Saturday, April 25, 2015

Oops… I Did it Again...

When I published historical thriller The Vesuvius Isotope, I swore I would be smarter next time. I would allow *plenty* of time between editing and the launch party to take care of the details… the cover art, the formatting, the revised cover art, the revised formatting, the monstrous self-publishing checklist for first-time authors and the monstrous self-publishing checklist for second-time authors. I thought I had done this. I was SO wrong!

As it turns out, I had forgotten just how long artwork and formatting take to perfect. Especially if you've outsourced your formatting, as I have, and you have to spend a lot of time biting your nails while waiting for that next draft to come back instead of being able to control it yourself (this is a clear advantage for self-formatters.) So here I am: It's April 25, The Death Row Complex is still being formatted, the launch party is June 6, my editor has already bought plane tickets, my husband has already planned to reserve the restaurant for the event, and my best friend is moving to Hawaii the next day. So I really hope there are books by then!

Here are the financial implications of this mistake:

1) Because I'm now formatting and editing at the same time, which I swear I wouldn't do, I pay $1 per edit to the formatter for things that are "edits" and not "formatting changes." This adds up quickly. Ouch!

2) Because I'm going to be slammed for time to get the print books in my hand, I'll probably be paying exorbitant shipping costs. Meaning, even more exorbitant than they already are. Double ouch!

3) If I don't pull it together and convince myself that the books will be ready, I get to reschedule the launch party, pay for my editor's change of flight, and cry a bit about lost wages in the restaurant caused by rescheduling. (Do you see the irony of this? We're paying to close the restaurant for the launch party, and part of our income to pay for this comes from said restaurant… hehe… ) Thank God I have a day job.

So, please, readers and self: don't do this. Don't do this again. Instead, do the following:

1) Remember that formatting takes at least a month.
2) Read your book, ALL THE WAY THROUGH, three more times after editing and BEFORE you submit it to the formatter.
3) Remember that back-cover art won't be done until after the formatted manuscript is in (because the print book cover is made as one file which takes the final page count into account.) So the cover art will NOT be finished until after the formatting is done.
4) If you're tempted to think that a couple months is enough time for final editing, formatting, and printing, smack yourself upside the head.

That is all!

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