Self-publishing makes me excited. And tired.

on September 30, 2010 in Westbow Press with 19 comments by

Wednesday was stressful. At 11:30pm, I finally sat down and checked my email. Right there, in my inbox, were two unbelievable emails.

Email #1 :: My manuscript, back from the editor, with 170 pages splattered with minor fixes, grammatical errors, and some new ideas to think about.

Email #2 :: Two options of the book cover from my graphic designer.

Good gracious. All I could think was, “I should be jumping-out-of-my-skin excited. But I’m so tired. But this is a big moment. But I’m sleepy. Do I need to record this moment? Or can I just close my eyes?” It was a confusing conversation [that completely happened in my mind].

But I did think, “I can’t believe this is really happening.” In a good way.

Let me back up and tell you how this whole thing started….

So like I mentioned last week, I wrote a book, got picked up by an agent, pitched the book, no one wanted it, and then splitsville from my agent.

Over the summer, I began to dream. God started something with this book in 2006. I dreamed of finishing what God had started [with Him, of course. I hope.]

I looked around. A friend from church is a graphic designer. Hmmm…. another friend used to be an editor at Thomas Nelson. Hmmm….. wait.

Y’all know I’m a people person. And you know I love my Nash-people.

And suddenly it looked like my people were going to help make this dream a reality. [At this point, about a month ago, I kinda freaked out with excitement.]

Then I wrote up a business proposal and made my math-wiz friend Wes crunch the numbers and emailed my parents.

I think the email said this:

“Hey guys. Y’all are great. Look at this business plan for self-publishing my book. We could totally be business partners. You in?

[It wasn’t that informal. Also, I don’t start emails to my parents by saying, “hey guys.”]

So we shopped around, looking at lots of different self-publishing houses, and we decided on Westbow Press. [I’m gonna tell you why next week. Hold on to your horses, future authors.]

We hired the editor. We hired a graphic designer. We called Westbow Press, talked through which plan we wanted, and signed up.

And then suddenly I blinked and it was Wednesday night and I had an edited manuscript and two absolutely gorgie-poo cover choices and an advocate at Westbow Press emailing me and saying, “hey Annie, what can I do to help you?”

Right? Crazy.

So this train is moving ahead. My next step is going through the edits then sending it back to the editor for a final look over. I have to pick a book cover and collect endorsements. And then the goal is to turn everything in by October 15.


In the next few weeks, I’ll tell you why I picked Westbow [if you want to hear more about them, click the button in the sidebar], how the editing process works, and how the first few weeks of working with Westbow folks has been.

[preview: 95% awesome, 3% scary, 2% confusing.]

Also- I can totes answer any questions. I know that many of you are considering this or just want to hear something I’m not thinking to say. So ask away, askers. This is our journey together- I want you to feel like you are seeing the map.

Like Boots and Dora. We are Boots and Dora.

[you’re welcome.]


  1. Face
    posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 5:38 AM  |  reply

    This question is prob too stupid to answer on the blog, but what’s the difference in being picked up & what you/they are doing? The financing? Marketing? Who has the final say?
    REALLY excited for you.

  2. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 6:30 AM  |  reply

    Much excitement! And much love your way.

  3. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 7:31 AM  |  reply

    Face- that’s a great question. I’ll answer it next week.

  4. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 7:42 AM  |  reply

    eeee! so exciting!!!

  5. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 8:26 AM  |  reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Annie Downs. Annie Downs said: Week 2 of self-publishing with @westbowpress // sneak peek : bah bah bah bah bah, I'm lovin' it! […]

  6. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 8:35 AM  |  reply

    this is awesome! and scary! (i’m sure) but more awesome! 🙂

  7. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 9:01 AM  |  reply

    I really like the bowman. It’s prophetic, your book is the arrow.

  8. Mickie
    posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 9:03 AM  |  reply

    How exciting is this?!?!? We sure do miss our Annie!

  9. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 9:35 AM  |  reply

    No wonder you’re tired…just reading this makes me feel exhausted! How exciting though! I can’t wait to hear how the rest of the journey unfolds!

  10. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 9:44 AM  |  reply

    WHOOHOOOOO!!!!!!! So exciting!!

  11. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 9:53 AM  |  reply

    Yea Annie! I can’t wait to read your book and then share it with everyone I know!

  12. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 10:41 AM  |  reply

    I just want you to know that now I’m hearing Dora singing in my head. She won’t leave. Insanity is coming quickly.

    Thanks. 😉

  13. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 11:19 AM  |  reply

    What’s the plan for selling your book after all this publishing stuff is over? (Besides to your faithful blog-readers, of course.)

    Would you advise trying an agent first or just going straight to a publisher or self-publisher?

    I know I’ve never met you, but I’m so excited for you and feel so invested in your work! It’s wonderful!

  14. tam
    posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 11:35 AM  |  reply

    hi annie…first…congratulations! i am very excited for you!

    i was actually on the phone with westbow yesterday talking about different packages.

    truly, i have no idea what im doing. so, i asked my hubs to call lindsey n., to ask her her thoughts on westbow – she approves! =) of course 😉

    another friend, yesterday, said i would definitely need to invest money into and editor and a good designer. i believe i have the designer locked in, but how do you go about finding a good editor…thats affordable?

    the bulk of my book is done. the way in which i’m going to format it, is not. not sure the direction i want to take just yet. still working through that bit.

    but im definitely seeing that self-publishing is gonna be the only way i can go.

    so glad it has worked out so wonderfully for you! cant wait to keep reading up on your journey!

  15. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 12:14 PM  |  reply

    Excited for you and can’t wait to hear more about this!!! I speak to womens group weekly (500 women tonight at a banquet) and they always ask me if I have a book at the end. I’ve written most of one but the process was so overwhelming I kind of stopped with the writing part.

    But let’s go Dora! More questions later!

  16. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 2:01 PM  |  reply

    I wish there was a font for an extra big GRIN. But there is not. So I am just extra big grinning.

  17. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 3:02 PM  |  reply

    So proud of you Annie banani! Way to keep working hard at it. You are an amazing writer and cant wait for more and more people to be exposed to that God given gift…..big grins from me too

  18. posted on Sep 30, 2010 at 4:56 PM  |  reply

    I am so happy for you! You deserve this!

  19. posted on Oct 02, 2010 at 10:05 PM  |  reply

    Equal parts EXCITED and missing you. Love ya, girly, you AND your wonderful words.

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