Saturday, April 28, 2012

Some Assembly Required Publishing

As you can see from my last post -- way back in October, I've been stressing for quite a while about getting my next book published. I finished writing it years ago (seems like it but probably more like many months to a year). Then I edited the heck out of it myself before hiring another editor. The editor of my first book (whom I hope is not reading this) left a few errors in the book. There were only about 5 of them, which isn't horrible in a 300-page book, but they were pretty embarrassing to me once I saw them. I don't know about you, but when I read a book, typos and spelling errors seem to glare up at me. I can never understand how someone can publish a book --- especially through a traditional publishing house -- without anyone noticing typos. It happens a lot these days. Apparently, I'm no better.

Anyway, as I was saying, I stressed over getting my "Dismal Thoughts" published. First, I needed a good editor -- whom I found (hi Sarah!). After the book was edited, I nearly had a breakdown worrying about a cover. None of the cover artists I found had the right style for my new book, and even those that came close charged an arm and a leg. I can't really afford to give up any of my limbs just yet, so I stressed over it for months.

My solution was to create a mock up cover myself that I could send to a cover designer, so the person would understand what I wanted. I figured it would be less stressful and save time bouncing artwork back and forth. Once I opened PhotoShop and got to work, I found myself tweaking and editing the draft until I was pretty happy with the results. Then I thought, "Why do I need a designer? I have the layout here already and all the tools to work with." The whole idea of indie is to do it yourself. So I did it myself. It took about a day to get the cover the way I wanted and then to format it according to the various guidelines. Then I prepared the manuscript for Lightning Source, Kindle, Smashwords, and Nook and started my submissions. It may take a few days for all the venues to review and process, but my ebook version is at least available through Smashwords today.

A year's worth of stress only took me a day to resolve. I wish I'd had the confidence in myself to know that the some-assembly-required publishing process was not as complicated as I anticipated. Now I have no excuse. It's time to finish book three.