It’s go time

By on August 5th, 2011
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(Read that title in the voice of an ironically written CIA agent character.)

The next month is going to be nuts. I’m shooting to get my book to the printers by the last week of August or first week of September, which leaves me feeling like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland … can’t stop, can’t stop, I’m going to be late, going to be late!

So, yes, I’ve decided to end my search for a publisher. I evaluated three last options then called it quits. The acquisition editor of the press that almost picked me up (see previous blog entry) offered to let me use her as a reference to get in with another press. And she recommended three presses that she was connected to personally. I evaluated these presses: their websites, their books on Amazon (how many reviews, style and subject matter), and, finally, I reviewed their contracts/author policies. I also spoke with an author who had been published by one of the presses, the one that looked the most promising of the three. My conclusion was that they would do almost nothing for me that I couldn’t do myself and would take most of the profits. They offer authors 10% of cover price, and they insist on design control of the cover as well as interior. I would have been comfortable with a collaboration, but the upfront “we control it” attitude put into writing left a bad taste in my mouth. Worse, the straw that really sucked the interest out of me was when I learned from the published author that he had actually been required to buy copies of his own book from the publisher in order to mail them himself to reviewers. Screw that.

So where things stand: I’ve been a bit delayed in the design of my book because my book designer broke his right forearm in a moped accident. He’s lucky to have survived the hit and run. Poor guy, I do love him, but why wasn’t he wearing a goddamn helmet? But we’re back on track now. I got a bid for cover art from a painter I met at the last Comicon in Chicago but decided to have my book designer do the cover art in addition to the interior design. That way, the design will be integrated with the cover text. $300 for cover art, btw.

Other actions I’ve taken so far: I purchased a set of 10 ISBN numbers and barcodes ($250), Library of Congress Number (free), and requested quotes from 10 printers. I’ve been sorting through the responses and am collecting the best bids. It’s going to be pretty expensive because I’m committed to using 100% recycled paper. But I’m willing to invest the extra money in order to feel better about stamping ink on 384,000 pages of paper. (That’s another reason not to use a small press–almost all of them do Print on Demand now, and most POD printers like Createspace or Lulu do not have a 100% recycled paper option.)

Still left to do: Create the CIP data—that’s the cataloguing data for libraries. It’s actually quite complicated, and I’ve visited two libraries so far and the reference librarians were not helpful. Any librarians out there want to help me??? I’m in the process of collecting potential reviewer names and websites. Need to find a distributor. Create some postcards. Collect a list of all bookstores in Chicago and other indie bookstores around the country. Setup PayPal and Google checkout accounts so people can buy copies directly from my website and prepare the updates for my site when the book launches. Prepare an ebook. Continue recording my audio book version. Set up a book release party. And so many more little things…I’m late, I’m late, I’m late.

Next blog entry: A taste of the pre-release promotional blurbs I’ve already lined up for the book.


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