Getting close. So close I can taste if. If that would be a normal thing to do with a book, of course.
Wrapping up the odds and ends, formatting. Dotting T’s, crossing I’s… and maybe getting a little punchy in the process. I spent a good part of the past two days trying to decided what I want to do with my ISBN. I know I can’t use the free one and do what I want to do, but then I start looking at options like buying your own, buying blocks… etc.
I’m the frugal sort. I like to buy in bulk. Do I really need a block of 10 numbers? It’s a crapshoot.
My heart sank for a moment today when I read that I needed a separate number for the e-book as well. I think I may have audibly hallucinated some antique cash registers chiming in the distance. I’m not afraid to put a little money out for the product, but I want it to be a reasonable risk/reward. What it comes down to is I want to be prepared, but not over do it.
The short version is, for what I want to do, I don’t need a 2nd ISBN. Bullet dodged, but not easily. Most of the answers fell in the category of well-you-can-if-you-want-but-you-don’t-have-to-but-it-might-be-best…. or not. InterwebFAIL.
I still have a little time to decide but not for long.
What’s the worst that could happen?
June 4, 2013 | Categories: Blog | Tags: author, blog, book, CreateSpace, novel, publishing, writer | Leave a comment
I’ve been in a bullet biting mood.
I unceremoniously sat down this past week to start formatting Houses of the Broken for CreateSpace. I was in the mood, which is something that has not happened for a very long time. ABNA helped me in a few ways. I made it a few rounds, got some good feedback and most importantly… was faced with a deadline to get my stuff together.
It took an hour. No lie.
Well, for the first blush at least. Before I knew it, I had a nicely formatted novel looking document sitting in front of me in Word format. Immediately I learned a few things….
My manuscript program sucks for grammar and spell checking. So does Google Drive. Word is where it’s at. This was a bit disheartening at the time. I’ve been using Scrivener, which I really like for formatting and ease of story organization but good grief… the amount of errors that flashed up on the screen once I copied it in to Word was just plain disconcerting, given it was something I thought I had made a substantial amount of read-thrus on.
I’m not sure how to rationalize my work flow now. I like the way the manuscript program organizes, but if everything ultimately ends up in Word… why waste time going back and forth? It seems like extra busy work .
Very soon we’ll be wrapping up the graphics portion of the document and then it will be proof time! I can’t wait to get a copy in my hot little hands, though I’m sure the minute I open it up I’ll see 20 more glaring mistakes that mysteriously weren’t there the last 30 times I looked.
But it’s getting close… so close I can almost read it.
May 29, 2013 | Categories: Blog | Tags: author, blog, book, CreateSpace, novel, perserverence, publishing, self publishing, writer, writing | Leave a comment
I’ve taken the better part of the day to mull over my thoughts on this morning’s list.
I didn’t make the cut.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was a complex mixture of disappointed, unsurprised, and relieved. In my mind, I made it about as far as I expected/hoped to go. The feedback was fairly positive overall, even my final review. Sure, I’ll wonder why I didn’t make it and why others did. That’s human nature, but really… it doesn’t matter. It was a lesson that gave me nothing to lose.
There is no negative outcome for this, which is the great part. I made it far enough to get some decent feedback, and I didn’t have to pay a cent. Complete strangers told me what my close friends had been trying to get me to believe all along. And I won’t lie, it felt good.
Maybe I was a lucky one, even in losing. I saw some of the reviews that came in… there was some tough loved dished out here and there. I had my critiques, but they weren’t unfounded.
Well… except for the one that said I had a foul mouth. *mwah*
Within 10 minutes of getting the news, I was letting my dear photographer Shane know to put the new book cover on the top of his to-do list. Problem is, I’m too much of a designer and I have a vision for this production. Sure it would have been great to be published, but I have ideas… bigger than just pages and pages of text. I’m not sure I would have taken well to middle management telling me ‘Oh yeah, that’s sweet that you have cover art all worked out, but this is what you’re getting.’ Not for this one, the next one maybe, but not this one.
This one is mine.
