What I’ve Learned Writing A Book

Writing my little book has been quite the adventure and I’m still not done with it.  I thought I’d share some lessons learned.  I will never look at another book the same way again.  Getting a book out to the public is hard work!

First you write, write, write, and write some more. Did I mention writing?

Then comes the editing which isn’t too bad if you hire a good editor but still takes time!  Thank you Bethany Learn at Ready to Publish?  She’s awesome!  She was careful with my story and content.  Bethany showed me how to polish and organize my book while still allowing my words to tell the story.

Next it is all about formatting.  Even for a pdf download you want your file to download and look pretty.  Getting the book formatted for the digital stuff was not so difficult.  But formatting for a paperback.  It’s sort of like trying to hold onto a toddler in full tantrum.  Especially if you have to learn new software.  OpenOffice Writer is the bomb but I pretty much had to read the entire manual to get everything to work correctly.  I won’t really know if it’s perfect until I get my hard copy of the book.  – lots of nail biting while waiting –

Finally, you have to design a cover or pay someone to do it.  I designed my own.  I hope it all prints well or I will back at the drawing board.  Fingers crossed!

For someone self-publishing the “fun” part comes in finally trying to find a place that will publish your book!  Some of them take more than half of your earnings. Printing is expensive.

Being a writer isn’t a get rich quick scheme.  If you have that idea in your head, let me tell you that as a self-published author, I make around $0.30 or so per book.  Now imagine what that income would look like if I had an agent who took a portion of that $0.30!  Profit margins are pretty low.

The final step – sort of, you should be doing this all along – is marketing.  When you see an author –  or me – pushing their book, it’s not because we think we are so grand but because we have to!  If we don’t market ourselves, all those months and months of work sits unnoticed! Most of us can’t afford to hire a marketer.  There are a lot of hats to wear as a writer.

It’s a big deal to have a book published no matter which route you take!  It’s exciting and we finally get to see all that hard work come to fruition!  Next time you see a new book on the store shelf you will now have a new appreciation for all the hard work that was put into the book to bring it to you!

Every time you buy a book, you make an author’s dream come true to continue to write!  That’s worth the $10 I pay for a book that I know I will enjoy, don’t you think?

Now the reason I wrote How I Forgave My Molester is to help women.  So many just suffer in silence.  There are not a lot of resources available for a woman who has been sexually abused.  I’ve tried finding Christian resources and they’re just not out there.  It’s a yucky topic and many women think they are the only one it happened to.  We know that’s not true when we look at statistics.  One in three women have been sexually abused. That’s a lot of damaged and hurting hearts out there!

I know what Christ has done in my life in this area.  I want that for every woman who has suffered this kind of abuse to have that kind of freedom.  One “Christian” book – written by a man – I found that had a tiny section on past sexual abuse said that it was my duty as a wife to perform my “duties” in the bedroom and to get over itGet over it? Well if it were that simple, wouldn’t we all just get over it?!  I put that book in the wood stove.  It burned nicely.

Now I realize the title is shocking.  Maybe it keeps you from wanting to buy it.  I understand that and we may revisit changing the title eventually.  The reason I went with the title, How I Forgave My Molester was to be honest.  This isn’t a coffee table book.  It’s not one that should be lying around where your children can pick it up and I want that to be clear from the get-go.  The book isn’t graphic but the topic is not family friendly.

The book is set-up as a bit of a workbook.  There are personal reflection questions at the end of each step to healing.  I left room for you to journal in it. This book is going to be one you tuck away in your night stand or underwear drawer because of the personal content you may be writing in it.

I hope you enjoy the next book you buy!  Someone put their heart into it to get it into your hands to tell their storyWhere would we be without all those crazy imaginations that bring us the awesome tales they spin?

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  1. You go, girl! Did I tell you lately that I’m so proud of you & love you tons!

  2. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately that talk about the pros and cons of self vs. traditional publishing. It’s neat to read a “real life” account of someone who is self publishing. Whew, you are right, it’s a lot of work! But you show how much control you have over your work, and that part of it is a nice perk.

    I’m not surprised that there are not a lot of books on the subject from a Christian point of view. Because of the high number of lives affected by it, you would think more people in the Church would deal with it. But the simple fact is that they don’t know how to deal with appropriately. It’s like domestic violence (and even mental illness)…the Church knows it happens, but are so inadequately equipped to deal with it. In fact, a lot of it is happening right there in the Churches! Anyway, because the nature of our faith is forgiveness and reconciliation, people feel like they should just forget about it and move on with their lives instead of working through it in a healthy way and setting appropriate boundaries.

    That’s great you are tackling such a difficult subject matter. Praying that many lives will be helped.

    • So very true. Very frustrating because so many people then suffer in silence. I’d like to see and end to plastic masquerade at church. Baby steps 🙂

  3. Hi Melinda,

    First off, a hearty congratulations! You’ve done what most won’t, Ship! A friend on the Net mentioned I should keep track of you, I’m pleased to see you’re doing just fine. 😉

    Have you read everything here:
    and here:

    Next up, know that NY would leave you with around 14.9% – so don’t fret the “taking half” part.

    Also, you’lll do MUCH better with createspace.com for your print copies, but as you’ve noticed you need perfectly formatted PDF files.

    Ohhh, and I can’t find you on Smashwords.com either – massively important, as long as you don’t mind losing the “must use DRM” thinking.

    Market for a few hours a week *but* KEEP WRITING. Advertisements cost $$, your next book announcement will make money. Simple as that, grow your catalog.

    All the best,
    -Steve Clark
    CEO Heart Press

    • Thanks Steve 🙂 I actually set up everything on createspace last night. I do wish they’d allow for a preview of your work after uploading so we will see 🙂 Thanks for all the tips. Off to get myself on smashwords 🙂


      • They make you buy a proof copy (which isn’t expensive like Lightning Source), which is real – exactly what your customers will see when they buy it.

        As a publisher you’re doing well. Keep up the great work!! Market some, write more.

  4. Hi Mel:

    I have been up and down the same road you are traveling on now. This is because you already know that I have written a book as well. I know that advertising is expensive and that’s not including all the cost and time of writing the book. In the end you want to get it into the hands of readers everywhere. I know the feeling. I admire your hard work and dedication.

    Because I’ve truely been there myself, it is why I started http://Bibles-and-More.BlogSpot.com (an affilate of AMAZON.com). In this website, I would love to display your book freely to let others see the works of talented Christian authors and artists I have come to know. Have you taken a look at this website yet?

    I will pray for you and your success in your book.


    • Paul, as soon as I get the book available in paperback, I will let ya know 🙂 The cover is hanging things up 🙂

  5. Mel,

    This is WONDERFUL!!! I want to share this with others so they will know what all goes into getting the book “out there”. I’ll be praying for you 🙂

  6. Melinda, your insights on writing a book are very fantastic. Designing for the cover of your book might have also been a hard task to do. I want to write a book, too! 🙂

  7. Hi Mel,

    Congratulations on the book. I hope everything is well. I also thought of writing a book but I dont think I can be as creative as you.

    All the best.

    Kimberly T. Bergh
    from Cholestasys reviews

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