Thursday, July 30, 2009

My next book: 101 Reasons Not to Write a Book

OMG, you guys. You would not believe how much work goes into publishing a friggin’ book. A couple of days ago I said it’s like building a house, and I think that’s a good analogy. When you go into someone’s home, you don’t look at their freakin’ light fixtures and faucets and door knobs and all the other blah, blah, blah decisions that somebody had to make. Well, I don’t notice that stuff, but I guess if you built a house yourself, you’d be more aware of all that.

Now I can’t pick up a book without scrutinizing it. There are a million blah, blah, blah decisions to make when you’re self-publishing a book: the size of the thing — 6 x 9? 5 ½ x 8 ½? 5 x 8? What kind of font? What do you want on the header? On the footer? What kind of font for the header and footer? Do you want the page numbers in the middle of the footer or flush left on the left-facing page and flush right on the right-facing page? Do you want a footer at all, or do you want the page numbers included in the header?

And don’t get me started about the cover. That’s a whole other set of decisions.

I admit, I bit off a little more than I might have needed to. I did hire someone to do the cover and the interior design, but I soon realized that I wanted to learn more about the process and decided to take on more myself. That meant there was software to acquire and learn, and God bless my boyfriend, Mike, because without him I would have taken a hammer to my friggin’ laptop. I’m not the most patient person in the world (in case you haven’t figured that out).

But still, I’m glad I took more into my own hands. This is my creation—every word in that book came from my own brain—and I really want the presentation to be a reflection of my decisions as well. And in order to make good decisions, I had to learn a lot.

I believe that even when you hire someone to do something, it’s a good idea to educate yourself as much as possible; otherwise, how do you know if they’re really doing a good job? For example, I know some writers who have no interest in learning grammar, punctuation, and principles of style and the actual craft of writing; they figure they’ll just hire an editor and their editor will take care of all that. But my question is, “If you don’t know the rules, how do you know you whether your editor is any good?”

Now, when it comes to my car, I admit, I’m at the mercy of the mechanic; I have no idea what the hell is going on under the hood. But I’m not trying to pass myself off as an automotive expert—and that’s my point. If you want to call yourself a writer, you should know how to write, and that means learning all the boring rules and tedious nuances. And I’m not only a writer, I now have my own publishing company, so I feel I sure as hell better learn the ropes.

It’s just that the process is making me mental. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed; I feel like I’m on mile 24 of a 26.2-mile marathon and all I want to do is throw up, cry, and quit. But Mike keeps me going. So does my mother, and my sister and my friends in the writing community here in Las Vegas.

And you, the readers of my blog.

You keep me going. The encouragement in your comments and in the private emails you send—you have no idea how much that motivates me to press on. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Now I’m like, geez, that damn book had better be good.

XOXO

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Remember Linda, it's not the end result, but the journey (or something like that), so stop and smell the roses now! No doubt in our minds that you'll have nothing but great success. Can't wait to read it. I finally decided to de-lurk today and really have enjoyed your blog these many months.
Nancy

The Peach Tart said...

I can't wait to get a copy signed by you. It will be awesome and perfect, just like you.

Julie said...

That book IS good. It's fabulous. Keep going...you are so close to publishing it's not funny! Just remember, this is your baby. And it's just about to graduate!!!! Hang in there, you'll be autographing copies and appearing in People magazine before we know it!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Thanks, gals! And welcome, Nancy--glad you've stepped out of the shadows!

Tara said...

It's so fascinating to hear that it's all coming together Linda! Keep on chuggin along, you'll be done and have a kick ass book here soon!

Other Mikey's Julie said...

I can actually feel the stress in your post - I guess it is a testament to your writing ability that you completely overwhelmed me in the few minutes it took to read that.
I am hoping you are at the peak of the stress and it will start to seem less stressful as the light at the end of the tunnel gets brighter. (How is that for trite?)
I can't wait to read it and share it. I have faith in you - you are almost there!

Jazzy Cazy said...

I'm suprised Linda, I thought you might be quite the decisive type but I guess you just want your book out there don't you? I'd say to just go with what feels right, it'll come but Rome wasn't built in a day, and if publishing books was that easy, we'd all do it.

I really hope you're book fufills your dreams as you deserve it to!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

You know, it's funny, Jazzy Cazy--I really don't have any dreams about this book. It's more of a rush, a personal challenge to see if I can really do it.
The only expectation I have is to sell enough to make my investment back--and I know I can do that no problem. Anything beyond is gravy. That said, I certainly hope those who read it will think it's well written and, at times, very funny. And I would love to somehow have a positive impact on people's lives.

You might think I'd be the decisive type because I'm so mouthy, but no! I'm a Libra through and through--I have to weigh everything a million friggin' times before I finally make a decision, and even then I second guess myself. I can't even decide between paper and plastic!

R. Jacob said...

Actually, sounds like the title of your next book!
all the best.

R. Jacob said...

P.S. listening to you right now, you sound perfect.

classicrockforthesoul said...

When it's all said and done, and finally in publication, you are going to breathe a hugeeeee sigh of relief.
Until then, keep your head up!

You'll be fine.

Can't wait to get a (hopefully signed!) copy :)

Have a good weekend!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I think you described it better than I ever could've described it. There's elation, panic, decisions, and sleepless nights...but in the end, you can rest assured that you're going to be so very proud that you did it and you did it by yourself!

I'm so excited for you!

slacker-chick said...

I can't imagine that your book couldn't be good considering how wonderful your blog is! Looking forward to reading it.

ModernMom said...

It really sounds like you could start a second blog onhow to publish a book! I can't wait to read it!!

Lilly said...

I am really proud of you. I never realised there was so much involved in the book business either. And I admire you for learning everything you can because next time around it is going to be so much easier and you can fully control the process.

This is about your life and your journey and its special and you are nearly there. Woo Hoo! Don't forget to think about your Launch!!! Can you share it with your blog buddies.

This is the hard bit just before its finished. I cant wait to promote it - listen someplace you must promote it is www.lovefraud.com - they get thousands of readers and promote books.

And I am so glad you have a fantastic boyfriend and so much support from your family.

Lori Biker said...

From someone who has run a bunch of marathons,,,the last .2 is the hardest but you can almost see the finish line. As you cross the finish line you throw your arms up (hopefully they are the only things you throw up) and smile. What a magnificent feeling of accomplishment! To have completed such personal documentation of these chapters of your life was a tremendous achievment! Now the rest of the race is to get it into the hands of the public. Once the book is printed, you will be the captain of the team of people who will help promote this wonderful piece you have created. I have been sooooo proud of you everystep of the way! See you at the finish line! Smile!