If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.
The awesome co-hosts for the November 6 posting of the IWSG are Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard, Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie! I hope you'll check out their blogs as well as some of the others on this blog hop after you see what I have to say.
My insecurities are beating me up right now.
I finally have to admit I bit off more than I can chew.
I'm not good at that. I think I can do everything.
That can-do stubbornness serves me well on some fronts, keeping me from caving to pressure or giving up just because something is difficult, but it's a two-edged sword that cuts back sometimes, too.
And Stories from Shadow Hill has been postponed, which breaks my heart.
I thought I had planned it out well. I'd done a lot of research and had what I thought was a good understanding of what exactly I needed to do and what it would cost.
I hired an editor for proofreading, found a book cover designer, and taught myself the layout software (Vellum is super easy, at least at a base level, by the way).
But then I ran into two problems: money and time.
Indie publishing can be expensive, especially for your first project, when you don't already a system in place.
- Buying layout software: Vellum $249.99 for unlimited ebooks and paperbacks
- Hiring a cover made: $100 from a freelancing friend who gave me her "friends and family" discount
- Hiring proofreading: $620 from a freelancer who approached me through Facebook some months ago.
- Getting a logo made for my imprint: $25 from a freelancing friend, giving me a "friends and family" discount again
- Buying ISBN numbers: $295 for 10 (they're a better deal the more you buy at once, and I intend to put out more indie projects in the future, so I thought I'd start with 10).
I managed 1-4 over the course of a few months by living spare and robbing Peter to pay Paul. But when it came time for #4, I was out of money. My hot water heater needed sudden replacement, my summer teaching paychecks were light, and there went my Bowker money. My parents gave me my holiday money early (thanks Mom and Dad!), but I needed most of that to get copies of my already-published work for my fall and winter author events.
Couple this with my time problems, and you see my dilemma.
I was trying to keep my regular writing life going. Doing my October tradition of writing one piece of flash fiction every day as part of the Nightmare Fuel Project AND processing my edits from that proofreader was just too many hours work for the hours I was able to devote (I can get 1-2 hours a day for writing life during the school year, tops).
And I was stubborn, not wanting to let anything go. Maybe I could have done it if I had given up Nightmare Fuel, but I *love* Nightmare Fuel. Maybe I could have let that Instagram October Author Challenge go, but I was enjoying it and it was increasing my reach on social media. Maybe I could have given up my day job, but I like eating and having a roof over my head. I tried giving up sleep and just ended up with a crick in my neck from falling asleep in my chair.
In the end, I had to admit I couldn't get the project ready by October 31. Especially since I had only a basic understanding of Vellum and might still need to seek advice and help from more experienced colleagues if I run into snags.
So, now I don't know exactly when I am going to get this project out. October came and went and I still have a distressingly long to-do list:
- Process the other half of the edits (complicated by grammar differences between my Canadian editor and my American writing style--lots of second guessing and researching whether what she marked is an error or a national preference)
- Format the book in Vellum (which has subset jobs of #3 and #4 below)
- Finalize the print version of the cover
- Finalize the imprint logo
- Buy ISBNs
- Learn to navigate uploads to Amazon
- Make my decisions about exclusivity to Amazon or going wide
- Promote the book
November is supposed to be for NaNoWriMo, finishing the first draft of the Gothic romance I started writing this summer, so I can get it out in 2020.
I'd love to hear from other creatives about how you manage all the demands of indie creation, especially if you, like me, manage it with a day job and keep your sanity. How do you keep heart when you have to lower your expectations?