April 16, 2013 | Categories: Blog | Tags: abna 2013, amazon, author, blog, book, book competition, novel, paper, perserverence, publishing, writer, writing | 2 Comments
Patience is not one of my virtues. Well, not many things are, but patience is right up the top of the ‘not’ list. I’d even say it’s my #1 non-virtue.
Tomorrow marks the next cut in Amazon’s ABNA 2013. This time it’s the semi-finals. I’m not going to lie, it’s a big cut and it’s a scary one. My odds at this point are 1 in 100. Though technically I think they’re 1 in 95. The unexpected twist (as opposed to the expected twist?) was that today I happened to find that… the Publishers Weekly reviews were posted. Ahead of schedule… BUT… and this is a Sir Mix-a-Lot big kind of but… the cut list doesn’t come out until tomorrow.
So here I am, with a fresh review that I can fixate on, and no clear direction as to my fate. The review was pleasantly pleasant. No outright raving, but no cursing me to a fate of never touching a pen again either. After a month of eager anticipation, I get to wait a little more.
This is how tomorrow likely plays out… I go to work, get my coffee, sit down to check my emails and take a deep breath, nonchalantly going to the ABNA page. I breathe a sigh of expectant semi-relief as I see they’re not there yet.
And then I proceed to refresh the page for 4 more hours… while trying to maintain the illusion of working. Eventually, the page will change, and I will freeze in my tracks, body flushing with anxious anticipation. More than likely, my boss or coworkers will pick this exact moment to ask me a question, or buzz me for a phone call. It will likely be a complicated question involving lots of nitpicky details. I will nod blankly, pretending to acknowledge them, as I click the link for the list, all the time in my head repeating *no whammies no whammies no whammies,* peering through the corner of my eye while I try my best to get them to go away in a speedy manner.
The list won’t be long. I’ll probably have to look a few times, just to be sure. If I’m not there, I’ll check again. If I am there, I’ll check twice, convincing myself that I actually remember how to spell my own name and book title. I will have to print the page out either way, just to be sure.
And then I’ll space out for about 30 minutes. I hope my boss is more virtuous than I am.
April 15, 2013 | Categories: Blog | Tags: abna 2013, amazon, author, book competition, publishing, writer, writing | Leave a comment
In late January I received a shared link from a friend of mine on Facebook about an upcoming novel competition being hosted by Amazon. I had somehow never heard of it before. Scanning the link I realized that the day it started was THAT day.
My manuscript at that point had been edited and read over by others twice, but the compilation of the final edit and formatting had not yet been done. I had been slowly navigating the path of preparation for self-publishing for my first true, full length novel, Houses of the Broken, but I had been taking my time.
The story had sat and brewed in my head for a couple of years before finally deciding to pour itself out on to the page during NaNoWriMo 2011. It wasn’t my first successful NaNo but it was the first one I’d like to actually admit to in the light of day.
There I sat, well over a year later, with a 3/4 edited manuscript in my hands, wondering if I could beat the submission deadline.
I went for it.
One very intense weekend later, I submitted it, pitch and all. I’d never done a pitch before and I agonized over it. “But the suggestions in the instructions aren’t even anything close to the examples of the previous winners…” I lamented over and over to my friends kind enough to listen. My network of very tolerant and supportive friends/critics indulged my madness and offered suggestions as I wrote, and revised, and revised some more, a pitch that would get me through the door. (Not meant to rhyme, I swear… but it may be a good incantation to recite for future pitch-writing sessions…)
I’m proud to say that I am currently a Quarter Finalist in the Mystery/Thriller segment of Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards 2013.
My submission excerpt for Houses of the Broken can be found on Amazon.
I’m thrilled to have made it as far as I have so far, but even if I don’t advance another round, I’m still planning on pursuing the self-publishing route for this piece, and I plan to document some of the highlights (and lowlights) along the way.
In the mean time, check out the Gallery for Houses of the Broken. My very talented friend, Shane Montross, worked along with me as I wrote the novel, shooting an image every day for the content I had written the day before. You can find Shane Montross Photography here.
Until the next deadline I wait, and I write.
March 25, 2013 | Categories: Blog | Tags: book, novel, photographs, publishing, writing | 3 Comments