This stuff is hard
As the world rolls on and I try to “become” an author through all the other processes involved with the translation of writing a book to having a book actually published, I have realized that this stuff is hard.
This belief stems from the fact that I have spent all day today trying to create an introduction to my novel, Comes the Dark because my publisher, the esteemed Dr. Pus, asked me to start putting together all the little things that surround the novel. I have had the back cover written for a long time, which has undergone a few changes but has remained close to what I originally created back in 2008, which I foolishly believed I had finished the book…the first time. But its the other little things that I am now focused on: my biography (not just for the back of the book, but to post on Amazon with the book), the introduction, the dedication, an extended description (once again for Amazon)…and various and other sundry things.
You see, a book is not just about getting it accepted by a publisher, getting it sent to an editor to do that voodoo they do so well, having an artist create a cover, and then slapping it all together. Nooooo, it is far more complicated than that! I am sure if you are in the biz, you already knew this and are having a nice little giggle under your breath at this point. But for those out there like me, who are novices, you have to understand what all goes into this, even when you are dealing with a lean and mean publishing house like Library of the Living Dead.
I never gave much thought to the inside of a book. Now I am not speaking about the actual story itself (duh) but the outline of the book. The table of contents, the font used, the way it sits on a page…but there is someone handling that little tidbit, and as I have discovered, that person has to deal with all of your mistakes, just as the editor and publisher do. How you format the manuscript makes a difference as to how they have to deal with the layout of the document.
A manuscript is expected to be in a certain format, whether you are writing a short story or a novel. The biggies, as I have seen them, are 12 point courier, double spaced, with an indent at the beginning of each paragraph. But watch out! Different publishers want different things. Some want headers, others do not. The gentleman who does outlining for Doc at the Library does not want the indents set automatically, but manually. Italics that you use in a story may or may not be acceptable in an manuscript. Some publishers want you to underline everything that is to be italicized, while others want the story to appear as you want it to be when it comes out as a novel.
In addition to the stuff I have listed above, I have the duty of seeking out blurbs for my book. What are blurbs you ask. Blurbs are the comments made by other authors that you want to appear on the cover and inside of your book. So how do you get these? Not by being bashful, of course. You submit a request to the authors (hopefully, you already know them) and provide them with an edited version of your book if they are willing to take a swipe at blurbing your work. Of course, you have to cross your fingers that they like what you have written and will get you something back before all the formatting and book design occurs.
Yep, this stuff is hard. It’s fun, so don’t get me wrong, but writing a novel is just the beginning of this process.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention all the promotion and “pimping” I need to do as well…things like getting a Facebook fan site going, an author page on Amazon (both still in the works), promoting the book on this blog and promoting it via other blogs, as well as doing interviews, attending events like Horror Realm, and other stuff that will come about as I continue to move forward.
More on that later. Right now, I need to keep rocking and rolling with all of this, while I try to find more time to write and read other folks stuff as well, which is something I love doing. It keeps you busy, that’s for sure!