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I don't know if I would ever have the motivation to be a writer full time. The three books I have already written were, to begin with, pretty much a way to kill time during my 10, 20 and 30 minute breaks at work. I didn't use an outline, my characters just developed along with the story/stories, and sometimes the plot line actually surprised me because it turned in a direction I didn't expect when I started. I allowed the story, which technically includes all three books because they are a series, to flow straight from my mind to the paper, especially the first one because I actually hand wrote it before I typed it up. The original story was double first person because the action was happening inside a building as well as outside. I wrote it based off my most common daydream theme and didn't expect a sequel. Then my mind started creating a part two, so I started writing it. As I wrote it, starting in that same double first person format, I started having ideas for later books, ones where double first person wouldn't work. So I went back to book one and made it third person. Then I completed book two, started book three but after eight pages ended up having family issues that caused me to have writer's block for 2.5 years.
Since I don't think I am cut out being a full time writer, at least not right now, I was mostly leaning to e-book only sales. Maybe even add at least the first book to Kindle Unlimited to get people 'in the door'. Though it would be nice to get an editor to look at it, I was mostly planning on doing my own editing. I mean, I don't even have anyone that I can get to critique the manuscript, really. I enjoy reading them, but that could just be because I wrote them. They could be complete rubbish for all I know. Not saying I don't have friends. I do. But any friends I would trust with it know that I have low self-esteem so I would take any praise from them with a grain of salt. The only reason why I am even thinking about publishing is because book four is begging me to write it and the rational part of my mind is asking the creative part why I should bother putting words to paper, or tablet in this case, if no one but me will ever enjoy the fruit of creative me's efforts.
That being said, the only potential expense as far as the three outsourced components mentioned would be a cover. I did find a cover editor somewhere, not sure exactly where, that allowed me to create a very bland cover. Looking at it would give you no hint as to the contents and no reason to crack the cover. Since I can't imagine that people who love to write would hate to read, I think it would be safe to assume that all writers are readers. As a huge reader, I think about some of my most favorite books and why I picked them up. The top of that list would have to be The Black Stallion and Satan by Walter Farley. It was the book that began my 'love affair' with horses, something that still defines my life even 2.5 years after the death of the best friend I will ever have. (Sorry, it hit me earlier today that April would mark the third anniversary of her death so I'm a little maudlin today.) The only reason why I picked up that book was because the cover showed a line of horses running away from a forest fire and one near the front had a guy riding bareback with no bridle. I had to know how they got to that point. If it had been a bland cover with decorative lines, I literally wouldn't be the person I am now. As such, I would want the cover to be professional looking and show a tale a reader can't pass up. Not being a photoshop expert, or even initiate, I would have to turn to someone else.
I will add that this is not the first time I've thought of publishing, but the previous time were for books that I wrote as a teen and young adult. Back then, I thought they were amazing. Before I started my second book, I looked at them again. You can tell they were written by a child, with a child's mind and thought processes. If I truly wanted to publish them, I would have to do some heavy editing. At the time I wanted to publish, I wasn't too far out of college and e-books weren't even thought of. At that time, editors didn't want unsolicited manuscripts. You had to send out a query letter. I think I sent out twenty, not sure of the exact number, and all came back no. End of my dreams of being a writer? With all the technology we have now, perhaps it would be easier now, but I don't know if I could handle that much rejection again. I just wish getting published was as easy as writing the book was.