Thursday, March 28, 2013

There is Light at The End of The Tunnel

There is so much we have to do to get the book ready for publishing that my head is swimming. We have to finish the edits, the blurb, edit the acknowledgements, finish the cover, set it all up for formatting, decide which direction we are going in for publishing, and write something about us, the writers. I think that's everything, oh and figure out who will be doing the printing for the paperback version. I do have to call Amazon today and find out how all this works. 

Yes, lots to do to self-pub, but I do believe, all worth it in the end. I have recently read several stories of people that made very little traditional publishing, I'm glad I chose this route. 

True, you have to do it all yourself, but this way, you make sure it's done the way you want it. I consider that worth it. At least after the first time, it will be easier the next, kinda like writing it, too!

The novella is moving much faster than the first book did. I know, it's a shorter read, but even the revisions and critiques are moving faster. It's nice to have the knowledge a head of time, instead of learning creative writing as you are writing a novel. Now we will have more time to get to the second book in the series. I'm very excited to see what's going to happen in Djenrye!

There is one exciting reprieve though, The Game of Thrones new series starts this weekend! I can't wait! I am very excited to see the newest adaption of my favorite book series come to life. Although they are dark books, they are written wonderfully. I love how he brings you into the world and the characters are so lifelike. I am really looking forward to the sixth book in the series. 

Actually, his books really helped me in writing Fable. The character building and scenes. The sword fighting and spurring my imagination. Of course, there are other series that has helped also, Harry Potter, and Lord of The Rings, and the Eyes of Crow series. But something about the way George R R Martin wrote that captured me the most. 

Anyway, back to reality. Fable is moving right along. We are at chapter 27 in the edits, only 12 more to go. We meet with Mikey this weekend on the cover design, and now it is all slowly flowing together. The light at the end of the tunnel is so close now I can almost touch it!

As we move along in out writing endeavor, I will keep you up to date. I appreciate all of you, you are so supportive. It won't be long now and I can announce the book is launched. I can't wait to see what all of you think of the novel and if you liked it. ( I think you will!)

Until Monday, I hope your weekend is great and don't forget to leave me a comment, the contest for the Starbucks card is still on! The more comments you write, the more times your name goes in the hat! Plus, I love interacting with you and reading your thoughts!

Have a good one, Lisa

15 comments:

  1. Very busy here is the word.

    I don't know if you checked Amazon's site, but they offer some good walk through details about how the process works for them. There are also some helpful videos. It's been a couple years since I looked at these for a writer friend, but I would assume all the info is there. Calling them might be pretty difficult.

    Good luck!

    Also a past A to Z participant who's had her A to Z theme from 2 years ago expanded into a book signed with a publisher. I checked that site briefly last night and liked the way they presented their plan--haven't run across others who present everything so openly, but I'm sure there are some. Check out the site for CrossLink Publishing. They have a copy of their author contract and many other helpful hints. What I looked at seemed interesting.

    Lee
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh and by the way, I wasn't suggesting Crosslink Publishing as a publisher for your book--I don't think it fits what they do--but I just thought their site provided a good model with some good info.

    Just wanted to clarify that.

    Lee
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Lee, and thanks for the info. I did talk to a writer friend of mine and she had called Amazon to get help and said they did answer and they did help her a lot. I guess we will see what happens lol!

    ReplyDelete
  4. In my not-so-humble opinion, CreateSpace is your best bet for printing, especially since it's your first book. In the future, if you continue putting out 2-3 books in a year, then Lightning Source would be a better idea, especially if you find yourself in a position where one print proof is all you need and there are no changes you need to make afterwards (since it costs big bucks with Lightning Source). CreateSpace is much cheaper when it comes to print proofs (the proofs only cost a few bucks, depending on the length of the book, last I checked).

    Amazon's online help for CreateSpace is remarkably good and well detailed. It explains a great deal, and I'm available to answer any other questions. I can think of some major issues right off the top of my head that typically need to be addressed.

