Just a Quick Update

It’s gray, it’s rainy, and worst of all, it’s Monday. To make this blah day a little better, I watched like, a hundred YouTube videos of killer whales (my favorite animal in the world) swimming along to inspirational music, like Phil Collins and Michael Jackson and string ensembles.  That did the trick.  It’s pretty impossible to be sad while watching killer whales (unless they’re eating a sea lion or a dolphin… but that’s nature).  

Anyway, I am really suppose to be A) working on the little paragraph that goes on the back of the book so I can send it to my graphic designer like I’ve been saying I was going to do for about oh, two weeks now and B) writing out that little copyright page that goes on the back of the title page.  I’m actually kind of looking forward to that, but at the same time I’m really intimidated by it.  It’s so official and so la-de-da, you know?  And I’m… I don’t know… sort of a Fruit Loop.  I’m not sure that makes any sense at all, but in my head it does, so I’m just gonna go with it.  The point is writing the book was the fun and easy part because I could make it however I wanted it to be.  I can’t screw this up.  It’s really, really important.  Don’t get me wrong; I am fully capable of accomplishing things and being serious and, not to brag or anything, but I basically sailed through grad school with only one annoyingly difficult class at the very end.  I can do stuff like this.  It’s still intimidating though. 

Tomorrow, it will be exactly nine weeks until Cemetery Tours debuts!  I am so excited and I could not be more ready to finally share my book with the world.  Then again, there is still so much I have to get done!  I can not start being complacent now.  I’ve been doing a lot of semi-marketing stuff like creating a CT board on Pinterest and being a lot more active on seeking followers on Twitter, but I haven’t been as good keeping up with the actual process of creating a book.  Marketing and getting the name out there is important, but if I don’t have a product to give them, then it’s all for nothing.  The good news is, I still have those nine weeks.  The bad news is nine weeks flies when you have a deadline.  Of course, this isn’t like writing a term paper.  It’s something I want and something I love, so I don’t think it will be bad at all.  

Happy Monday, y’all.   

This Week

So, I was really lazy this week.  By “lazy,” I do not mean “inactive.”  Quite the contrary.  I went back up to the lake, swam and hung out with my best friend, and took a trip to a water park!  When I say I’ve been lazy, I mean that I haven’t done one bit of work that I should have done.  I mean, I got the Library of Congress number all sorted and my graphic designer and I have an official cover deadline, but other than that, I haven’t been a very good publisher.

Oh, I did get my first piece of mail addressed to Wind Trail Publishing though!  That was pretty cool!  

I have also received two shining reviews from people who finished reading “Cemetery Tours” this week.  One was my friend from high school, a fellow author, and one of the smartest guys I know.  He called it “suspenseful” and said that it always kept him wondering.  Good!  The second was from my high school English teacher.  You know how in movies, there’s always that one teacher who really makes an impact on students’ lives?  The kind of teacher that everyone hopes they’ll have in real life?  That’s who this guy was to basically our entire school.  I’m not going to lie, I was nervous about sending him my manuscript.  I mean, sending it to friends and family members is fine, but he was my writing mentor.  He inspired years upon years of students to love opera and Mozart and Shakespeare and mythology and Chaucer and other great works of classic music and literature… and here I was sending him my manuscript!  Hardly a classic!  But he sent me the nicest email telling me how much he enjoyed it.  Coming from the master who taught me how to write a paper, that meant a lot!  

Well, as always I will keep you all updated on this crazy road to becoming a published author.  Next week, I plan to do a little more research on eBook publishing and go back to putting the finishing touches on formatting my manuscript.  I think that’s been my least favorite part of the process.  Seriously, it’s worse than editing ten million times over.   

Announcement!

Okay, so I couldn’t think of a title for this blog post that wasn’t super hokey, so I’m just gonna go with “Announcement!”

Anyway, I have been looking forward to sharing a little more information about my upcoming book, including the title, with y’all, and since the title and ISBN are officially registered with Bowker, I think the day is finally here!!!

My book is called “Cemetery Tours” and it will be available on Amazon and as an eBook on September 17, 2013!

I still have a lot to do until that day gets here.  Right now, I’m focusing on getting the formatting just right and marketing ideas.  I’ve come up with a few ideas and I will be sharing them with you as September approaches!

