What Comes After THE END?

The End courtesy of Oliver Hammond.

A couple of weeks ago I reached an exciting achievement. I was able to type two of the most beautiful words in the English language to a writer: THE END. I finally finished a story that had lay abandoned for nearly a year. I basked in the sunshine of those two words for about two minutes before I was overtaken with panic about what happens next.

When you’re with a publishing house, that’s easy. Simply polish the manuscript to the best of your ability and then hand it over to your trusty editor. But this time around I’ve decided to go a different route. Indie publishing.

If you’ve read my post before, you know I’ve been heading in this direction for some time. Indie publishing is an exciting prospect that puts you in the driver’s seat. But it can also be a terrifying scenario in which you are responsible for…well, everything. So it took me a long time to take one step and then another, leading me to the road of indie publication.

Goodbye 2005 courtesy of Amit Gupta.I’ve discovered two things so far during this process: It’s exciting to be in complete control of the process. At times it is also terrifying to be in complete control of the process. But without risk, there is no reward. So I keep moving forward, doing my research and asking the right people the right questions. Knowing that I’ll make lots of mistakes along the way, but that each mistake made will teach me important lessons.

So with my editor and cover artist selected, I need to get my head out of the clouds and focus on the next step. Revisions. Then the book goes on to my beta readers and critique partners, before going to my editor.

And while my baby is out of my hands, it’s time to start on the next one. The characters for book two in the new series are already dancing in my head, refusing to wait their turn.

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And I’d love to hear your reaction when you finally get to THE END. Is it joy, relief or panic?

The End courtesy of Oliver Hammond. Goodbye 2005 courtesy of Amit Gupta.


What Comes After THE END? — 16 Comments

  1. My reaction to typing “The End” is usually relief mixed with joy and a sense of accomplishment. But then I’ve never self-published. I think you’re being wonderfully brave in taking on this project. I’ve considered indie publishing too, and like you said the idea is both thrilling and frightening. So far, frightening is winning. Best of luck, Reese!

  2. Usually when I get to the end……….I’m not ready to let the people go. I always, always want just one more chapter.

    So, while I know the end is coming, I’m never ready to for it to be over.

  3. I try to enjoy typing ‘the end’ for a full day. Often I plan a small reward – a massage, hike with a friend or a dinner party. But then I begin thinking about the next project. As an indie published author, I hold off starting the next project until the revisions and marketing plan are complete.

    • Susie, you make a great point about taking the time to celebrate the accomplishment. And a massage is the perfect reward for a writer who has been hunched over in a chair for weeks or months. :-) Thanks for your comment!

  4. Love this Reese! I’m right there with ya on this indie journey. First novel is going out end of the month, and the last 18 months have been exciting, taxing, and terrifying! But in all that, I’ve found such wonderful support in the indie community. Good luck on your new path! I know you’re destined for wonderful things!

    • I don’t mind the revisions unless they are really extensive. This time around (though this is the third change to the heroine’s name and my setting is changing), the revisions shouldn’t be too bad. I hope. We’ll see. 😉

  5. I’m usually totally pysched to hit The End. It means a celebratory meal and digging out my house from the Act 4 Pile Up (because that’s when things are really gelling and everything else that’s non-necessary gets put on hold) while the book is with my editor. I’ll usually work on the plotting for whatever is coming next, refining concept, or playing with marketing plans for the one I just finished. It’s not until the edit letter comes back that the panic sets in :D.

    • Thanks for your comment, Kait. You mentioned one of the things I haven’t addressed yet during this “in between” period: creating a marketing plan. Fortunately, a lovely writing friend who released her indie debut last year shared her marketing plan with me. That gives me a great base to start with, calming some of the apprehension I felt about that part of the indie journey.

  6. I’m almost at the end of the first draft for my WIP. I generally love getting to that second draft and don’t mind third or fourth revisions. But after that? I dread it. I don’t consider the novel complete until it’s gone through my betas/CPs, proofreader, etc. Once that’s done? Happy dance, for sure. Good luck! It’s scary at first, taking the indie plunge, but it’s worth it. And you’ll meet many supportive authors along the way. I know you’re going to kick butt.

    • Thanks, Quanie! And if it weren’t for those supportive writers, I wouldn’t be this far along on the journey. I’m fortunate to be in an RWA chapter that has a strong indie presence, in addition to several trad-published authors.

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