After months of (sporadic) work, it’s done. The book is done.
You can read it on the Kindle.
You can read it on your computer.
You can read it on your iPad or your iPhone.
Fact is, you can read my book for the low, low price of $2.99. It’s at LEAST an hour’s worth of entertainment; even more if you’re a slow reader. And it’s riproaring good fun.
So buy my book. And when you’re done, tell other people to check it out too. Cause, here’s the deal: ya’ll are my advertising, every last one of you. And the more people who buy this book, the more likely it is that I can do this fulltime and put out another, even better book much sooner.
And if horror’s not your thing, tell that friend you have who digs horror. You all have that one friend who watches the Friday the 13th movies way too much or who REALLY digs Clive Barker. Tell them about Tales of the Whispering Mad and the Mis-Dead. Spread the word, tell your friends. Blog reviews. Tweet the links.
Go forth my minions and spread the gospel!
And read my book.
The closer I reach a deadline, the more I start to implode. I begin to notice a thousand different things that are going wrong.
I notice the spelling, the font is too large, the lines are spaced too far apart, the link in the table of contents aren’t working, the title isn’t centered, there are too many spaces after the period in the second story, the spaces aren’t showing up in the third story, where did the italics go, the program doesn’t recognize the table of contents, this story really isn’t that good, oh god why did I decide to do this!?
I become so broken down and worked up and on edge that I want to throw the computer out the window. And then, shortly after that, myself. This is how it’s always been for major projects, whether it’s school papers or movie reviews 0r goddamn self-published books.
Now, after a certain point I hit the panic horizon. That’s the point at which I stop caring and I just want it done. It’s a last minute dash where I throw out all concern. Who cares that the book is smooshed together in an unreadable lump of terrible font? Who cares that the cover looks like it was designed by a three-year-old with no design sense? Who cares that there’s a typo on every page? This needs to be DONE.
But…this project is important, so I can’t, mustn’t let that happen. I must stay focused on making this the best I can get it. Absolutely focused. And I’m getting so close to the end. The book will be ready for tomorrow’s publication date, so I hope you’re ready.
Self-publishing is not as easy as I was expecting it to be. And I wasn’t really expecting it to be easy. Little obnoxious problems keep cropping up; like GIMP crashing and formatting errors springing up from nowhere and spelling mistakes showing up that I thought I’d hammered out ages ago.
The biggest issue is that I’m not actually doing much in the way of writing. I’ve done a LOT of editing and trimming. I’ve done a lot of research and poking around dingy internet forums looking for the best ways to format a table of contents for a kindle. I’ve been trying to learn a couple of different image editing programs so I could learn how to make my own cover.
It’s a mountain of stuff and I wonder how those people who do this for a living manage it. So many little tasks are demanding my attention right now that I’m being torn six different ways.
Fortunately for you and unfortunately for me and my peace of mind, I’ve gone into stubborn mode and I absolutely refuse to miss this deadline. “Tales of the Whispering Mad and the Mis-Dead” WILL be online this Saturday.
So, it looks like I might actually be on track to get the book published by Friday/Saturday. I still don’t have a cover and I still haven’t written the introduction.
I figured out how to do the table of contents, something that’s been holding me up for months. But now, when you open up my book on your Kindle, you can go to any story you want with no fuss. That’s probably the thing I’m most excited about. It’s been my excuse for so long, my way of avoiding getting the book out there.
In fact, most of the formatting is done. I’ve even done some early tests and it looks just like I hoped it would. I should really read through the whole thing and make sure of it, but that’s for later.
And I’m getting excited, because for the first time I actually think this might happen. Most of the time, it’s been this vague thing that will happen at some point in the future, just as soon as I get around to it. But now, there’s actual progress and it’s marching steadily along. And even if there’s a set-back (or a dozen of them), I think I’ll be able to push through it and keep on going.
So, I want all of you to be ready, because “Tales of the Whispering Mad and the Mis-Dead” (Emily gave me the title, for free!) will be out on the Kindle THIS Saturday.
With yesterday’s announcement, I’m already feeling overwhelmed with the amount of tasks I have ahead of me. In no particular order they are:
- Come up with a title.
- Design a cover.
- Find out how to code a table of contents and then do that.
- Re-edit the stories over and over again until I can publish them without some sense of shame.
- Organize the stories into an order that makes some kind of sense.
- Write an introduction.
- Work my way through the publishing process, which is most likely going to include a lot of html debugging.
Actually…now that I see it all written out like that, it doesn’t seem that bad. It even looks potentially doable. Except for the part about coming up with a title. That’s never been a strong point for me. As an example, I spent more than five minutes with the title of this blog entry and I’m still not happy with it.
But everything else, I could definitely get that down by Friday night. Assuming that I don’t get distracted by things like bad television shows or blog entries or my other job or stuff like that.
So…I’m going to go down the list and knock it out. Put at least two down a day until Friday and it’s showtime.
And I’ll try not throw up from a huge mix of anxiety and nervousness and nausea.
I’ve decided on something that is, probably, a bit stupid. I’m never going to publish my book if I keep giving myself far and away deadlines. I’ll just keep pushing it back and pushing it back until eventually I’m an old man with no friends and no book and homeless on the street.
So…I’ve decided to give myself a truly unreasonable deadline to finish my book. After all, I’m the boss and bosses are supposed to be unreasonable tyrants who expect far too much of their employees.
And I want my book to be out in the marketplace by no later than next Friday. That’s right, I’m sending my collection of short stories out into the wild in less than a week.
With any luck, I’ll actually be able to follow through on that and you’ll be able to purchase it for your Kindle through Amazon on Saturday.
The idea of self-publishing a book seems like cheating to me. I would be bypassing all the rites of passage that a writer must go through in order to see their work in print. I wouldn’t have an agent. I wouldn’t have a publisher. I wouldn’t go through the painful and necessary process of rejection after rejection.
And then when I finally did get published, that’d be a sign that I had made it. That there were people willing to pay me cashy money for my work and take a chance on me doin’ good. Self-publishing always makes me think of some dude heading down to Kinkos with the poems he wrote in 9th grade.
But, lately, I keep hearing stories about people using Kindle Direct Publishing and how those people are managing to support themselves with their writing. This is the one thing that I want to be able to do. I want to live off my writing. I don’t want to work retail for the rest of my life. To me, that would be the real measure of success. Not whether or not a publishing company considers me marketable, but whether or not I can quit my day job and just…write.
So I’m going to try it. I’m going to publish a collection of my short stories, which will then be available wherever Amazon ebooks are sold.