In December 2016, I finished writing my book Read To Me! I officially have an edited/proofread somewhere-in-between-first-and-second draft and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. The book is about two girls who meet at a book club and fall in love but mental health threatens to tear them apart.
But this story really begins in 2012…
My friend and I like to write stories, scripts, song lyrics, everything, and in the year that was supposed to be the end of the world, my friend Ebony printed and bound a copy of her first short story ‘Flags’ and gave it to me for Christmas. Little did we know that our gifts were exactly the same. I had a copy of the manuscript and a few of her other stories and I too printed a book to give to her. It was the weirdest moment when we both realised we had done the exact same thing, but really cool that there are two editions of her book!
So, the world did not end. And for us, as writers, it had only really begun. Ebony wrote another book and had it printed. She started another and another, and I was sat on a story I had been writing for too long. Partly due to a computer problem which led to my 25k manuscript to be deleted and lost forever, and mostly due to university, I was struggling to finish.
I decided that this was the year (2016)!! This year I would finish the damn thing… and I did! I intended to complete the draft in October and edit/proofread it in November ready to give her a printed copy for Christmas but that didn’t happen. Instead, with a little help from my boyfriend and my mum, I edited and proofread as I went along. I chopped chapters and added new ones and changed the ending and the story was finally finished just a few days before Christmas.
The printing company I used was epubli and I originally ordered one hardback book so that I could see how the book cover design came out and what it all looked like. I’m not a designer or particularly good at technology so I needed a proof copy. The hardback came a few days earlier than expected and the quality was perfect. The cover was sturdy, the pages were 90gsm and felt really nice, the text doesn’t show though much, and the perfect binding was, well, perfect. So I ordered five paperback copies, changing the cover a tad and to the specifications that epubli recommended for a 220 page, 13.5 x 20.5 book.
These books arrived early as well which was a wonderful surprise as I was worried I’d be out of town during the delivery. These paperback are so beautiful. I love them. My design isn’t much to be desired but I like it. Overall, I am super happy with my experience with epubli and would definitely recommend them!
It is kind of surreal to hold your own book in your hands for the first time. I wrote this. This is my book! It was a dream I had for so long and it’s amazing that it has come true! The plan now is to give out the copies to my parents, boyfriend, and my lovely friends Ebony and Catherine, and see what they think of the plot and structure. I am currently in the structural editing stage and that is fine, I never for a moment thought that this would be anywhere close to the final draft. As for myself, I will be stepping back from the book for a while so I can look at it again with fresh eyes in the summer.