This update of My Weird Indie Publishing Project is a follow-up to the “Preface” of the book published here earlier (“How I Wrote My Memoir”). It is a status report about the awakening process that is happening while I go through the process of publishing to launch my new book, BURNOUT: How a Desert Lizard Restored my Faith.
Ever since I committed to writing this story — instead of a sci-fi trilogy about a little girl, the love-child of an alien and a human — I have been driven just as I was in graduate school. Late nights, early mornings. I started this morning at 2:44, but generally, it’s been 4 am.
There was something about this story that wanted to be revealed. I thought I had nailed it in the Preface (in the published book, it’s the “Afterword: How This Book Came To Be”). I thought it was going to be a tale of forgiveness — and it is — but that’s not all it is.
“The guys” whispered, “Spoiler alert.” (If you read the Preface, you know who they are.)
Okay. But I can share the JOY of the current process in being guided every single step of the way since I began writing in July.
A month into the writing, when doubts punctuated every sentence, I was gifted with the exact person I needed to stay on track: CheryLynn Ferrari, a new writer friend from SPS (Self-Publishing School). I didn’t have an “accountability partner” (a buddy in school to share the journey) and CheryLynn stepped up to be mine despite already having three and being in the midst of doing her launch. In fact, that’s how we met — when I joined her launch team and she became my sole source of emotional support and championing. (Whew! heavy burden!)
Then she answered my invitation to be a beta reader. I had three, and each gave me exactly what I needed. Because Book 1 is about such an intense time of my life — the dark night of the soul that happened almost 30 years ago — emotional support was my greatest need at that time. In fact, I even posted CheryLynn’s response to my beta Q — Should this bo0k be published? — near my keyboard.
But when the draft was finally finished — and had grown by 50 pages since the betas read it (thanks to great feedback from Domonique Andrews and Trish Simonton) — I was guided to the exact editor who was able to “get” my story and help me tell it better — in both content and copy-editing concerns.
When I was ready to have the MS formatted for the eBooks, I was guided to the one who I “somehow knew” I could trust, Andrew Purdum, and I love what he did for my book!
Becoming a juggler, keeping all those Indy-author plates twirling:
I spent almost three weeks trying to nail the categories and keywords for Book 1 in this weird Indy publishing project, spending several hours/day while I juggled the other metadata details. I tried every formula I had learned and none of them seemed right until I “chanced upon” Kindle Spy on Dave Chesson’s blog. Naturally, this perfect string of categories wasn’t in the pull-down list on KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing). I had to ask KDP by email to please change them, and they replied that I could ask again after the book was published! Holy Catch-22!
So Andrew gives me the formatted books and I upload the Mobi file, then flip through the pages on Kindle Previewer — and find three errors that need to be corrected. Tiny things — like “windowwas” instead of “window was” — but I’d learned with Night Sounds how vicious some readers could be when errors were found even though it had been professionally edited! So I was taking no chances. I would ask him to fix my errors and upload the revised copy.
That’s when I discovered the “24-72 hour window”. I make a change, KDP responds when they do — and I am locked out of tweaking until they do! I thought I would go crazy! All this time invested and my 3-4 days of “get it right” might easily be consumed in waiting!
The guys whisper, “Do a reading (Tarot).” And so I did.
First I whined about all the encouragement from them and others (“just do it”). And how every morning in meditation and throughout the day, “the guys” (what editor Robert called “your inner editor”) had spoken to me with suggestions and information and “next step” reminders. Then I pointed out all the resistance I seemed to be experiencing in the stage of “juggling” details from draft to launch — categories and keywords, book descriptions, learning HTML to edit book description format for KDP (Kindle Publishing), making corrections and now “wasting time” in the “24-72 hour cycle” of “upload and wait” at KDP.
The question was the same as it had been since July every time my confidence in this project lagged: “”Should I do this?” And the reply was the same, “Do It.” But this time the cards included the “Daughter of Discs” aka “Page of Pentacles” right side up: “you are alert and inquisitive; you love learning things; you’re always willing to work hard.”
Ha! “the guys” were reminding me that this began — and still is — an experiment, a self-declared learning experience I designed to try something totally different, totally weird.
I laughed out loud while my cat watched me dance in the kitchen.
Then I created a drawing of eyes watching me with the caption, “FOCUS: 1st launch = learning project.”
And the very next day, another new friend stepped up to answer my questions: Mimi Emmanuel, author of best-selling books about the indie author process! Like the Holy Grail of Book Launching:
So YES! I am having the time of my life.
I chose this project because I’m on the “downside of the mountain” and living each day to the fullest, including learning nasty techno-details that used to make me crazy. And I can do it because I have “the guys” — OR super strong intuition OR “a well-developed “inner editor” OR angels or other non-corporeal beings OR “whatever makes you happy”
… And that, dear reader (did I just write that?) is what this series, Burnout to Bliss is really about. And the first book of this series, BURNOUT– How A Desert Lizard Restored My Faith is actually published now!
And if you comment on this post, I will let you know when the book goes FREE! (Hint: mere days from now…)
Till next time …
“Please be kind to everyone you meet, for we all have our hidden sorrows.” ~Tzaddi