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  • Writer's pictureAnders Åslund

What's It Like Holding Your Own Book In Your Hands?

This question is one of the more common that I get: how do you feel now that you've published your book? What's it like holding it in your hands? It's never other writers who ask. I don't know how to answer that question in a good way.

So obviously, holding my own book in my hands feels great. It'd be borderline psychopathic not to have emotions feeling its weight, sensing the quality of the paper, and, yes, putting it to my nose and sniffing it. (There are two types of writers: those who sniff their new books, and those who lie about it.) But the thing about self-publishing is... I'm too involved in the process to be awed by the end result.

Me in an outrageously cool floral pattern shirt holding my book
This is about as giddy as I get.

I did it all myself

I've done all of it myself. I wrote the damn thing (obviously), I rewrote it several times, I edited it, edited it again, sent it to a developmental editor, and then edited it some more. Then I had it proofread, and edited it once more. After that, I designed it using Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, and since I was not an expert in either (I knew Photoshop fairly well, InDesign a bit less) it took a while to get it right.

Designing the cover

The one thing I did not do myself was the cover art, as previous readers will know. My friend, Martin Trokenheim, created it as fan art originally – he read the novel as a beta reader, and was immediately intrigued by the flight suits that my main character uses to perform zero-g aerobatics. I decided to make it the cover once I saw his design, and then I designed the cover around it. All of this is a lot of work – but if you're like me, and you have the ability, it's fun work.

Zero surprise

What this means is that there's zero surprise for me holding the book. Since I work in communications, I've held plenty of printed materials in my hands to know how they look and feel. And I knew all the work that went into shaping the book, especially the paperback version.

So, you wonder, am I completely devoid of emotion? Of course not. I'm very proud of my book. I'm just not overwhelmed by it.

Where am I going with this?

Not sure. I just wanted to respond to the question in case you asked it of me and I just shrugged and went "Meh." It's not "meh." It's definitely not a shrug. I'm just not a giddy kind of person, and I put in the work. Above all, I think every writer should be proud of their work, and if you feel like jumping around screaming when you first hold it in your hands, I salute you. Just don't forget that it's a natural conclusion to your determination, and not a fluke. You worked for it. Nobody handed it to you on a silver platter.

That, in my opinion, is a great feeling.

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