Well, if you’ve seen me on Facebook, you probably know that I completed my manuscript for The Sword of the Princess as of May 17. If not I finished it!!!! Whoot!!!
The Sword of the Princess weighs in at 73 chapters and roughly 287,000 words. It’s a large book, no question, but not nearly as large as the huge font and double spacing led me to believe (those combine to make it nearly 1,400 pages with an average chapter length of around 20 pages–but in regular font and single-spaced formatting that average length comes down to 9 pages and the total length comes down appreciably to an estimated 600 pages). It’s the largest thing I’ve ever written and I’ve been working on it since sophomore year of college, so roughly four years? I’m definitely relieved to have it finished.
The Sword of the Princess is the first of a planned series of “Sword of” books. Now that it’s done, the first four books of the series all have complete drafts. Unfortunately, I wrote the last three of these books before realizing that The Sword of the Princess needed to be written and was the best place to start the series. As a result of this and changes that happened during the process of writing this story, the other three sequels will require complete re-writes. Those I will get to as soon as Sword of the Princess nears the end of its editing.
Now the question I keep getting asked is this: “Do you plan on publishing your book?” The answer is a resounding yes! However, I will not publish the book right away. It still needs copyediting and at least some revisions. In order to be able to look at it with fresh eyes, I’ll be setting it aside for some time. During that time, though, I welcome input from any beta readers. I’m preparing a beta version for release to anyone who’s interested in checking out the book and providing feedback. Anyone who provides feedback will receive a free copy of the final book when it is published. If you are interested in being a beta reader, please contact me! Just type “I want to be a beta reader” (or something like that) into the contact form below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible (and no, I will not share your information with third parties: I get enough spam myself to know how annoying that is).
And it is going to be published! I’ve received various suggestions for courting traditional publishers, but my internship in one such publisher and my research into the industry in general leads me to think that self-publishing is a much better route. The self-publishing process is faster, virtually risk free, and allows a writer to profit even off of very little sales. With good promotion and good material, a self-published novel can do just as well as a traditionally published novel, and may even attract the attention and acquisition of a large publishing firm. While I’m still weighing my options, my current leaning is toward either Lulu.com or Amazon. Either way, the book will mainly be for ebook, but will also be available in print on request.
Of course, the book was completed nearly two months ago. So what have I been up to since? Well, the first answer is preparing the book for beta release by adding a glossary with hyperlinks to aid in navigation within the glossary, as well as finding the right entry quickly (I wanted it to be so that if you’d forgotten what character or setting a name went with, you could just click on a link and be brought to their entry in the glossary, which would give you a brief refresher). Coding internal links took longer than I’d expected, but I’m pleased with the end result.
The second and third answers really deserve posts of their own…