When Stephen first asked me to come on board as a guest writer for The American in Paris I was thrilled — I had long wished for a space where I could speak about my experiences as an expat in France.
I wrote my first few articles and the feedback we received helped us realize there was a need for more information on getting the student visa, au pair visa, and APS visa, all of which I’ve successfully applied for and received.
The more we worked together the more we realized the need for a manual — or a guide, really — for Americans who were interested in moving to France from the United States. We did it ourselves (as did our other co-author Gracie Bialecki) and we wanted to help others with the process. Stephen mentioned it before and I’ll say it again: it’s the book that we wish we had at the start of our journeys.
What started with an idea to create a 29-day email autoresponder morphed into something much larger: we decided to create an actual paperback book and ebook version to go along with it. We knew that it could potentially help a lot of people and were prepared for the amount of work it would take to get it published.
Famous last words. At the beginning of our publishing journey, I did a quick Google search: how to self-publish. A slew of articles came up and I skimmed a few. All of them said how easy it would be. I quickly let Stephen and Gracie know that I would be happy to take care of the publishing process myself — I had just opened my native English creative boutique Plume and I was eager to get some publishing experience under my belt. I tend to be optimistic when starting a new project. My motto: How hard could it be?
Well, it turns out a lot harder than you would think! I want to preface this by saying that I am so grateful for the opportunity to be an actually published-in-print writer and I am thrilled with how everything came out. That said, something that I figured would take me ten hours tops ended up taking double, even triple the amount of time.
Figuring out margins, bleed, what quality printing we wanted to go with, page numbers, and crafting areas to take notes inside the book was a long and arduous process. I tried and tried and tried again, uploading manuscript after manuscript into the self-publishing platform we used. After over a dozen attempts, success! Our manuscript was accepted and under review.
With the paperback version taken care of, it was time to figure out the ebook. Because the paperback manuscript was done and dusted this part of the publishing undertaking was a lot easier. That’s not to say that I didn’t spend at least an hour lining up the bullet points. Again, I want to express my gratitude for this project but, phew, who knew publishing could be so complicated? (Anyone in publishing who is reading this article is likely chuckling to themselves).
At this point, the email autoresponder was a piece of cake. Unsurprisingly, it was the easiest part of the project. That’s not to say that I didn’t have to test it out with several different services before finally settling on one that I liked. But, en fin, our project was ready to launch!
And here we are today. Stay tuned for more updates on our book and if you purchase it, please do let us know what you think. We’re so happy and honored to be able to help so many others make their I-want-to-move-to-France dreams come true, as we did.
Molli offers private consultation services which range from help with visas, adjusting to life abroad, to Paris travel itineraries. Click here to learn more.
Photo taken outside San Francisco Book Company near the Luxembourg Gardens, after we (finally) got our approved proofs back!
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