easy. Breaking up my descriptive paragraphs into something that won’t bore the kids was not so easy.
Then I had to add the 4 billion quotation marks. Now came the moment of truth - I sent it to an editor. I found out that I was an adjective junkie. When the editor gave me back my book, it was 6 pages shorter. Mostly adjectives being removed.
In my head, I am still a kid and the word 'really' has to be in every other sentence or you lose their attention. Well, I learned the hard way that you can describe what you want to say without 2 billion really’s in there. The easy is not so easy anymore.
But that wasn’t the end. Now the book is finished, I had it kid tested. I broke the book into a series of books and gave the first book to people in work to read to their little ones. Surprisingly, that was a success. The kids liked it and wanted more. I passed the acid test.
Now that I realize that writing is harder then I first realized, now comes the publishing part. I decided that while I wait for the publishers to make up their mind about taking my book on, I was going to release the first part of the series for free as an eBook. It’s a good way to test the waters, get some feedback.
I went to Smashwords and got it published. I usually have nerves of steel. I found out that when it comes to waiting to see if my book gets downloaded, I don’t have nerves of steel. I was up all night refreshing the page to see if the numbers changed. Not realizing that most normal people were sleeping and not sitting by their computer waiting to download my book.
I crawled into work the next morning and sent out the link to download my book to my friends. Now my nerves of steel were shot. It got so bad, that I started pacing, my stomach was jumping all over the place and I was about to throw-up. I could barely talk to anyone. Walking to my computer to refresh the page some more.
I finally made it through the first 24 hrs and ended up with 34 downloads. I won’t complain about that. Now I realize that the book will not sell itself. I need to use this vast internet to get my books out there.
So, nerves of steel, I think not. But that’s ok. My book is out there, I did not throw up and today is a new day.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.
Rene Cournoyer

You can download my book here. There are no illustrations yet. When it gets published by the big boys, it will get illustrated. It is geared towards 5-7 year olds.

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