Today was supposed to be my publication date for The Crown in the Heather (The Bruce Trilogy: Book I), but, but . . .
No, no, put away the tiny violins. All's fine. I suppose it's like learning anything new, you can't foresee all that may possibly slow you down. Even if you do know the steps to take, 'stuff' just happens. At the moment, I'm waiting for my significant other to bring home my flash drive so I can correct a spacing/section break problem in my Word Document, which he is attempting to convert to a pdf at work for me. He can't e-mail it to me so I can correct it in 30 seconds because - even though we now have satellite internet, Glory Halelujah! - this computer doesn't run Word 2007, which the-document-that-will-become-my-book is in.
Before that, a sinus infection knocked me on my back for almost two weeks. I'm not one to sack out on the couch at noon, but that's pretty much what I did for over a week while Thor hammered at my cheekbones and icicles of pain stabbed at my eyeballs. Ten days of horsepills and I'm back to normal, relatively speaking. And before that, I had to re-format my book from a 5.25" X 8" to a 6" X 9" size due to one ancient computer and one newer one not speaking the same language - bad computers. Fortunately that turned out for the better, as it gave me more room to play with in the margins, although it did bump my schedule back a few days.
Anywho, I've faxed my final forms to Lightning Source, the POD printer; my full cover and imprint logo have been completed by the fabulous graphic artist Lance Ganey; and, as soon as I get the wrinkles ironed out of this pdf file for the actual book interior, publication will be imminent. Or at least that's the plan.
All these little glitches have made me realize that one thing that probably keeps many writers from independently publishing is that there are soooo many steps to the entire process, especially if you're an OCD control freak like me and you insist on doing 90% of it yourself. But don't let me scare you aware, because it really is fun. Seriously. Yes, the learning curve can be steep, but you do gain knowledge that you can share with others. I can't even begin to express my gratitude toward some of my fellow authors (Ali Cooper, Pd Allen and Lisa Hinsley) who've answered questions about the minutia of the process for me.
Despite all the work and decision-making that go into creating your own book - from the first blank page to the finished product - it is an absolute thrill to know that all the choices were yours, even when others helped to edit or design it. As I step past the occasional roadblock that presents itself and move toward my publication date, a little bubble of excitement wells up inside my chest. And when I can't stand waiting a second longer, I just go look at my pretty cover and think of how fantastic it will look on Amazon.com next month.
So if you're thinking of going this route yourself, but have no clue how or where to start, read and listen for awhile, ask questions and then just start somewhere. You'll get there eventually.