    Firstly, the interior of the book should be designed in InDesign and exported as high-quality print-read PDF. It can technically be done it Word, but there are some hyphenation and justification issues that Word just can't handle properly. I have a copy of InDesign I can do it in if you can't find anyone else. I don't know if BookBaby does print interiors. To the best of my recollection, the page should be set up to whatever you trim size is going to be (for long-ish novels, I recommend 6" x 9" to keep the price competitive). I'm certain it specifies somewhere on the site and I can look into it further if you want, just to be sure (and I would obviously look into it if you wanted me to do it).

    Since it's fiction, you should use cream paper (never use white for fiction; it looks unprofessional), which means the spine width will be 0.0025" times the number of pages. To avoid having to change the cover wraparound, it is strongly advised to typeset the book and finalize that prior to cover design.

    The cover will need to abide by the following specifications: The width of the cover will be the trim size width (6" in the case of a 6" x 9"), plus the width of the spine, plus a quarter-inch bleed on either side. The height will be the trim size (9", for example) plus a quarter-inch bleed on top and bottom, so a total of 9.5". On the spine, no text or other important elements should fall within 0.0625" of either edge of the spine, as binding is imperfect and there's always the chance of that eighth of an inch. No text elements should fall within the first quarter of an inch (not including the bleeds) of the front or back covers. That's the text safety area. So the entire spread, including the bleeds, the text safety area is a full half-inch from each edge.

    I'd also recommend that the cover be done in InDesign or another layout program. The art can be done however it's done, but the cover should be laid out properly per CreateSpace's specifications, once the final page count is reached. CreateSpace provides templates for the cover. I've never found following them as easy as they should be, but right now I'm following WMG Publishing's advice on their covers, so I know the specifications without needing the template.

    Oh, and the barcode. CreateSpace is rather kindly in that it provides a barcode. The barcode should be placed as a 2" (tall) x 1.2" (wide) white box with its lower right corner positioned at 0.25" from the spine and 0.25" from the bottom trim line.

    Anything else, just ask. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That should say 2 inches wide and 1.2 inches tall for the barcode. My brain apparently doesn't work before noon.

      Delete
  5. Oh, and when your cover designer does up the cover, make sure he produces a black and white (solid) version of the title and the author name from the front cover. They should be saved as an EPS, AI, or PDF to be reused in the interior for the cover page (or half-title, depending on what style you're aiming for). It looks more professional to have the same text treatment on the interior as on the exterior or the book, and having it in vector format avoids any issues wherein the cover designer and interior designer have different fonts at their disposal (or if a custom type is produced).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ryan, so let me get this straight. I need to have two different companies formatting my book. One for the ebook and one for the paperback. Now, after this is done, how do you get it on Amazon, have print on demand, and have 100 books printed and sent to me for whomever I want to sell them to, of for launch parties, ect..? According to Bookbaby, the do the fomatting for the ebook and will get them on sites to sell, including the ISBN number. They will print out the 100 books and send them to me, I'm not sure how good the quality will be, but they don't do the print on demand. This is why I'm not really sure the best route to take. Let me know. My email is lisafender8160@gmail if it's easier to talk that way. Thanks for all the above info.

    ReplyDelete
  7. E-mail is easier, but I feel this is useful information for anyone else who might be in the process of publishing a book.

    E-books and print books require two very different skill sets with regard to interior design. They both stem from design knowledge, but one is uses typical design software (InDesign being the industry standard; it's bloated and slow but does a damned good job) while the other uses web design skills. E-book formats are derivatives of HTML. Knowledge of some programming language or another helps there, too, but is not required.

    There are some of us who happen to be well versed in both. The only company I can think of off the top of my head that does both is the one Kris Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith always mention, and that's Lucky Bat Books. They do line editing, copy editing, proofreading, e-book and print interiors, book covers, and book art. They even do PR, though I've never considered that particularly effective.