Until then, you can follow “Cemetery Tours” on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/Cemetery_Tours

Or you can follow my own personal Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieSmith114

I will also be telling you more and more about the novel in the coming weeks.  I do plan on releasing a few free downloadable sample chapters on my publishing website: WindTrailPublishing.com

In the mean time, here are some of my early cover designs that I was considering.  I designed all of these myself, but as I may have mentioned before, I am not good with things like computers or graphic design, so these aren’t exactly… um… good.   There is a new and much better cover in the works!

Image

Image

ImageImage

Image

Image

“Cemetery Tours” and photographs copyright © Jacqueline E. Smith 2013

Officially Officializing Stuff

Big stuff happening!  

My ISBNs and title are fully registered and I just sent in my application for my preassigned Library of Congress number!  Once that comes in, I will be spending a lot of time at the library trying to work out all the kinks in my formatting that, for some reason, my own personal computer just refuses to address.   

My graphic designer and I have agreed on a photograph for the cover.  Of course, I still need to finish writing out that little paragraph that goes on the back.  It’s very difficult and I’m not sure why.  

I’ve also been thinking of a few marketing type things that I can be doing in the next couple of months until the book is released.  

As much as I would love to officially announce the book and release date and all that jazz, I think I’m going to wait until tomorrow.  Monday just seems like a better day to announce things.  Unfortunately, I have an eye doctor appointment tomorrow (oh yay) so I will probably make the announcement after that.  🙂  

And yeah, if this post seemed a little choppy and rambly, I swam a lot today and I am tired and chlorinated and not really thinking a lot.  

Thanks for everything, y’all!  God bless.  

    

Processing

Alright.  I have completed my application for assigning my two ISBNs to my book; one for the print version, one for the e-book.  I was fully prepared to announce that the registration was complete and that I had listed it on Books-In-Print, but as it turns out, Bowker has to process my application and that could take up to fifteen days. 

Sooooooooo… 

Guess I’ll wait a little longer! 

Even More Lessons Learned

From the day I finished the first draft of my manuscript up until around a few weeks ago, I thought that the independent publishing process could not be any slower. 

My brain => “Oh my gosh… what am I doing with my life… This is never going to happen… I should be doing something productive with my time… This is so slow… This is probably why I can never get a date… I’ll never be published and I’ve wasted the last four years of my life and I’m going to die alone.”

But you know, I’m pretty sure most of us in the creative/performing arts go through something like that every once in a while. 

The point is, however, I thought things were never going to pick up.  I was wrong. 

Now, it seems like everything is happening at once.  Momentum is finally picking up and I am really excited about it!  I mean, I wasn’t really expecting it and now I’m really hoping that I make all the right decisions.  They seem to be coming at me from a dozen different directions. 

For example, I thought that assigning an ISBN to a book was going to be a simple process.  Match the title to the number and voila!  You have an official ISBN-ized book!

Nope.

Turns out that you have to give all this information before you can register.  Unfortunately, some of this is information I still do not have.  I am inching closer every day, but the one thing I am still stuck on is a release date.  They need to know when this book will be released before it gets a number.  And I don’t know when that will be.

My goal is sometime within the next two months, but there are a lot of factors to consider.

1) My cover artist.  He is working hard on it, but he also has another job and a wife and a life of his own.

2) I don’t know how long the actual submission process to the printer will take.  And what if something goes wrong?  Or it needs to be reedited or reformatted?  I’m really hoping that doesn’t happen, but you never know. 

Okay, that’s really only two factors, but they still need to be considered.  That means I should give myself a little extra time before committing to a release date.  I’m going to talk to my business adviser tonight to see what he thinks.  

I do really want to get these ISBN assigned though, so I need to make a decision relatively soon.  Although I now own the ISBN, my title isn’t OFFICIALLY registered, and until it is, I can’t verify my title with Bowker’s Books in Print, nor can I apply for a Library of Congress number.  I really want and need to get the ball rolling on those, and the only way to do that is to decide on a release date.  So… I guess I’ll have that within the week!  Scary and exciting!        

ISBN Official!

