I spent much of the weekend thinking about the book. On Monday morning, feeling energized and excited, I settled myself in my favorite chair, grabbed my laptop and dove in headfirst.
The first thing I did was compose and send an email to Reily Foods, the company that bought No Pudge!, to ask permission to use the NP pig on my book cover. An amazing 'who says the Universe doesn't get involved in my life?' aside: I have had virtually no contact with anyone at RF for three years. I've heard through the grapevine that there's been a lot of changes and most of the people who had been there when the sale happened are gone. Then about a month ago, I get an email from a young woman who was given my email address by a mutual acquaintance. She's about to start a new job in the marketing dept at RF and would I be willing to chat with her about NP? Of course I said yes and we had a great conversation. So now that I need a contact there, I have one! Don't you love it when stuff like that happens?
Next, I sent a quick email to the amazing graphic designer who created the NP pig and logo and who, in fact, did all the artwork for NP while I owned it. I haven't seen Lee in a long time, but I can't imagine anyone else designing my cover and I'm really looking forward to catching up, and working, with him again.
I'm now completely fired up, checking things off my 'to-do' list at a rapid rate. I figure I'll have a finished, real, live BOOK in my hands in no time! Watch out book stores and book clubs - here I come!!
Then I hit the CreateSpace website...
CreateSpace is Amazon's self-publishing site. After researching several sites, I chose CreateSpace because, well, it's Amazon. Working with them puts the book on Amazon.com, makes it eligible for "Free Super Saver shipping on orders over $25" (who spends less than $25 on Amazon??) and I can submit it as an eBook so it's available to Kindle and iPad readers. In addition, CreateSpace is a "Publish on Demand" site. That means they only print books as they're ordered, so I won't have to order - or pay for - a whole bunch of books up front. Perfect! I signed up for an account, entered the title (leap), a sub-title and description of the book, chose a size and clicked "Continue". Next screen: "Submission Guidelines: Format your book's interior to the exact final trim size of your book with one text-page per PDF-page. (One PDF-page per page number.)". Okay, I should be able to do that. Then came the warning that the book will print exactly as submitted. Uh oh. Now I'm getting nervous.
I have spent no less than 10 hours trying to make a standard Word doc look like a 5.25 x 8 inch book. Did you realize that all chapters in a book start on an odd page? How about the fact that there's a different header on the even pages than on the odd pages, and no header or page number on chapter title pages or on the blank, even pages at the end of a chapter? Bet you never noticed that there is only one space at the end of a sentence although your typing teacher (yeah, I'm that old) taught you to always put two. To top it all off, my husband and sons replaced my ancient PC with a MacBook Pro for Mother's Day, which was a wonderful gesture, but I am still struggling with the totally different paradigm. Sure, there's Word for the Mac, but it ain't the same as Word on the PC. As I grind my teeth down to nubs and pull out all my hair, I tell myself that I'm learning a ton (who cares???) and I'm saving the cost of having to pay someone to do this for me (necessary). I'm realizing there's no way I will ever make this perfect and yes, I will have to pay someone to do that for me, but if I can get it as close to perfect as possible, the cost will be less.
So back to work I go. I'm also trying to spend a couple of hours at the end of each day doing one final read-through of the manuscript before finding a real copy editor to flush out my grammatical missteps and missed typos. Clearly this process is going to take longer than I thought. But that's okay. As one friend noted, I've taken my power back. And it feels damn good.
Some technical housekeeping: I am hearing that folks are having trouble commenting on a post. I did a test and it worked for me. This is what I did - at the end of the post you want to comment on, click on the word "Comments". If others have already commented, they'll be a number there indicating how many. When the other comments appear, scroll down to the box at the bottom where it says "Post a Comment". Hit the toggle beside "Comment as" and select "Name/URL". Fill in the name you want to appear next to your comment and leave the URL space blank (unless you own a URL you'd like to share). Click "Post Comment" and you should be done. If you are still having problems, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll try to help.