Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Part 2: MY SELF-PUB LIFE or How I learned to love new aspects of publishing

My latest thriller with Desiree Holt & available now: Until Midnight
Now that I had a viable story, I knew what was coming was the Picky-Picky Part, all those pesky details that can make you or break you in any biz.

What did I face?

The formatting came first. The very thought of all that text formatting and coding made my head spin. What did this girl do?

Yes, I downloaded the guides for Kindle and Smashwords. I read. I pondered in my heart if I could do this or even wanted to.

Concurrently, I read the wonderfully informative emails posted on the RWA-PAN loop (to which you may belong if you are a published author under RWA's guidelines). I read them, but more importantly, I took notes and I kept them in a special folder. THIS has permitted me to return time and again to re-read vital bits of info. Authors there came to share their experiences and their advice. The topics ranged from whether or not to buy ISBNs, how to post as more than one name, one type of genre, how to avoid errors of up-loading. Oh, the fun we have. But invaluable to me. And I am, once more struck by how much I have benefitted from belonging to RWA for almost 30 years. Yes. I was 12 when I joined.... I digress!

And also at the same time, I created my copyright pages. Advice on how to do this begins with the dictum to not use the copyright symbol because the formats do not like it. But then comes the other part of which text to use. There are many!  For this book, I used one for those who write historicals with reference to real people, now long departed, but nonetheless needful of clauses. This book refers to Napoleon's brother-in-law Murat and to the new king of France in this period. As for all else around the hero and heroine, many who did perform their functions, such as the English ambassador, needed to be disclaimed. Pesky, but true! Hence, this search for copyright and its citation took TIME. So did the writing of my bio, edited to be useful for this book and current listings of reviews pertinent to the book! Advice from me: Beware the details that will consume time and effort but must be correct to be useful!

Back to our discussion of formatting and reading the Guides!

So, how did I do with the Guides? I dunno, maybe I'm just thick, but much of it was like reading gobbledygook-pooh-pooh-pa-do. I had to re-read them. Take notes. (We always used to say in financial services that the jargon is in there to impress and keep people OUT of the profession. When I wrote financial issues for The Washington Post, the editors loved my stuff because I wrote for the common man and woman.) Armed with my insights (and I use that term loosely), I tried to develop a text that looked like what they declared they needed. Did I get it right?

To be honest, I am not certain. Why? Because at this point, I had spent a few hours and time is big money to me. Hence, I hired a formatter to do this task for me. Chicken, yes, you may call me that perhaps. But as a colleague of mine says, (Mary Jo Putney) she did not want to burn up her own mental Bytes with skills that someone else had mastered. That's me! I LIKE professional help that saves me heartaches. But mostly to me, Heartache Time IS money. Heartaches kill my creativity, bog it down in Things That Make Me Wince. Ergo, the formatter for me. And in my case, my graphic designer also provides this service for others of her clients who hire her for the cover design. (And yes, you may write to me privately and I will share her email with you, as I will for my professional editor. A list of all comes later in another part of this series.)

As of earlier today, I have completed the forms on my own Amazon Kindle Publishing page. I have posted the hi res of the cover. I have sent the .mobi file format given me by my designer and sent the whole package off for REVIEW.

Drumming fingers.

Waiting now.

Takes 24 - 72 hours for them to decide if they like your cover, text and if you have filled out all the blanks correctly, completely.
Tick tock. Tick tock....

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