This blog post was originally published on March 28th 2014, one hour before the release of my novel To be a Hero, when I shared what this journey of my first independent publication means to me.

I’ve been working non-stop on an adrenaline high all day, so I think it’s time to take a moment to reflect.

It’s been around one and a half years since I started this project. I’ll write more about the writing process in upcoming articles but let’s just say it wasn’t an easy one. I went through many drafts with a lot of rewriting. I only started considering self-publishing To be a Hero seriously in September 2013, so since then it’s been a very fast roller-coaster ride of figuring everything out from typesetting the text in InDesign to developing marketing strategies.

I had many moments in which I thought, “I’m just a 20-year-old kid. Who was crazy enough to let me play adult in the business world?” But those moments luckily were only fleeting. They were almost imperceptible, once the awareness of how far I had made it had sunken in.

After having limited publishing experience with one book published traditionally and a very short internship as an editorial assistant, I managed to run my project successfully that far, so giving up was never even an option.

However that doesn’t mean everything went smoothly. I had major last-minute problems with the distribution and changed my plan of distributing the paperback editions entirely only today – the day before the release. In fact, I only finished implementing the buying options into the homepage 3 hours and 30 minutes before the midnight release. Before this point, I didn’t even know if these options were going to work, having tried out a ton of options all day.

This just goes to show how much I have learned in the course of this project. I certainly practised working with an important deadline looming over me for the past week and especially today, while still attending my university courses. So time management was another thing I learnt. Actually, I think I learnt so many little things about what it’s like to run a business and about myself, about my own limits and how I can overcome them, I couldn’t even mention all of them here if I tried.

This Thursday I picked up the paperbacks from the printers. Seeing my own work in print wasn’t such a heart stopping, life-changing moment as it had been with my first novel. But as I leafed through a copy, I felt genuinely proud that all of my hard work had finally paid off.

I can’t count the immense amount of hours that went into this project and I couldn’t be more excited to finally let go of it and release it into the world. My goal was to produce a quality book and get back the money I invested. So I’m already halfway there and by buying my book, you can help me achieve the other half of my dream, too.

Read more about Valerie in To be a Hero

To be a Hero

Valerie has loved stories about heroes ever since she was a child. Now it’s her chance to become one herself.

When a masked, self-proclaimed hero called Shadow appears in her hometown, she decides to team up with him and become a hero herself. Valerie is an unlikely adventurer. She can’t run fast and she is a little insecure. But she is passionate about turning her life into an interesting story.

However, soon she has to learn that living a story is not as easy as she had thoughtIn a small town with no big adventures, the person underneath Shadow’s mask is the only mystery worth exploring. When Shadow’s secrets pile up, she has to learn to face problems without her mask.

In a world that believes it no longer needs heroes, can Valerie and Shadow prove it wrong?

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