Six months ago, I had a manuscript. It was the first book in The Book of Mysteries Trilogy. Grimstone Mansion started out as something for my grandsons. They were all very intrigued by my first book, Dog Days in Italy: How I Became and Expat Dog, and they asked if they would be in my next book. So that got me thinking. And I decided to write a story for them. The story took on a life of its own, and suddenly I was planning a middle-grade trilogy.
With my first manuscript in hand, I began the tedious and disappointing and dare I say it, ego deflating, process of looking for an agent. Well, six month later, with a stack of rejections, I was ready to self- publish. I must say, that one agent said I was in her maybe pile, and a few others told me to send them whatever I wrote next. So it was not all negative feedback. But I still had no agent.
With Dog Days in Italy, I took the plunge and actually did all the self-publishing stuff myself including the cover (which I understand needs some help), the formatting of the book for both eBooks and paperbacks, and the uploading to Amazon. I managed to do this with little trouble, but it was definitely something very new to me. For The Book of Mysteries: Grimstone Mansion, I wanted a more professional cover and layout design, so I began looking for publishing houses that do this work for self-published authors.
I soon learned that self-publishing is not cheap. But, eventually, I found a company that would do what I needed in my price range. Then, the back and forth began. And it continues. After some trial and error, they developed a great cover design, and now they are working on a few illustrations. With luck, the book will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple books, and more by the end of this month. I am crossing my fingers, and trying not to be such a micro-manager. Stay tuned!!