A couple of months ago I was out for lunch with a couple of friends who are also writers. Talk centered around our families and significant events—a wedding, an empty nest, my grandson—and, inevitably, turned to writing. My least favourite subject when out with other writers. At least, when the other inevitably surfaces: How are your book sales?
Coffee shops aren’t the best places to hide under the table. Crumbs, dried spots of spilled coffee and Heaven knows what else, sand and grit from the out of doors, balled up napkins, not to mention spindle-legs on table and surrounding chairs create a dirty, jail-like atmosphere. So, l remain seated, and lie: “Good.”
They see right through me. And turn the subject to how I like self-publishing? Now it’s my turn to turn the tables, so to speak: I love it.
My one friend seems skeptical. She self-published a book, so she knows the amount of work that’s involved. She suggests I hire out some of the tasks, like formatting and uploading to various online retailers. She even provides the name of someone who could do it for me. And seems surprised at my hedging.
The truth is: I enjoy all the hands-on aspects of self-publishing. Including the hours of WIP writing time I lost last week trying to recover—and failing that—rebuild, a Scrivener project of one of my novels.
I’d gone looking for the manuscript to update back matter—the information at the back that shares the author bio and tells of forthcoming or previously released books with links to buy or pre-order, or to sign up for newsletters—and I could not find the project. Anywhere. At least, not the most-recent version (November 2018).
Hours of searching files, even narrowing the search date to the exact day I last updated the folder (which I knew from having the mobi and epub files saved), and I could not find the recent version, only the original from April with none of the minor editing and major backmatter changes added to it since then. Argh! Resigned, I opened a new Scrivener project and imported my updated Word version of the novel. Things went from bad to worse.
Using another novel already formatted correctly as reference, I set to formatting a restored version of the lost work. A few hours later, when Hubs got home from work, he came into my office, and seeing my wild hair and eyes, beat a hasty retreat.
I’m happy to report that by bedtime, I’d sorted out most of the issues, and backed up all my Scrivener files to the cloud. But a smarter me would have found this video before I started, not after:
Even so, I don’t regret the time invested. For me, self-publishing is not a destination, it’s a journey.
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
~Johann von Goethe