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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Down Dog

So, as I was holding the down dog pose tonight in yoga class, it struck me that putting the book together was probably the easy part -- now, how to convince folks that it is worth $9.95 of their hard-earned dollars to buy?  Even before that, how to get the word out to people that it even exists?!  Oh, if only I had the answers...

My first challenge is for it to be fully available on Amazon -- I really do think that I've created a useful resource for crocheters that's a good value, and, if people can use the feature that lets you see inside of the book, they will seriously consider making the purchase.  So, I'm exploring what, if anything, I need to do to make that happen.  Right now, I'm under the impression that CreateSpace placed it under consideration with Amazon, it is awaiting approval, and I don't need to do anything but be patient, but I want to be sure!

Self-publishing is pretty nerve wracking!  Every time I went through the darn PDF version, I'd find a little thing that I'd want to tweak, so it took me forever to push the "submit" button.  Even now, I'm thinking of ways to improve the final product, but I've got other projects in the works, and the best advice I can give is to let it go when you know, in your heart of hearts, that you've created something good (versus perfect).  No one's going to scrutinize it the way that you do, so don't let the perfect get in the way of getting a really good product out there.

Now, that's not to say that you shouldn't be striving to create the best book that you can.  Ask everyone you know to take a look at it and give you honest feedback (ok, so your friends might soft peddle it a bit with you, but you'll sense how they feel).  Keep refining it and get it to where you need it to be.  That is where your time and efforts should be going, but having said that, you should really read through all of the submission requirements of whatever self-publishing service you decide you are going to use (from personal experience, plus reading some other authors' experiences, I think CreateSpace seems to be the service to go with right now).  That way, you can create both the substance and the "looks" of the book at the same time.

If you do not want to master a software program, like InDesign, to format your book, then you might want to consider hiring someone to help you.  Services like allow you to learn about and "interview" service providers and have them bid on your project.  Again, I just want to emphasize that you've got limited time, so I would encourage you to focus on creating the substance and, depending on your resources, then seek help in putting it all together.

That is the best advice I can give you -- everything takes time, and you can't get it back, so really think through how you want to spend your time, then see about how to get help on the other tasks that need to get accomplished.

Of course, more on this soon, as soon as I gather my thoughts better!

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