Meet K.C. Hilton:
In the writers world I’m known as K.C. Hilton. I recently self- published a children’s middle-grade fiction book titled The Magic of Finkleton. Several awesome reviews have been coming in from many readers, Kirkus Book Reviews, and ReviewTheBook.com. Reviews are like ‘gold’… and writers love the ‘gold’.
Writing The Magic of Finkleton:
I had so much fun writing The Magic of Finkleton. I emailed chapters to my critique group as soon as I finished them. I should mention, that in order for me to write, I need to stay up very late at night, like 4-5 am. Not joking. I need to have uninterrupted silence, my diet coke and sleep deprivation to write. I pay for it the next day, but it is worth it.
What I found out about traditional publishing made me take a step back (again) and re-think. Did I really want to try to publish the traditional way? The answer: Yes and No.
Who wouldn’t want to get picked up by a publisher? It would be totally awesome! But there are rules! Yes, I said rules. You can’t just go to a publisher and say, “Hey dude, I’ve written a book, will you publish it for me?” Yeah, like that’s going to work. I did the research and it scared the daylights out of me, but I was at least going to give it an honest try.
What about those rules you ask? Most of you know, but let’s recap.
You must submit a query with a synopsis and expect a rejection. Yes, we all know about those heart-breaking rejections. Your query has to stand out from the rest of the slush pile or the agent won’t even consider requesting a partial. If you have a bad query then you have a bad manuscript (that’s what they think anyway). I could write all day long, but that darn query scared me to death.
I sent out about 20 queries. I think I still have 2 out if I’m not mistaken, but after all the rejections (nobody likes rejections) I started to seriously think about self-publishing.
Publishing Independently – Self-Publishing:
I researched and researched (didn’t want to get scammed). I found several that I liked, however my bank account didn’t like them, so the search continued. I ultimately decided to use CreateSpace. I liked everything I read and even researched the forums before deciding. I love their customer service and appreciate all their help.
But there are downsides and one of them is that they don’t print hardback, but hey… paperback is my favorite anyway.
Another downside is non-returnable. Which means brick-and-mortar (bookstores) won’t stock your book, simply because it is self-published and can’t be returned for a refund. It also means that a customer can’t walk into a Barnes and Noble and order your book; they can only order it online. And your book won’t be located on a shelf at Wal-Mart… It’s sad but true.
I opened an account with CreateSpace and found an editor. Now at this point I’m doing my ‘Happy-Dance’. I was pretty excited and even ordered bookmarks. And they are the best bookmarks ever! The bookmarks are also serve as great business cards or even something to hand to someone when you’re talking about your book.
The editing was finished in no time. I uploaded the manuscript to CreateSpace and chose what interior format I wanted and it all turned out quite nice.
Barnes and Noble Pubit:
I also went ahead and published through the Barnes and Noble Pubit! I did the conversion and downloaded a few other programs like Sigil and Calibre to help me figure it all out. Six hours later (yes I said six) and it being 4am in the morning, it was finally done and uploaded to Pubit! My book was officially available on eBook form (in one place at least). Oh happy days! Time to do my happy-dance! (After I get some much needed sleep).
Sounds like a fairy tale! Wrong!
My son read the book and he loved it. However, he found some mistakes. Yes, mistakes! I missed a few typos, three to be exact.
What I failed to do was READ IT OUTLOUD. If I had read it out loud, I would have caught the mistakes. But I was tired (as usual) and didn’t want to wake anyone up. I’ve probably read the manuscript 100 times. I see words that aren’t there and I see them spelled correctly (MSWord doesn’t catch everything). Immediately I was freaking out!
Seriously, I’ve seen several traditionally published books with simple mistakes, but they were written by well-known authors and I’m sure most people (as I did) overlooked them (and just laugh about it). But we’re not talking about the mistakes in their books. No, we’re talking about mine. I’m an unknown writer. A nobody to the outside world and I had three mistakes. And I knew they would be mentioned if I didn’t do something about it quick! So I did!
Second Job – Book Marketing Guru and Publicist:
As an independently published author I have a second job (marketing). Every evening I will blog and tweet about my book. When The Magic of Finkleton started selling, I would watch the sales and bite my nails. I had to stop, seriously, it was nerve wrecking. A week later I took another look and the sales were going through the roof! I was doing my ‘Happy Dance’ again!
The Magic of Finkleton eBook on Barnes and Noble has been on the bestseller list for Kids Nook Books for the entire month of May. I’m really pretty stoked about it and I’ve been doing my ‘Happy Dance’. The eBook for Kindle has recently been made available and hopefully sales on Amazon will take off soon, but until then Barnes and Noble takes the cake.
All in All…
As an author I now wear many hats. During the day I run the family business and at night I work my second job as a marketing guru and publicist for my book. It has its rewards, meaning, I get to make all the decisions. But sometimes the late hours get to be a bit overwhelming and I wish I had help. I could only dream about not having to do everything by myself and just sit back and enjoy writing (that’s the easy part). But when I read an awesome review or someone comes up to me all excited after they’ve read my book… It makes everything worth it.
K.C. Hilton is on Twitter as @KCHiltom1, on Facebook, and like every author is supposed to, she has a blog, KC Hilton. Find her sites, and if you like her post and what she’s doing, lend your encouragement with a Follow and a Like. Every click heartens new writers.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Born and raised in Aurora, Illinois I spent my childhood playing street games with the neighborhood kids. When I wasn’t outside, I spent much of my time reading and getting lost in adventurous worlds and whirlwind courtships. At the age of seventeen, I moved to Kentucky and eventually began to raise a family of my own.
I have always been entranced by stories of magical adventure, and though I have had to live in the practical world, running a family business as well as two of my own, I have discovered that writing is an entirely new, exciting adventure all on its own!
We have a large family and our get togethers are so much fun! And did I mention that I’m a photographer? Yes, I take tons of photos! We also have a mini dachshund, her name is “Roxy” she only weighs 10 pounds but is a huge part of our family. She’s so spoiled!