indie publishing

Indie Publishing and the Cursing which Accompanies It

I wonder sometimes, where you are. That’s right. You.

Right now, I mean, as you read this blog entry. It is mid afternoon on a sunny winter day where I am and my office, the one remaining room in my apartment which needs painting is looking unusually cheerful. Primarily because I have reached a milestone in indie publishing.

Are you at a desk in your workplace, surreptitiously giving yourself a break? I hope so. Actually, I hope you are snickering to yourself and trying to hide it so none of your coworkers will notice.

Or maybe you are reading this on your phone as you wait for your children to be released from school. Are you sitting in your car, the sun creating a false sense of warmth as it beams in your windshield?

Or are you, like me, sitting in your home office and wondering how many ball point pens will fit in your tea mug? Twenty three. I tried more but then you can’t pull one out easily which defeats the whole purpose, I find.

I’m not always indolent but this afternoon I feel I deserve a bit of leeway when it comes to mug stuffing. I hadn’t realized when I began the process of morphing into a novelist how much time I would need to devote to learning the mechanics of indie publishing.

But today, I finally completed uploading both Not As Advertised and Hot Pursuit to – wait for it – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and through Draft2Digital a whole bunch of other sites.

This major step in indie publishing required a great deal more cursing than I expected.

However, the potential cursing was infinitely reduced by the resources in David Gaughran’s book Let’s Get Digital. He recommends Guido Henkel’s awesome online guide to formatting for e-publication.  It turns out, mucking around with HTML is liberating. When things go wrong with the process, you have absolutely no doubt it is your own fault, which oddly is a relief. At least you know who to yell at.

Formatting for paperback is another matter entirely. I’m still proofing like crazy, but I can see the end of the tunnel there too. One would think paperback was less significant these days – lots of people get their reading matter electronically. But I can’t describe the lightning bolt of joy which ran through me when I first opened the box from Createspace with proofs of my books.

Rose Grey has written three romance novels and is hard at work on a fourth. If you liked this post, come visit the rest of the blog at Hot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.


Formatting Your E-Book Requires Wine

Indie publishing involves formatting. Ugh.

I was planning to write an erudite assessment of Anne Tyler’s Vinegar Girl, because I have always disliked The Taming of the Shrew. Tyler came up with a charming “doesn’t make you want to throw up” version. But I am not feeling intellectual today. Because I spent the day formatting.

No. Today is a day for glorying in having uploaded three short stories and a revision onto Amazon. While not exactly a philosophical challenge, the process has certainly tested my ability to not hit the laptop with the printer. Until now, I always considered patience one of my strong suits. That was before I met e-book formatting.

If e-book formatting were a man, he would never have a second date with the same woman.

Even the first date would be horrible since he would insist on restarting every five minutes.

“No, no,” he would scold. “Go back to the door and try entering again. This time, swirl your skirt clockwise and try to smile in twelve point font. And for heaven’s sake, make sure you don’t bleed into the gutter.”

Imagine open mike night in front of a sparse crowd of dejected ebook formatters. The bar is dingy, the floor sticky with spilled drinks. Fly paper hangs from the eaves and the glasses of beer are cloudy because the dishwasher is too depressed to rinse thoroughly. And in front, a comedian in stained khaki trousers which reach halfway up his fraying plaid shirt spits out one joke after another.

“Knock, knock. Who’s there? Times. Times who? Times New. Roman.”

“Where’s the best place to find widows and orphans? At the ends of paragraphs.”

“I’ve got a million of them. A million of them, I tell you.”

Rose Grey has written three romance novels and is hard at work on a fourth. If you liked this post, come visit the rest of the blog at Hot Pursuit and Not As Advertised are available as ebooks and as paperbacks online.