Tonight, I bought my ten ISBN and a barcode!  I’ve assigned two of those ISBN to my title, which I don’t think I’ve released on this blog yet.  The assignment isn’t technically complete, however, since I still have a few odds and ends to work out with my business advisor.  Hopefully, that will get done tomorrow.  As soon as they are assigned and my title is registered in Bowker’s Books in Print, then I will be able to talk a LOT more about the book itself!  I’m so excited!  

Also, I talked to my cover artist today.  He’s hard at work and will hopefully have something within a week or so!  I had tried to design my own cover, but as I am not a graphic artist, my designs were not all that impressive.  In fact, I showed them all to Ben (my artist) last week and he 86ed all of them almost immediately.  Oh well.  That’s why I’m not a graphic artist.  

So excited for things that are happening!  

Wind Trail Publishing

So, I’m still sick.  I’ve been cooped up all week and it is no fun at all.  I’d so much rather be out doing stuff.  Instead, I’m stuck inside, blowing my nose and chugging Robitussin. 

The good news is that although I’ve been a complete and total slob these last few days, I’ve at least been a little productive.  I’ve been working on my website for my publishing company.  It’s not all that fantastic yet as, and I’ll be totally honest here, I do not know the first thing about web design.  But hey, at least it’s a start.  I’ll keep working on it throughout the next month, especially as I get closer to actually publishing my book. 

I try to set weekly goals for myself.  Sadly, this week’s goal has gone from “get book formatted at library” to “get healthy by Saturday so I can go to the outdoor concert and barbeque and fireworks show that my sister and I are taking my dad to for his birthday.”  Seriously, we’ve all been looking forward to this concert for weeks.  If I’m too sick to go, I am going to be really sad.

Anyway, next week’s goal is going to be (finally) purchasing my ISBN.  All the publishing books advise you to buy in bulk, so I’m going to purchase ten for now.  I’m also going to see if I can afford the bar code.  

It’s getting real, y’all.  I’ve just got to keep a can-do attitude (somewhat hard to do when you’re so drugged up on decongestants, you can’t really remember what happened before noon). 

Anyway, here’s the link to my new publishing website.  Again, it will get cooler. 

http://windtrailpublishing.com/

Sick Day

In general, I like to think of myself as a healthy person.  All my numbers and counts are excellent, I am relatively in shape, and the worst illness I’ve ever had was the seasonal flu (knock on wood). 

That being said, I am extremely prone to upper respiratory infections.  Like, seriously.  If there is a cold out there to be caught, it will find me and it will thrive.  The thing that really sucks about having an upper respiratory thing is that you feel miserable, but you’re never quite sick enough to justify staying home from school or work.  I mean, I did skip school a lot when I was sick, but technically, I could have gone.  

Today, I am at home with some kind of viral throat infection.  I haven’t been to the doctor, but I’m guessing it’s viral because a lot of people on my Facebook newsfeed are complaining about the same symptoms; sore throat, swollen glands, headache, general feeling of unwell-ness.  It’s fun.  

As gross as I feel, however, it could be a lot worse.  Usually, when I get sick, the worst part is the nasal congestion.  I have really, really bad allergies that used to make being sick with nasal congestion a living nightmare.  Fortunately, earlier this year I went to an allergist, got a prescription, and my nose has been like new ever since.  This is the first illness I’ve had since going to the allergist, so I’m hoping that if the crud does decide to attack my nose, it won’t be as bad.  Keeping my fingers crossed! 

Well, that’s probably more about me than you ever wanted to know.

But seriously, the good thing about being a writer is that sick days are never wasted.  There are so many things to be done from the “sick couch.”  And when you think about it, the only difference between a sick writer and a healthy writer is the sick part.  There are a lot of things that I need to get done.  For example, I have a whole pamphlet on formatting that I should be reading.  I have a few documents that need editing.  I can work on other stories.  Or, if I need to take a break, I can read some more Beautiful Creatures.  Though I’ve got to admit, I’m at least a hundred odd pages in and I’m still not impressed.  I really like the setting and the idea, and it is keeping me reading, but Ethan and Lena are kind of getting under my skin.  I like his friend, Link, better.  I think the book should have been about him instead. 

Oh, and I like Macon Ravenwood because I found out that he’s portrayed by Jeremy Irons in the movie. 

And on that note, I’m out.  Stay healthy, everyone.