Thursday, March 20, 2008

MY Self-Publishing Challenges

Well I'm sitting here looking at what I believe to be the final product of the cover for my third book and decided to put down some of my thoughts...

I'm finding that although the writing process is quite a journey, the PRODUCTION process is an event to be remembered as well!

I publish through AuthorHouse. Once they receive my manuscript, they set an appt to have a design meeting, where I talk to someone about what I want in the galley (the guts of the book, like what type of picture I want behind the chapter headings, the font type, etc). Then we talk about the cover. They ask what I want on it ... I tell them key points of the story, and then they give it to their graphic artists to hopefully come up with what's in my imagination.


I told them for "Dragon's Tear", I want a dark body of water, like a lake, at night with a full moon rising in the sky and reflecting on the water. I want a large, white, ghostly dragon as the main picture, and a SAPPHIRE BLUE tear-shaped gem in place of the "o" in the title word "Dragon's". I think they did a good job with the water and the moon, but their first dragon was NOT white and was just plain UGLY!! (A picture of their first attempt is currently in my myspace account .. .. go into the "pics" link, then "author pics" to see all the covers of my books). Their gem is also kinda purpley, and don't get me wrong, I LOVE the color purple, but it's supposed to be stinking BLUE!! I guess the way it is now it's mostly blue and the purple highlights the cuts in the stone ....

The deal with AuthorHouse is they'll design a cover for you... if you don't like it, they'll take one more stab at it for free. BUT!!! If you DON'T like their second attempt, they will charge you for each future attempt. When I rejected the first cover, I knew that this next one had to count...

And I got lucky, because personally I LOVE it! I think out of all 3 covers (again, all pics are currently on myspace if you follow the path above), this one is definitely the BEST!!
So now, I'm waiting to sign off on the cover, and I also have to see (someday ... whistling impatiently here) the galley (guts) of the book. Once I see it, I’m really hoping the galley will be fine and I will sign off on that, too. From that point, I'll have to set the price for the book, and THEN... and THEN... in about 10 days, the book should go LIVE on the AuthorHouse website!!!

In the contract I have with them for this book, I will receive 30 free copies of the book from them. Once I approve the cover and galley, I'm going to go through a company called to get about 300 copies printed, so I'll have them onhand to sell at schools etc. Can the clock move ANY slower????

For me, the writing is a challenge at times (I suffer from writer's speedbumps just like every other writer I know), and the marketing is definitely challenging and never-ending, but one of the hardest yet most satisfying parts of the production process is the time in between approving the cover & galley and finally getting that VERY FIRST book in my hands. It seems to take decades but in actuality is really only a matter of weeks. And it's not like I don't have a bazillion other things on my plate to keep me busy, but it is what it is. I know I have fans out there who are just as anxious to get a copy of the book as I am, although their reason is slightly different from mine... and I'm learning that one of the most satisfying feelings is being able to give them what they want...

Can someone move the hands on the clock forward about 300 rotations, please?

Anxiously awaiting the next step,
YA Fantasy Author

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