By Debbie Lum
Debbie is the author of I Can Handle Him.
I never set out to write a book. I’m not a reader, so books aren’t part of my everyday life. But now that I’ve written five novels, it’s fun to look back at how it all began. Here’s a countdown from the beginning on my publishing journey.
10. I had a story rambling around in my brain. One night, I got off of the treadmill, opened my laptop, and began to type.
9. Two months later, I thought maybe I had written a book. I Googled the words: “What do you do if you think you wrote a book” and devoured the answers. I read blogs. I ordered “How To Get Published” books.
8. According to the blogs and books from #9, I had done everything wrong. So, I tweaked my manuscript.
7. I hired an editor to do a manuscript review. She had good feedback! And she had a major suggestion: change the manuscript from first-person to third-person.
6. I rewrote the manuscript; hired another editor; hired a cover designer and interior formatter; hired a director for a book trailer. I incorporated a business and bought domain names.
5. And this is when I started working on book #2. And book #3.
4. I wrote query letters to agents. “Send five a week,” the reference books said. I sent out my first five and stopped. Why was I trying to get an agent? Self-publishing was easier. Faster. Everything was at my fingertips. I had full control. My own ISBN’s, hundreds of editors and cover designers for me to choose from, and all potential book revenue would be 100% mine.
3. I quietly enlisted friends to read and I listened to their advice. I made adjustments.
2. After a final manuscript review with a professional editor, I uploaded my first book to CreateSpace (Amazon), IngramSpark (Barnes and Noble and libraries) for print and eBook, and then iTunes and Kobo for eBook only.
1. And then three years after opening that blank Word document, I wrote a Facebook post announcing to my friends that I had written a book. They were all shocked but were more surprised when I said that I had already written the second. And then I blew their minds when I announced I had already written the third. That announcement was one crazy-fun way for a non-reader to launch a trilogy.
Debbie K. Lum is a romantic suspense author of five novels. She’s an unlikely author, a non-reader who was inspired by a self-esteem ad campaign encouraging little girls to dream big. Her novels feature fun, flawed characters with steamy and complicated relationships (and plenty of surprises!) Lum’s latest novel is I CAN HANDLE HIM, which BlueInk Reviews called “A fresh, enjoyable tale that should have great appeal to new adult fiction and contemporary romance fans.” Her 2017 novel, THE DOCTOR, THE CHEF OR THE FIREMAN, was called “A quick, satisfying romantic mystery.” by Kirkus Reviews. In 2016 she released PLEBEIAN REVEALED, PLEBEIAN IN DANGER and PLEBEIAN REBORN, a three-book story about a married woman finding sudden fame with her ex-boyfriend. Her novels are available in paperback and eBook.