When my publisher announced they were going out of business, my first response was panic. The fear stemmed from the unknown learning curve I faced, not the rush to find another publishing house. I had been debating whether or not to move over to self-publishing, and the end of Booktrope gave me the nudge I needed. My day job as an analyst involves a lot of focus on planning for the future, but this time I had no idea what to expect.
Patricia D. Eddy is my editor and a life saver. She talked me off the ledge a few times and reassured me by giving me simple next steps. I signed up for a state and city business license, negotiated terms on the creative contract with my team, and then set about deciding what to do with my books. I didn't want to lose momentum I had gained from a sale back in March, but I had no idea what I needed in order to get my books up on the major platforms.
Publish as is or make updates?
Knowing I had a month to get the new versions prepared gave me plenty of time to give the writing in All the Pretty Bones a facelift. I didn't change the storyline or characters, but I changed some of the language. Writing is a lot like playing an instrument or painting. No matter how long you practice and perform, there will always be something that can be learned and improved upon.
Layout seemed like a black art to me. I've done graphic design in the past, so cover design doesn't intimidate me as much as interior layout. The thought of learning multiple programs to format for ebook and print seemed daunting. There's also the matter of sales volume. Around 99.9% of my sales volume comes from ebooks. I'd like to make the print version available eventually, but I'm not feeling a lot of pressure to do so in the immediate future.
A self-published friend recommended I forgo publishing for the Nook. After reviewing sales, I decided to move forward with establishing an account with Nook Press and questioned signing up with iBooks. In the end, I signed up for the following:
- KDP (Amazon)
How the heck do you edit layouts?
Like I mentioned, this started as a complete mystery and fueled my one freak out evening. Which is ridiculous now that I've worked with Vellum. It's awesome. If you have a Mac, I wouldn't recommend anything else. I can format a book in under an hour, which is freaking fantastic.
Like I mentioned, prepping the print version hasn't been a priority, but I'm told I'll need InDesign and a lot of whiskey.
Where does this leave me?
I'm pleased that my books will be offline for a minimal amount of time. My files are uploaded and ready to go. Now I can focus on wrapping up the final proofs for book three and start writing again. It has been strange to not have the chance to write. I can't describe how much I'm looking forward to falling back into a routine.