Friday, November 21, 2014

Self-Publishing is Like Cockroaches

I consider myself a smart person. I have two graduate degrees, passed the Illinois bar exam, managed a several million dollar territory for years and earned national top performer awards at two companies. Yet myriad steps to self-publish are making my brain explode.

It's like having cockroaches. You think you've zapped them all, breathe a sigh of relief...and then another appears. No matter what I'm doing, whether it's deciding what images to put on my cover or choosing a font for drop caps, everything seems to require two steps back before I can take one forward.

Today's example: my formatter (who I hired to avoid having to figure out all of the spacing and layout issues) suggested I upload the proof she'd sent to CreateSpace (CS), because the two-page PDF layout wasn't an accurate reflection of how the book will look.

But CS doesn't let you review just the interior of your book. No. You have to make many decisions and finish the whole setup, including having a PDF of the cover "measured exactly to your book's trim size, spine width (calculated by multiplying the page count by 0.0025 and allowing for 0.0625" variance on either side of the fold lines ), and .125" bleed. My eyes glazed over. I emailed my cover designer, and now have to await their response. Will this require an additional fee?

So many authors self-publish so many books, it often seems, with ease. Yet every step of this has been like pulling teeth. Like pulling teeth while cockroaches run around.

Will all of the time and effort I've put into this process be worth it?

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Pick, Promote. Projects

My self-published novel(s) will release January 14, 2015. I might have been able to get them out sooner, but wanted to be sure I gave myself time to prepare, pick and promote.

Pick: This week I'm choosing fonts for the book text and chapter headings. And deciding what should be in the header and footer. Do I want anything between scene breaks? If so, what? Should every chapter start on the right hand side? What spacing looks good between lines? This part of the process is kind of fun.

Promote: There are so many options, it's hard to know which will work and are worth the time and/or money. Will guesting on blogs garner any readers? How hard will it be to come up with something new to say for each? Some things do need to be planned in advance, because spots fill up. much time should I spend on trying to get them, and in what publications and sites?

Projects: I'm also completing an article for Romance Writers of America's trade magazine and auditioning for VO and on-camera work. I recorded 2 radio commercials, prepared for a short freelance job this weekend, had a call with a newspaper reporter for an upcoming column (more on that later) and might have a photo shoot tomorrow for it.

Somehow I need to make time to work on the next book....