First of all, I proudly present “Dutched Up!Rocking the Clogs, Expat Style!”, a funny, heartwarming, and informative compilation of stories by women expat bloggers in the Netherlands. The honour of putting all of these submissions together fell to me and I did it gladly. In this process I have learned some valuable lessons that I would love to share with you about publishing an anthology.
1) It takes a lot of work and time.
I was aware of the fact that writing and editing a book takes plenty of time and effort. What I have did not know, however, is that how much it takes to actually make it really happen: the formatting. The promotion. The coversion to the various ebook formats. Planning. Finding the best way to publish. I felt that our work begun only after we finished writing our submissions! It took us forever to publish it but we are all the more glad to be done.
2) Planning is important.
If you think that writing a book is just about the writing, you are so wrong. It didn’t only take forever, it also required thinking about things I hadn’t spared a though- a mistake, I must add. Because the more things you can plan in advance, the better. I know you cannot think of everything that will happen during the publishing process, but you can know for example what the book will be about, chapter ideas, publishing concept and more.
3) I can be a leader!
This one actually surprised me. I don’t like putting myself in the spotlight and I certainly do not revel in having to tell people what to do, when to do it and how to do it. But while some writers send me their submissions just like that (“Oh hey, I wrote this, maybe it will fit”), others needed a little push (“What kind of submission do you need?”). At the beginning, I was annoyed because we are all adults and we don’t need to be told what to do. But sometimes, we do and just because I have an idea, doesn’t mean that everyone is supposed to know what the idea actually is. Sometimes people need deadlines, plans and ideas. Sometimes they need you to very specifically state what it is that you need so that they can do their best. I think a leader needs to be flexible and adapt to the people he or she is working with.
4) It takes a team
I put this book together, but I certainly wasn’t alone. First, there were the fabulous contributors. The there was the Nomad Mom Diary and I’m grateful because it was actually her idea and she actually understood what was needed, researched publishing methods and always was there for my questions. There was Molly and Deepa (and my mom and brother) who edited, edited some more, formatted and performed some serious tech magic on the book to make it really come to life. We needed a cover designer and at some point, we were joined by Zoe of George with Ears who not only did the lovely cover but also submitted two highly hilarious and well written posts.There were the wonderful endorsers and readers who wrote these amazing reviews on Amazon and everyone who bought, read and loved the book.
5) It’s all about taking baby steps.
It always seemed that once we climbed one mountain, there were plenty of more to climb. On top of the work related to the book, there were issues we couldn’t have predicted. And I would never have thought that writing a book is such a learning curve. But maybe it was a blessing in disguise because if I knew from the beginning what we were getting ourselves into, I wouldn’t probably even consider doing it. But once the book was done, some magic happened: once it became obvious that the book was going to happen, everyone started pitching in and helping out and it just started to roll from there!
6) You will make mistakes
I guess mistakes happen to everyone, but especially to rookies like me. For example, when I asked for submissions, I didn’t have a definite deadline yet, but I realized that people actually can need a deadline because they are actually busy with their day jobs/children/other things and need to know how much time they need for the book. Another mistake was that I expected everyone to be as excited about the book as I was but of course that cannot be reasonable. And even after the editing, there were still mistakes! Some of them needed to be fixed right now, some are not even visible, so that’s OK.
7) Publishing a book feels amazing
I’ve always loved books (I don’t call myself a book addict for nothing), but this was the first time I actually saw and experienced a book coming into life! And I was the driving force behind it! It is a fabulous feeling and I’ve learned so much from it. It is a great honour to be responsible for a book and I feel extremely proud of us all for making it happen. And even though it was long and took forever, it gave me an appetite for more.
We would appreciate it if you buy and read the book and leave us a review on Amazon! Thank you so much.