BTS045, Working with a Professional Editor and Preparing to Self Publish | October 2021 Author Diary


Hello, Writers!


I hope you are all well and are staying safe.


The writing has come to an end. And, the line editing and proofreading phases are underway.


In the final hours of editing, I made a story decision that I suspected would cost me more money. While I waited for the next phase of the editing process to begin, I dived into the process of preparing to self publish my novella. This led me to finally make a decision about preorders after months of changing my mind.


So stay tuned for all of this and much more.


About the Episode

Just to let you know, this episode was recorded on Wednesday the 5th of January, so this show is primarily me looking back at October. If you’re on YouTube, you’ll notice that I’ve gone back to an audio-only version of the podcast. I’ve had to pull the plug on the video podcast episode because I couldn’t do everything, and something had to go.


If you’re new to this podcast, I want to say a huge thank you for stopping by and trying out my show. To those of you who have been faithfully listening, thank you for regularly listening in and supporting me; your support means more to me than you know.


Working With a Professional Editor

In October, I spent seventeen hours spread across seven days working with my line editor. All in all, my murder mystery novella went through three rounds of line edits using tracked changes in Word. And, I’ve discovered or perhaps been reminded that I don’t like using Word, but it’s a necessary evil.


During the second round of line edits, I added a new scene and chapter to the Candidate to tie up a minor loose thread. Based upon past experiences, I know my readers will want to see James passing on vital information to the police, which resulted in them securing evidence to arrest the villains, so the scene was necessary. Due to this new scene, I added an extra 894 words to the edited draft. I had expected to pay a little extra for the line edit, but my editor wasn’t too bothered and agreed that the scene was a necessary addition.


So, that was great news.


As of Sunday, the 17th of October, The Candidate is waiting in a queue to be proofread. 

Above is a screenshot that explains what I mean by the terms ‘left sidebar.’

Publishing Tasks

While I waited for my murder mystery novella to progress in the proofreading queue, I decided to focus my attention on the next phase of the self-publishing process. In order to prepare my novella for publishing, I decided to write two author biographies, one long and the other short. Next, I used Publisher Rocket to find long-tail keywords, and I made sure to use a few of the “characters” terms that appear in the left sidebar on Amazon.


Creating the eBook

As I started to format my murder mystery book in Vellum, I wrote the thank you or acknowledgement section and my author’s note which discussed the behind the scenes process of writing the story.


To edit these sections, I listened to my computer read back the passages. After that, I used Grammarly to perform a quick proofread of the text. For some reason, I keep forgetting to write these sections of the book before I submitted my novella to my editors.


Setting Up a Preorder

Now that I had a formatted ebook, keywords, and a book description, I decided to set up a preorder on Amazon, Apple, Draft2Digital, Google Play, and Kobo while I waited to receive my novella from the proofreader. Yes, it’s a risk, but I went back and checked and discovered it usually took seventeen days before I received my book back from the proofreader. I decided on a preorder date of the 23rd of November to allow for a two-week buffer just in case my novella was held up with my proofreader. This decision did add a bit of anxiety to my everyday life. As I set up the preorder, I decided to launch my story at a 99 cent sale price for the preorder period up to a certain date across all stores.


Above are the screenshots of the Thank You and Author’s Note sections of the Candidate, just in case you’re curious about what I’ve included in these sections.

Above is a screenshot of the out of the blue email that I sent to my list, just in case you’re curious about what I said in the opening of the email.

The Advanced Reader Copy

Next, I started formatting the Advanced Reader Copy of the Candidate and uploaded it to BookSprout. Over in Vellum, I duplicated the preorder copy of the ebook and created a separate copy for the advanced readers. To help readers decide whether they want to read my story, I created a sample with the first twenty percent or up to the end of chapter one. Because my novella has a prologue, the readers get to see my first two chapters or scenes. For my email list, I created a different sample with extra chapters.


After a ten-month absence, I emailed my list. I must admit I was super nervous about the results of this out of the blue email. The decision to email after a long absence resulted in six percent of my list unsubscribing; that’s four unsubscribes out of a list of eighty-one. It was much better than I expected. Because I’m a natural pessimist, I envisioned a mass unsubscribe. My email had a forty-six percent open rate, which is pretty good, even if I had regularly emailed this list.


Over on my website, I made updates in preparation for the book’s release. These changes were to the homepage, links to the ARC, and creating a new page for the book with links to find it online. As I watched the signups for the Candidate over on BookSprout, I considered creating a new book cover due to the low number of signups.

Podcasting Fun

While spending Tuesday the 12th of October podcasting, I noticed that I had developed a sore throat, and I put this down to recording three podcast episodes in one day. On this day, I recorded an episode of the Book Nerd Podcast and two episodes of the Authorpreneur Podcast. As Saturday rolled around, my sore throat had developed into a bad cold which lasted for the next two weeks; thus putting an end to my writing, podcasting, and publishing plans for the rest of the month.


Le Villain Book Covers

Earlier in October, I formatted three paranormal romance novels for a client I had acquired on my Etsy store. The book formatting tasks didn’t require as many revisions as I allowed for in the original formatting package, which is a great thing. These three book formatting jobs mean that I’m now making a triple-figure profit. I must admit, I could be making more money if I devoted more time to promoting and sourcing clients for my business, but I have a few other things distracting me from doing this.


Concluding Thoughts

So, that’s all of the tasks I completed in terms of writing, book marketing, and email marketing. By the end of November, I want have published the Candidate and had secured my first ten book reviews from Advanced Readers.


If you have any questions or have tips on book marketing that you would love to share with me, please come on over to the blog post share your thoughts in the comments section.


Thank you for listening, and happy reading and writing, everybody.


With love,


Amelia xx

DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains affiliate links (marked with an *), which means if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. The commission helps support the blog and allows us to continue to make content like this. Thank you for your support. 🙂


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Amelia D. Hay

Written by Amelia D. Hay

I’m Amelia. When I’m not hosting the Authorpreneur Podcast™️ and the Book Nerd Podcasts, I write Mystery Novels under the pen name A. D. Hay. And, I’m the author of Suspicion, the Lawn, and the Candidate.

On this blog, I help new writers to finish their first draft, prepare their manuscripts for professional editing, and when they get stuck in the first draft phase or are confused about the revision process.

Right now, I’m editing and preparing my soon to be published mystery novels, Suspicion, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity for publication.

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