Publishing My First Novel

When I chose to publish In-Between as an independent author I knew that I was going to be getting myself into a world that I knew nothing about. I was volunteering to take on every responsibility for the success of my novel.

I do not regret my decision in the slightest. I have met so many amazing people that have helped my novel grow from an idea to something I am proud to present. While I am sure my journey to self publishing will change as I publish more, I wanted to share my experience of publishing as a first time author.

The First Drafts

I rewrote In-Between several times before it ever saw an editor. I had to take a hard look at my writing and realize that I needed to provide a more robust worldview. I rewrote the entire book adding in about 20k much needed words. I have found that while others have to cut, I tend to have to add. I let too much of my world live in my head.


Reaching out to a developmental editor was anxiety producing for me. I decided to go through Reedsy, and had a very positive experience. My editor challenged my book, in the best possible way. I had to go back and restructure my novel. Then it was back to writing. The version that you see is thanks to my editor. Her work was invaluable.


After I have finished my developmental edits I went back through the book a few times. One time I read it through to ensure that I closed any plot holes. Then I focused on grammar and language. Finally, I sent it off to a proofreader. I knew this was a necessity for me. I wanted a polished book, and I am not a grammar nerd unfortunately. I hope that I succeed.


I relied a lot on the experience of other independent authors to determine the best way to publish. I am still in this process. Here is how I am proceeding.

Amazon – From what I have seen the majority of independent book sales will come from Amazon. It also has easy ways to advertise. I first published my ebook available for pre-order. Pre-orders are not available for print books, so I am waiting to officially publish the paper book on my preorder book.

Direct2Digital – I next published to Direct2Digital to all non Amazon ebook sellers. To connect the ebook across all platforms I had to use my own ISBN numbers. I purchased a bundle so I will have enough to last for a few book releases. It is important to note that you need to use one ISBN number per book format. Your ebook, paperback, and hardcover will all have a different number.

Paper – I will publish my paperback book directly from Amazon. I am uncertain how I will proceed outside of Amazon. Direct2Digital is directing a pilot program for paper books. However, it is not open to the public. Ingram Spark is another popular option, but I have also heard not great things about them. Ultimately, I think I will be forced to use them for In-Between.


I am still researching how I want to market my book. For now I am announcing it on social media where I have had a Bookstagram Account for years.

One option is to look into running a Goodreads giveaway. I’ve heard this is especially good before a book releases. However, I may choose to invest more directly into Amazon marketing.

In-Between on Amazon

In-Between on other eBook retailers

Sometimes life doesn’t turn out how you thought, but you can still find your place.

Alicia is a single mother to her eight-year-old son, Kenny. Being a single mother is hard enough, but her son’s principal seems convinced that she is unfit because she is on the autism spectrum.

The school keeps accusing her son of the weirdest things, such as making the school garden grow and disappearing in the middle of class. Uncertain if the school is being delusional or if more is going on, Alicia decides to track down her son’s father.

Except that she only saw him one night, a night she has tried hard to forget. Now Alicia has a man following her and claiming that her son is the heir to the elvish thrown. All Alicia wants to do is keep her son safe, but to do that, she has to give up everything she has ever known and go to a place that follows its own set of rules.

In-Between is full of magic, motherly love, and found family. It has a positive own-voice autism rep, Aromantic/Asexual rep, and a M/M romance.

Publishing Independent

Image of a left hand with painted black nails writing with a pen and spiraled notebook. The left hand is holding a mug that reads “BE Happy.”

There are many components to writing a book. A debut novel is a time to learn about all the nuances. As I near the end of this draft, my thoughts have been turning to the next steps. I have been researching agents, submitting directly to publishers, and independent publishing.

I have decided to publish my book independently.

The most important thing to me is to put together a good book. I want to create a book that readers want to read. However, I also want my voice there. There is a reason that autistic authors are not domineering the market. Who wants a book celebrating neurodiversity? Readers do, but publishers do not seem to know that.

Then there is my neurodiversity. The idea of having to navigate the social interactions of traditional publishing fills me with anxiety. On the other hand, the idea of handling the same interactions independent publishing makes me excited. It is a power dynamic. In traditional publishing, the publishing house is in control. In independent publishing, I am in control.

However, that also means that I have to do a lot more work. I have to research editors, then enforce my deadlines. Next, I have to work commissioning cover art and copy editing. Then I have to determine how I want to go about formatting and ultimately publishing. Even obtaining the ISBN now falls to me.

These detail-oriented tasks are where being autistic is a benefit. I know how to work hard on projects that are important to me. I may not like editors tearing apart my book (who does), but I know I must grow as an author. I know all these steps are essential to bringing a quality book to print.

I ran a book blog for many years before deciding to move entirely over to bookstagram. I learned there are a lot of horrible independently published books. It turned me off the idea of publishing independently for a long time. Yet, I have since realized that there are a lot of really amazing independently published books as well. Those authors have put in the time and effort to tare down their work to make it even better.

There are still many steps before my book can grace your shelves, but I have a newfound sense of excitement having made this decision.