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It's a start ...

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

This is my very first blog entry. It’s very exciting! I feel so grown up. You may ask why I decided to take such a drastic measure. I’ll try to answer.

When I wrote my first book, Did I Say That Out Loud? Ramblings in Retirement I decided to self publish it for a couple of reasons. First, I didn’t know anything about how to find a publisher and when I did a bunch of research on it, I realized it could be years before it would actually be published. Plus there was lots of legal junk involved which made my eyes roll back in my head in no time, not to mention all the rejection I could be facing as each publisher sent me a letter saying they weren’t interested. No thank you.

Second, I’m kinda lazy. Depending on the publisher, the requirements for submitting a publishing proposal was different and all over the place. Send a one page letter explaining your book. Send a one page letter explaining your book with a one page sample of your writing. Send the first chapter of your book. Send any chapter of your book with a synopsis in 25 words or less about your book. And on and on. I wrote a dang book and now you want me to write more? Nah.

Third, and most importantly, I wanted to see what my book would look like and waiting for a publisher was not going to cut it. Patience is not my middle name.

So, I got onto CreateSpace and began the long and tedious and frustrating process of creating my own book. So many details. So many rules. So much to learn. Terms I’d never associated with books came at me like a typhoon. Gutters. Bleeding. Pagination. Use a template. Don’t use a template. I am somewhat competent with Word but I was out of my league building a table of contents with automatic page numbering or creating headers with associated chapter titles.

There were a lot of moments when I wanted to throw my computer out the window.

The devil is in the details is where I almost lost my mind. I thought inserting 25 short stories into a Word document was all I had to do. WRONG. I had to create a title page, a copyright and ISBN number page, a dedication page, and acknowledgement page, and an about the author page. Then I had to create a cover. Who thinks about this stuff when they say, hey, I’m going to write a book? Now I know why most people get publishers….

But, I gutted it out and learned a lot of things about myself. And the computer. The strategy that worked the best was, when frustrated and feeling like my head would explode, PUT THE COMPUTER DOWN AND WALK AWAY. For whatever reason, when I would come back to it, whatever it was that had made me crazy would somehow resolve itself.

Another great strategy was to ask for help. Google is my best friend. If I were to ever have another child, I might think about naming him or her Google. Fortunately for said child, I’m too old to get pregnant. Crisis averted.

Now, let’s skip ahead to when I sent the book into CreateSpace as a ‘finished’ product. I followed the directions perfectly. Convert document to a PDF. Done. Upload file to CreateSpace. Done. Wait, what? What do you mean the file is too big? This was about to be my moment! Long story short, I copied the files onto a thumb drive and trudged down to the community library where they have a much faster and efficient internet. I logged in, hit upload and zoom! Success!

Within 24 hours I had an email from CreateSpace saying I needed to fix some things and then upload it again. This roller coaster of emotions was kicking my fanny. I did what it told me to do. The next message from them was much more positive, how many copies of the draft do you want? Eeeeekkkkk! I danced around the library and ordered 2.

I don’t think I could sufficiently describe how it felt to open the mailing envelope and see my book for the first time. I wrote a book. I wrote a book! I wrote a book!!!!!!!! I’m an author. Wow. Wow!

In my next blog, I will finish this story. Unless something more interesting comes up. If you decide you want to write a book, and I believe everyone has the ability to do it, don’t ask me for help because I might throw your computer out the window…..

Rats, I just realized I didn’t explain why I started a blog. Oh well, another time.

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