This is not a post that will teach you all sorts of wonderful things. This is a lament to make you all feel better, because it shows you that somebody else goes through the same epic battle as you do throughout every step of the self-publishing trek. In this case, the obstacle is keeping track of manuscripts during the publication process.
It all started when I went into the hospital for minor (and I emphasize the “minor” part) leg surgery, and made the mistake of allowing my wife, Linda, to stay with me while I had the pre-surgery chat with the surgeon. You know, the one where he writes a big arrow on the appropriate leg and signs it with a felt pen, just to avoid mistakes. But my mistake was letting Linda hear what he had to say about how long I was supposed to take to rehabilitate myself. Continue reading “Organizing Multiple Manuscript Versions for Publication”
This past fall I published a self-publishing book. It looked great on my computer screen. The formatting was perfect; my spacing, indents, page breaks, etc., were all exactly where they needed to be, so I uploaded to Kindle Direct Publishing feeling pretty confident my preview in their online previewer would be error-free.
Boy, was I wrong. My paragraph indents were completely off. Some were indented too far, some not enough, and some just plain missing.
I went back to my manuscript and clicked on the pilcrow (the little paragraph symbol on the tool bar that shows all the formatting in your manuscript). Everything looked fine. Telling myself it must have been an issue on KDP’s end, I uploaded again.
I clicked through the various preview screens. On some devices, the formatting was good. On others, it was clearly off. I couldn’t possibly upload a book that was going to have lousy formatting on half the devices that downloaded it.
The message from my editor was polite but clear. What I had sent her, in the single-spaced Pages format as multiple attachments, broadcast exactly what she would be dealing with if I became her client: A wet behind the ears newbie who had a lot to learn. In fact, I needed to learn everything at an accelerated pace because the book was ready for a professional look, and perhaps a professional polish.
I left my computer on that night hoping that in the morning, much like the millers’ daughter in “Rumpelstiltskin” I would find my document in the professional format I could send off to editor heaven. Alas, when I awoke the next morning my computer was as I had left it, awaiting my colorful vocabulary as I begged it to help me. Continue reading “Lessons Learned by Lois Lewandowski”