A Baby Without a Belly Button

Reading List

The more I delve and read, the more delving and reading I seem to need.

The last few weeks I’ve scoured blogs and websites looking for a cover art designer, and chose 99designs. I really like the concept of (hopefully) having several artists submit their ideas for my cover. It seems to boost their careers as well. It’s very much a joint venture, isn’t it? Our books greatly rely on our artists, because if the cover is crap, no one will want to read our words. Books are very much judged by their cover. We may be readers, but we’re pretty damn visual first.

My entry into 99Designs is going to be delayed for a bit longer, though. I read over and over about having the mindset of self-publishing as a business, yet I was pretty ignorant on what that entailed. Not to complain, I’m seriously thrilled about what I’ve learned in the last two days.

I browsed through some completed book covers on 99designs, and was pretty depressed about the fact that my self-published novel won’t have an actual publisher stamp on the back. It’s like a baby without a belly button. My goddess of writing muse then shoved me into a link about really making self-publishing into a business. Literally.

There are so many lightbulbs glowing over my head right now. I’m terrified to death but shaking with excitement. This is pretty damn awesome. Instantly, I knew what my publishing company name should be, and drew a logo I’m proud of- and a second one this morning that I like even more. Before I rush off to the clerk’s office to make it official, I’m tapping into that business mentality and sitting on it to ensure it’s something I’ll always be proud of and like. This, however, delays the cover art as I want that publishing name and my logo stamped on my books.

It’s like planning a quilt and everything is chaos and confusion until it all just fits. Don’t quite like the chaos and panic part of the process, but I do absolutely love that moment where things click. Huge sun-size lightbulbs of brightness.

As for a business, I have my business plan and am likewise keeping a careful eye on budgeting. Money sucks. Well, lack of money sucks. I really want a professional edit. It is number one on my list. It’s a pretty sizable book that I’ve written largely in spurts of free time over the years. I know it more thoroughly than in and out, because I know all the parts I changed and deleted and the answers and explanations that will come in the following books to make it complete. I don’t have guinea pig people to read it through for me to tell me that it makes sense to them. Or give me some needed encouragement about the soul of the story.

However, editing will be at least $2000, which is money I do not have. Three months of unemployment is detrimental to finances and budgets, and after a month at the new job, finally got my first paycheck this week. Putting out that amount of money right now is fraying my nerves.

There’s also the publishing ‘company’ registration fees (scared to look that up), the absolutely necessary professional-grade cover design for the book ($250-400, which is cheap), and then the preferable interior design (@$200), which is now low on the totem pole. I’m currently trying the DIY method with free templates, though my eyes are on the paid templates for sale at The Book Designer (another $107 for multiple book licensing and e-book formating).

Joel Friedman also provides consultations to help authors plan the best route for their particular book. Would be so nice to have something of a mentor, even for 90 minutes. ($200).

I started reading his book about Why/If you should self publish. He asks some pretty hard questions. Can’t do the phone consult, so I’ll make this metaphorical one work. I made myself rethink this whole path, question my reasonings and wonder if maybe I should send out those queries and go traditional….while still pursuing the indie route. If agenting works, I’d get my editor, my reviewers, my marketing done by someone else.

In the end, though, it’ll really only get me an editor. The marketing will still rely on me, plus I’d give up the majority of the rights to my own book, make next to nothing on sales, and have no say-so in all the other important stuff, like what content is kept, my title, my cover, etc.

Arrived happily at the conclusion that my feet are firmly planted in self-publishing.

It’s the same feeling as knowing I can never work in private practice again. By stepping away from traditional veterinary medicine, I have become immensely more happy and have fallen in love with being a tech once again. It’s pushed me well out of my comfort zone, is throwing more certifications and different skills and requirements my way. But, I’m happier.

Thank all things holy for that, though, as it’s allowing me to draw a parallel.

This last week has been spent in the world of typesetting, formating, changing margins and measuring other books to see what size my printed one should be, making page and section breaks (completely new to me!), messing with footers, and exploring fonts on FontSquirrel.com. Plus reading tons of blogs, reference articles on CreateSpace.com, and many many of Joel Friedman’s articles. I missed the perfect online class he hosted earlier this month so signed up to his RSS feed. Also uploaded three new Self-Publishing how to books on my Kindle, thereby throwing aside the really long, dragging historical novel I’d been trying to get through.

I debated my author name and by Facebook vote, decided. Thanks, M! Also just bought my domain name on WordPress (with the privacy upgrade). Yay!

Heavily productive week! Thankfully my job-related exam got pushed into the future. Thankfully the sun decided to show up again. It’s warm(ish), and the boys have been playing outside rather than sitting on my bed giving me their sad, ‘we’re being neglected’ looks. But I’ve been able to involve them more and explain what I’m doing, which I can’t when I’m writing. Not kid-friendly.

My next installment of ‘Him’ will be delayed. He’s not happy about that but knows that Lira’s story comes first anyway.

Stay tuned!

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