Mounting anxiety

The end of Love or Lust is in sight. Saturday is on the horizon. I feel sick to my stomach.

Publishing a book is quite easy, from a technical standpoint. I could have done it a year ago today. I had the book typed, and myriad places would have taken a PDF or DOC file. But, that’s not good.

First there’s editing. My but what a knock to the ego to see all those mistakes! And even the technically good sentences and paragraphs that leave you thinking, Good God! What in Hell was I thinking?!

Once that’s done, the paranoid among us must proofread it again, and the perfectionists among us (sadly, that’s me – I’m lazy out of self defence, once I elect to do something …) can’t just look for spelling errors, we must reread the text and tweak dialogue and word choice.

Somewhere in here is agonising if you wish to publish this yourself or give it over to another to do. If you elect the agented route you have the headache of query letters and heartbreak of rejection after rejection – or increasingly more popular, no response whatsoever (silent rejection). Should you luck into an agent (or unluck, depending one’s philosophy at this juncture) there’s the agony of waiting while she (ever notice how many agents are women? I wonder why) shops it to publishers, then waiting for them to put you on a shelf.

Even on your own, you aren’t done at editing. God no. Formatting! Do you want a print edition? Better learn about gutters. Do you want page numbers? The title and author in alternating hearders? Layout is a wretch. You get better at it with practice, learn to preset as much of that before you start typing (and styles are my best friends). Exporting to MOBI and EPUB.

Personally I don’t care for the method Smashwords uses to convert documents. I make them in Pages, Adobe InDesign, or PubIt (Barnes & Noble epublishing service) then edit them with a text editor (Komodo is my favourite for this) because it never fails that SOMETHING will be wrong. The only thing I trust to get my MOBI files (Kindle) correct is Adobe InDesign with Amazon’s Kindle plugin.

A cover! Good Lord, you forgot a cover! Image searching! Find an artist! Can you afford an artist?! Creative Commons search? CreateSpace image library and cover creator?

Whew, we have a cover. Is its resolution correct? What do you mean the image size needs to be A x B on this service, but D x F on this other one?! ~sob~ Second guessing time! Oh, God, does this cover actually work? No, it’s stupid … no, no, it’s okay …

Then the anticipation. You’ve got it all done. The day is approaching. Th publisher says 29 June, or you picked it. It’s like waiting for Christmas, but not the excitement of what Father Christmas will bring, but the horror of just what monstrosity is lurking in that package from Aunt Phillis. You are equal parts terrified the book won’t sell a single copy, your own MOTHER didn’t buy it! That it will sell hundreds of copies in an hour and the next day a flood of criticism, negative reviews, peasants carrying pitchforks and torches beating on the door demanding your blood! Or, God help you, it sells, it ACTUALLY SELLS! Well, even. God help you, you’re a celebrity! Nightmares ensue of paparazzi being eaten by you dogs, and pictures of you in the bath showing up in National Enquirer

Publishing a book is very hard on the psyche.

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