    E-book formats are typically epub and mobi. Mobi is for Amazon. Epub is for everyone else (Sony, Apple, Kobo, Diesel, Blio, Barnes & Noble, etc. etc.). Then there's the outlier that is Smashwords, which takes a Microsoft Word Document, which is usually extra work for us designers, since no efficient workflow for clean e-book production includes MS Word at any point in time. From HTML you can do epub and mobi, so there's no reason to go sticking it into MS Word at some point. But I do that, too. The most money-conscious route, alas, involves getting an account with Kobo, B&N, Smashwords, and Amazon KDP, uploading the respective files and filling in the respective information. Smashwords is handy, since it can reach Apple without needing a Mac (though if you have a Mac, I recommend going direct). It also reaches Sony and a few fringe publishers. B&N for us non-USians. Although Draft2Digital now exists, and that reaches B&N and Apple as well and does a better job of it, so I use that for my new books (and will eventually bring my old ones to it). Sony, D2D will offer Sony as well, which makes them incredibly handy. To improve matters, between Smashwords and D2D, the only e-bookstore that still requires ISBNs is Sony. Hopefully, with D2D, that will soon change. It's nice to not have to waste and ISBN on e-books. But by using Smashwords, you eliminate the need to buy an ISBN, as they provide free ones. Draft2Digital will handle the others without needing to use an ISBN.

    Once you have a print-ready PDF for CreateSpace, it's simply a matter of logging into CreateSpace, plugging in all of the book details, uploading the interior, uploading the cover, setting the price and description, choosing your sales channels (and paying $25 to reach Amazon.com and make you book available for distribution to book stores). Dean Wesley Smith and Kris Rusch's new Ella Distribution will come in handy in the future as a means of reaching independent bookstores and the like.

    From CreateSpace, you can order any number of books and have them shipped wherever you wish. So if you want to send it to someone who has paid you in advance, you'd select the number of books and then choose their address for shipping. If you're preparing a book launch, or pick how many books you want and plug in your address, and they ship those books there. You can order as few was 1 book. The alternative would be finding a short-run book printer for book launches. It would probably be more cost effective, but the different would be marginal and you wouldn't be guaranteed the same quality. CreateSpace will also provide a free ISBN, if I recall correctly. I admit I'm uncertain on that as ISBNs are free in Canada so I have no need for a free ISBN with CreateSpace's name as publisher.

    I think that covered all of your questions, if not, let me know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WOW! Again, I'm overwhelmed! I hate this kind of stuff! I will show all of this to Mike and my sister. I know that Mike has done this before for another book cover he did. My sister understands this a little bit more than me, but that's because she understands computer lingo lol! I do understand a lot of it, but i don't want to do it. I want someone to do it for me!

      Delete
    2. What can I say? It /is/ overwhelming. When it's all tossed at you all at once, it can be horrifying. I just know all of this stuff because when I'm not writing, I'm studying all of this stuff. It gives me something to do that isn't writing (though I really should write more). Read Smith and Rusch if you don't already. They are invaluable, particularly the Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing series. And the Think Like a Publisher series. Invaluable.

      I love it all as far as the creative stuff goes (covers, interiors). The other business tedium ... I could live without. Do I want someone to do all of this for me? Sure. When I have the money to pay someone to do everything I can do as well or better than I can do it, then I certainly will. Until then, I'll just do it myself. And if I end up doing it for some other people along the way, so be it. A good way to make extra cash.

      Delete
  8. Looks like you have some great advice here, Lisa. All the best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks jagoda, and if you have anything to add, i am all ears!

      Delete
  9. Lisa, this sounds like a lot of work, so take good notes in case I need them. I'm gonna have to copy all Ryan's lovely information off to keep handy. Wow!

    I'm so excited!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes it does! You know me, I get overwhelmed with it too! I'm excited also!

      Delete