Of Lessons Earned: Notes for the Indy E-Pubber.

Upload day at my house is like Christmas Eve. The wrapping has to be protected from the cat, everyone wants to sneak a peek at the packages, and some of us would much rather drink, hope the power stays on, and text to see if that Uncle Terence made his flight without breaking a hip.

Add to that the pleasure of knowing that today a massive storm is hitting the eastern seaboard, and will probably kill power to anyone who might want to download my book on the eve of it’s release.

Figgers.

It wouldn’t be me if it weren’t ridiculous.

But it’s ready.

Done.

Really, really done.

I’ve said that about 14 times in this process, but each time knew I was missing something. There was some kind of discord that twanged from the base of my spine through to my skull with each text to my formatter, the amazing Dylan Edwards.

But this morning, no twang.

Done.

And thus, the pic of the day:

photo-12

I’ll be wearing out the refresh button in a few hours.

A few lessons learned for those Indy Pubbing for the first time (mostly, so that next time, I go back and read this to stay sane):

~ Amazon and KDP likes Word. It does not play well with Rich Text Format (RTF), and will commit gross Chaos and Buggery with your meticulously edited document. Such as remove italics.

So your characters thoughts become sentences.

THAT is a bad thing.

Imagine the horror.

~Amazon uploading takes TIME. And that TIME will drive you stark raving mad. Your family will threaten divorce, your dog will wonder what she did wrong, and your pants won’t fit. If possible, go do something else. Like hang from the rafters of your basement for as long as you can.

~Listen to your inner writer. They are usually right. If a little voice says “One. More. Proofread”, then do it. Even if it means missing your deadline. Because that voice KNOWS you missed something Important. And when you find it, you’ll squee. Besides, you’re an Indy. It’s YOUR deadline.

~ Word’s Grammar system, in my humble opinion, far surpasses RTF’s grammar scanner. And for that, the writer was most grateful and swollen with exaltation.

As in, it totally saved my A**.

~No one, absolutely NO ONE, understands how difficult it is to force yourself to read your own work for the 23rd time, and find ANOTHER mistake. As an Indy, you must do this to yourself. Imagine staring at the head of a hammer, whacking yourself with it, then realizing you did it wrong. And have to do it again.

47 times.

I had to learn, quite quickly, that the people around you love you, care about you, but will not withstand your cranky because you missed ANOTHER gender switch word in your book.

~ We uploaded To Drown in Sand, then told NO ONE. I bought a copy, threw up, texted Dylan in horror, and we went to work to fix the nightmare. Because Amazon allows editing, re-uploading the Final Copy is a much better idea. The book on your Ereader will tell you things you just can’t see in your computer’s document.

~ Having to switch from a Windows  laptop to an Apple mid-novel is a mixed blessing. MacBooks are for writers. But everything has to start from scratch if you are like me, one of those “I have to go to work and walk the dog and build front steps and raise children” people. Learning new formats is usually done after disasters, as was the case with Sand’s original Amazon upload, and that’s OKAY. Mistakes are how we learn.

~Dealing with the IRS to get an EIN is nowhere near as terrifying as one would expect. The lady on the phone was quite nice.

~ISBN’s are free here in Canada, and that’s just awesome.

~There is NO WAY you will catch every single typo, quotation mark, and extra space. But you must give it 100% to try to. Once you have, then you know you did.

~And then, let it go. It’s Done. Really really done.

Sit back, and stare at the tinsel, watch the kids get nervous, and let the cat sniff the needles and bat the ornaments. You have done the full deal, and earned the right to wait for Release Day.

Which, I think, is so much sweeter than Christmas.

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