Tuesday, March 15, 2011

So, what's going on with the book?

That's a question I keep hearing and I guess it's high time I brought you up to date. 

Last fall I decided to take back control of my book and self-publish. I researched a few self-publishing companies and settled on one called "Create Space", primarily because it's owned by Amazon. Working with them meant that my finished book would be available on Amazon both in printed and e-book format. The printed book would even qualify for their free shipping deal. And because of the Amazon connection, it was clear this was no fly-by-night company that was going to take my money and suddenly disappear. So I signed up, paid my registration fee and hit the first question: What is the title of your book? Uh... Ummm... The entire time I was writing the book, the title was leap. It never occurred to me the word "leap" might be popular with other authors. It is. Very. The word leap is the title, or an integral part of the title, of about a gazillion books. Ugh. Back to the drawing board.

I found choosing a title for my book tougher than choosing a name for each of our sons. A title must be catchy. And relevant. Enticing and interesting. As one person told me: "Your title should tell a prospective reader at a glance what your book is about. You have no more than three seconds to capture someone's interest." Great... For a couple of weeks I drove myself - and most of those around me - crazy. I'd come up with something that I thought worked and no one else would like it. Someone would make a suggestion and I'd hate it. At least three times I thought I'd settled - for good - on something, only to toss it in the trash after a couple of days. In the end it was really simple. What is the book about? My ten year journey with a skinny, pink pig. The title? The Pig and Me. With the tagline: Tired of hearing "you can't", one woman sets out with a pan of brownies and a skinny, pink pig to prove that she can.  Done. Huge relief.

Create Space makes a point of saying that what you send to them is exactly what will be printed. Not just words, but format as well. Terrifying! So I read through the entire manuscript one more time, tweaking here and there. Then I sent it to a copy editor. He went through it and made some changes, so I had to go through it again - deciding whether to accept his changes.  Then I signed on for the formatting service Create Space offers, so they could turn my words into a book. And now, staring up from the table next to my computer is the first printed copy of the formatted manuscript. Waiting not-so-patiently for me to pick it up - with pencil in hand - and read through it one more time

It's been three years - three years - this month since I set my first words down.  If I'm getting tired of this seemingly never-ending project, I can imagine what my family and close friends are feeling. But take heart one and all! The end is, indeed, in sight.

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