My completed horse-life memoir is back from my editor Pat Barnhart! This after I completed the manuscript at the end of NaNonFiWriMo challenge on November 30th.
I guess I was a non-fiction blogger before my time: as far back as I can remember, I composed true-to-life animal stories, written on paper, illustrated by drawn pictures.
I still possess one of those first animal stories I wrote around age 6, where I drew and carefully scribbled in pencil on paper the story of a little chick, which I shrewdly named "Peep-peep", that my parents gave me. (The drawing was, um, clearly done by a 6-year-old.)
Even though I was born obsessed with horses, since I never got a horse as I was growing up, the true horse stories came much later, when I could at least hang out around horses, and when I got to start working with them on the King Ranch in south Texas.
When my photography hobby started a little later, my horse photos and horse tales naturally coalesced; and since then, I've used both words and images tell my horse stories. Then came the emergence of the traveling bug obsession (I think I'm a throwback to another time and place), and with the merging of those three passions sprouted The Equestrian Vagabond. My horse memoir has long been in the making and the waiting… but now the waiting is over.
I'm not interested in traditional publishing. I like the term "Indie publishing", and I like the concept of creating everything myself. I like the challenge of learning a complete new language and a whole new set of skills, in writing, designing, e-publishing and print publishing, and marketing, by myself. It's an experience I'm enjoying… even though it's a bit intimidating!
To learn how to e-publish, I recently used Scrivener and Ed Ditto's book How to Format Your Novel for Kindle, Nook, the iBookstore, Smashwords, and CreateSpace…in One Afternoon (which took me longer than one afternoon!) to write and e-publish some short stories on Amazon (Racehorse Tales! and Traveler Tales!). The learning experience was enlightening, and the stories are quite successful, which will help a lot in formatting and publishing my memoir as an e-book. Harder will be the printed book, though I have an idea where I'm leaning there.
There's so much to read on-line about Indie publishing - so much that it's hard to filter it all down to even learn which steps to take next. Writer and publisher Joanna Penn's TheCreativePenn.com is both informative and engaging, with how-to articles and videos, and interviews with other successful authors and publishers. It gives the newbies hope and inspiration!
Meanwhile, Stormy and I will be carefully reviewing the manuscript, and gauging the reacting of the helpful horse herd.
The next big steps: getting an ISBN and revealing the title!