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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Update: The Horror...

I'm working on uploading my little short story to Smashwords, in, hopefully, the premuim listing. After a few days of "WHAT?!?! type stuff I decided there was too much of a learning and sidebar issue curve to take the time to do it and I opted to enlist someone's help. Thanks God for social media, I found someone who works for, or is, a publisher and she says she'll format and upload it for me for $25.
Works for me.
I have enough tech skills and experience to learn this stuff, it's mostly figuring out Word,  then adjusting the way Word displays and then being able to adjust the "settings" for the appearance of the piece when it's splashed onto the Smashwords page. Otherwise known as formatting. I cannot imagine doing this with an 80K word story. No way.
Here's the thing, and this is something for YOU to think about too. We've all heard the phrase that speaks to, "picking our battles", right? For me it's the same thing and that reality has been graphically brought home to me having spent 3 days trying to master the process of upload and tweaking and photo adjustment and a bunch of other stuff my ego wouldn't let me let go of. If I told you how many hours a day I spend, already, on the computer, or netbook(on my nightstand in my room), or laptop or iPhone(if I'm outside or in the bathroom or at Target) you might not believe it. I don't mind, in fact I love learning, but some things just don't ring my bell. Like formatting and book covers.
Excuses?
Look, I don't give a damn, I'll do what I 'gotta' do to pull this off but again PICK YOUR BATTLES.
 My point is that I'm prioritizing my time, I have to and so do you. I was absent the day someone etched in stone the imperative to learn Word so I use Works and Notepad to tweak and layout my stuff, even when I was blogging to a million or more people. It irks me that Word becomes so invasive to my system and that it costs so much.

I focus on the two peak things I need to do, every day. Write and Network. I put in biz class high speed Wi-Fi in the house. Speed, capacity and access. And, YES I actually keep in touch with the people I follow, bloggers and writers, reviewers and readers and people I just want to follow(THIS is why SPEED is paramount, both download AND UPLOAD). Learning the craft of writing came behind my blogging and radio stuff because I could do those things on the fly. I traveled for almost 3 years nonstop. Almost a year later I'm still feeling the effects of 20 hour days for 3 years, with little time or energy to write during it all.
Writing on a high level is very serious business, I'm sure you know this but I'm just saying - I take it seriously and am working on it all the time and it takes a LOT of time. So, I'm sure you too make choices, every day about all kinds of things on a lot of levels. Self publishing means self promotion and that means WORK. Building a "platform"(I'm still not sure what that means and I don't think anyone else does either even though you see it used all the time) or network, is a major element and will take time to build and maintain.
Anyway I think you get the point.
Evaluate, re-evaluate and focus on the elements you need to, stay flexible, loose and know it's a blessing for anyone in the publishing industry to give you the time of day and a miracle for someone to take an interest in you.
Technology is the horse you rode in on, nothing more.

The HORROR of it all hits me when I look back and realize I should have spent my time more wisely on the things that matter most to me at this point in the struggle. It's about WRITING  and PEOPLE.


YOU KNOW WHERE TO FIND ME....


LUVU

9 comments:

Miranda Hardy said...

Wow! I knew formatting was a horror, and I'm really not looking forward to it. I do, however, look forward to the end result of seeing my book availabe. Marketing is so vital these days.

Gold Coast Writer Group said...

Hi Miranda,
Firstly, I want to make clear that I'm not rying to discourage anyone from doing their own formatting and seeing their book on one of the ebook sites. I intend to do the same however for me I'm more inclined to building my network and focussing on writing as well as some of my friends who are on the bestseller lists. You'll see, networking or marketing, whatever term you choose is a big part of any writers success, even if you have a major traditional publishing deal. Just ask James Rollins, Jenna Blum or Michael Connelly. For self published authors it's even more critical and this is what I was trying to say. Maintaining the network I have takes a lot of time and it's growing every day. It's rewarding but labor intensive. Writers will soon realize, many already do, that they need to manage their time when it comes to the steps needed to, not just find the time to, write but the other aspects of the 21st writers field of action. There are no precedents set yet but it's like the wild west in a sense but becoming more clear quickly what works and what doesn't.
Editors are vital too and I'll be writing about that as I go through that process.
Don't be discouraged by what I wrote, it's a horror to me because it takes a lot of time to format and I'm unwilling to give up that much. That's all. Thanks for the comment. See you on Twitter! Daniel

Daniel Audet said...

Also, it was supposed to say 21st Century Writer, not just 21st, in the post. Plus I wanted to add my thoughts on the many awesome and talented pros in this industry, many of whom are vital to our progress and success. An entire industry of formatters and marketers is developing quickly and I love that.

tapestryofgrace said...

Fair warning... I have a graphic artist/number-one-fan/youngest son doing my formatting for me now, but I can see it might be worth my while to explore this territory BEFORE I commit to it...

tapestryofgrace said...

Thanks for the warning! Let me go check out the learning curve BEFORE committing...

Daniel Audet said...

Hi TOG, it's great if you can get it done in-house, the longer stuff being formatted for, say Smashwords, who will then put it up on the other ebook sites, it's matter of syncing Word with the background action in the file, depending on where you wrote it. They recommend putting it in Notepad to remove some text box issues Word has, and a few other things, 27 steps to be exact, that I'm sure anyone needs to do no matter who does it. Again I'm just not going to mess with it because it's a time thing and I simply just don't want to do it. My cover art will be done by a pro too, and like I said Thank God for people who do this stuff....

Doreen McGettigan said...

I totally agree with you if something takes me longer than an hour (tech wise) to figure out I have a go to tech person. It is just too frustrating and it does take away from writing and of course affects the mood to write.
http://www.doreenmcgettigan.com

Daniel Audet said...

Hi Doreen.
Right. That was my point. It wasn't to discourage others from trying to do this stuff. I've heard from many who have succeeded. However again, for me it's always a matter of time management and I was telling other writers who may be trying to build a "platform" or network just how much time and effort that alone will take, and, as you mentioned, the writing, is the centerpiece of our time, as writers. Being a techie with little exp. or interest in Word it may have appeared absurd for me to have difficulty and after a day or two I realized the problems were not all in my knowledge but the incongruous cross application and program issues for writing anything and pushing it out there. This was what I strongly bucked at. I want a program, essentially a writers program, although ad and copywriters could use it too, with drop in text and one click multi format and cross platform capability. The coder/programmer types I know feel it could be easily done if and when someone makes the effort. If I get my mits on the $$ I will fund it myself.(dream on.....) Anyway - Thanks for the comment!

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