Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday check-in: More on e-Publishing

Sometimes, regardless of our best writerly efforts, a dose of nasty self-doubt arrives. So I'm checking in to say that tenacity, perseverance, and sheer stubbornness are needed. As well as heart. Always.

My last two weeks have been a grand experiment in e-publishing. I can report the whole process takes far longer than I anticipated.

1) Is the project truly ready? Think write, rewrite, edit, re-edit, and then reread again. And I'm not just looking for typos.

2) Have the formatting guidelines been followed? As my mother would say, "Oofta!" Word puts hidden symbols in where I would least expect. Even downloading the Kindle template (which saves slower than a sloth in August) did not help UNTIL I saved my file in Wordpad and copied it over. Another wrinkle: Once the Kindle version was ready, I popped over to CreateSpace. Guess what: Another template to download AND another formatting session to go through. Only AFTER I completed this second formatting session did I learn I could have started with CreateSpace and created a Kindle version with one click -- after my CreateSpace version was complete.

3) Is that cover really copyright free? This question arises AFTER the writer is completely happy with overall design (image, font, layout, etc). Using someone else's image without permission is a simple no. Using a public domain image is ok -- according to Wiki Commons, if the original artwork is older than 70 years -- but NOT OK according to Wiki Art Gallery. Then, consider technical details:  Kindle liked my cover image because it easily fit one page. CreateSpace did not IF I use their cover creator because that template uses TWO pages (front and back). So, I now have a pretty blue ocean wave for the print version of The Mermaid Quilt and Other Tales. And that's OK, for this is a learning process.

See that picture of joy? That's my dear grandchild, Leda, just 11 weeks old. One hug from her and I'm ready to go again!

4) For print publication, is the final copy really ready? Preview is possible online, but paper copy is recommended for that final, final preview. And that's where I am, now awaiting paper copy from CreateSpace, due sometime the first week of September.

Than I revamp this website and jump back to work on the trilogy: revising Standing Stones or starting research on Rivers of Stone, while waiting for first reader feedback on Years of Stone. And then it's truly time to decide whether to e-pub or sub to small indie presses.

I'm sharing all this to build up to the reality of this Sunday check-in. I haven't written a word for two weeks. Not any words that move any story forward. I've made progress in every other area (reading about the writing craft, building a marketing plan, working on the e-publishing, participating in ROW80, and even critting on the NOVELS-L list of the Internet Writing Workshop), but not a poem, a story, or a plot outline.

I miss the writing.

Read the accomplishments of other ROW80 writers here


  1. It's hard to find the balance between the business side of going indie and keeping up with the writing. I've found it helps to put the writing first, set a doable goal, whatever that happens to be for you, get that done first, and then tackle the business end of things.

    Good luck on getting back to the writing!

  2. Thanks for your encouragement, Ruth. In reality, I'm back to the writing and that whole process of learning from the drafting and revising. The next story calls at the same moment that the current story needs more work. Balance!