Friday, May 13, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Note: this post was supposed to have been published yesterday (May 12). I have no idea why it didn't. I guess Windows Live Writer wasn't playing nice.


Today is my 35th birthday. It still feels strange to say that number. I don't feel 35. Hell, half the time I don't even feel 25! I never got to the point where I felt like I was finally a grown-up. Maybe because I don't have kids of my own?

Anyway, years ago, I decided that my life's goal was to be a published novelist by the time I was 35. So here I am... 35. Not published yet. Maybe that's why I'm jumping on the self-pub train (I refuse to call it a bandwagon, because that implies that it's a fad or short-lived trend). Well, I may not have been published by the time I turned 35, but damn it, I'm going to be published WHILE I'm 35! So I say that's good enough.

While toying around with ideas the other day, I came up with what I thought was a good plan: set the release date for my book to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Titanic's launch. I knew the ship was launched from the builder in Belfast sometime in 1911, but wasn't sure of the exact date.  If the date hadn't passed yet, I thought how perfect!  Well... the ship launched May 31, 1911.  So I may be pushing it to aim for that date.  That would give me less than 20 days to finish my edit, get the Kindle formatting flawless, get a website designed and running, start possibly doing some promotion, and get a paper version ready to go. I could maybe get the Kindle version up by then, but the rest?  I don't know. It doesn't help that I have yet to settle on a title or come up with a cover design I like. Without any of that, I can't start the website. So May 31 is out.

I discovered something in my research of this possible release date thing: you can't set a future release date for a Kindle DTP book. That's a little upsetting, to be honest. I liked the idea of having a future release date I could announce, and having the book ready to go and up on the site so people could see that it was going to be available soon.  I wasn't looking to have it sit there for months before it was released, but a few days, sure. I don't even care about doing pre-orders (I know at first my sales will be limited to my friends and family), but it would have been nice to be able to see it go up on the site and have everything there (I hear the product description doesn't always show up right away) when it's officially released. Maybe it's something they're working on, but for now, it doesn't look like you can do it.  Oh well. At lest now I know.

I'm going to spend most of the weekend finishing my edit and getting it ready for Kindle. After that, maybe I'll start on formatting it for print in InDesign. (I'd like to be able to have both versions out at the same time, since the majority of my friends/family don't have ebook readers.) I'm still debating the pros and cons of CreateSpace vs. Lulu: more research is needed. After I get that going, I can then focus on the other ebook formats. I'm torn between using SmashWords and doing each platform individually, so that requires some more research, as does iBooks.  I hear it's hard to get a book in there, so I need to do some reading around on that. Good thing I like research! (Gee, how many times can I use the word "research" in one paragraph???)

On a side note: tomorrow would have been my grandmother's 86th birthday. She's the grandma I got my pen name from, so happy birthday Grandma, and thanks for the name! :)


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