Monday, August 25, 2014

Calling it a Day

That's all folks! This last book is my swan song. 

Writing it was not the issue. Rewriting, correcting, and editing were not the issues - thanks to an editor and friends who generously gave their time to assist. It just became a fussy two year old who did not want to go to bed.

When you publish books (self publish) you use templates so that your manuscript is ready for publication once it is sent in. There are separate ones for eBooks and paperbacks. Naturally Amazon has a format for their books so they cannot be copied and most other sources use another format. Once your have your "book" ready, putting it into the template is generally not difficult.

I work with the ebook first because it is the easiest and the fastest to get out. eBooks have no page numbers, headers, or footers - just the text with the chapters. With Amazon once you send it to them, they run it through their "magic reviewer" and it spits it out with a notice of any spelling and/or grammatical errors that need to be corrected. (ie the word "Geechee" is not recognized). You make those changes and off she goes. In 12-24 hours you book is live and in color listed on Amazon. Any corrections you want to make after that can be made and the corrected copy will be available withing 12 hours (usually).

The paperback is a little more complicated. The format has page number, headers, footers, and the pagination that have to be set so that the dedication falls on the correct page, each chapter begins on the correct page, etc. Of course, unlike the ebook that simply has a jpg of the cover, the paperback has to have a formatted cover, front and back.

That "interior" or draft is sent in for review. In 24 hours it is sent back with any comments about grammatical and/or formatting errors that need  to be corrected. Those are made and it is refiled. After this round robin, it is finally accepted and it is online and available at Amazon within 24 hours.

Everything was going swimmingly until I awoke one night in a cold sweat and remembered that one name had not been changed to protect the innocent. I immediately corrected the ebook and resubmitted it. Only so many copies had gone out with that "glitch". 

I got the first review of the paperback yesterday saying all the headers and footers were incorrect. In looking back over it, I had to figure out some codes in Word that Microsoft hid (perhaps in fear the KGB may find them). After an hour or two of frustration, those were corrected, I reviewed the draft and resubmitted it.

This morning I received the "final" draft for my review before it was published. I read through it. For some reason the word spacing on many pages was wrong. So I once again went through the draft, line by line, checking the spacing to see what extra spaces (that one cannot see with the naked eye) were there and what lines were not justified. I finished that and sent it off.

When it comes back for the final "final" review - it will go out for good. This is more than I can handle. If I were writing bestsellers that would allow me to lounge and eat bon bons all day, then it would be worth it. Whatever benefit comes from this endeavor it never remotely equals the time, sweat, and effort that goes into it. But years ago I said I was going to write a book. Now I have. Check that one off the great list list of life.

Now on to the next item: dinner with Liam Neeson.

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