Independence Day (Almost)

There is no way to explain to someone who’s never written a book, never edited it for (let’s call it what it is) self-publishing, how incredibly tedious and time-consuming the process is.

Just when you think it’s perfect and you’ve found and corrected every small mistake in your manuscript, a good idea is to give it to someone else to cold read.  This is what I did.  I didn’t give it to another writer.  I gave it to an avid reader.  She found numerous small mistakes I had missed and I will be forever grateful to her.

I had a deadline of June 1st for my cover art, which my cover artist met.  Then I created a self-imposed deadline for having the book uploaded and available in digital format.  That date was July 4, 2011.  Today.

If you are technologically challenged like me, one of the most frustrating things you can attempt is to independently publish a book in digital format.  Ooh, it’s so easy, others told me.  Simply upload your Word document to Amazon’s KDP program and it will format it for you.  Maybe it will for you.  It didn’t for me.  It was readable, but no matter what format I saved the document in and uploaded it in, something was wrong.  Too much white space, the margins were off, the spacing was off, the indentations were off.

I found a self-confessed nerd who assured me she could upload it for me with no problem.  She’s a whiz with computers and programs and whatever else all that techie stuff is and she couldn’t get it to format properly either.

Yes, I read the information and tips on the KDP site, but those instructions simply would not translate into my brain to produce the desired result.

A major growling episode ensued, but as you may know, successful authors never give up.  I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I am not technologically adept.  I don’t have to be.  I am incredibly lucky to have author friends who know way more than I do and are happy to share the knowledge and information.  One of them referred me to a Techie Guy who will format my document for a small fee.  Yippee!

He sent me a list of instructions which I thought were pretty straightforward, and I thought I followed the instructions perfectly.  But, no.

What ensued was a series of back-and-forth e-mails with Techie Guy probably scratching his head each time wondering, “Why doesn’t she get this?  It’s so easy.”  While I was venting my frustration on anyone who would listen (my husband) and thinking, “Why aren’t these instructions written in a language I can understand?”

I’ve just sent out (the third?) revised version and a few other (revised for the third time) items Techie Guy needs, and I have my fingers crossed I’m done.  Because if I have to go through my manuscript one more time, my head will probably explode.  I know TG is wishing he’d charged me double his going rate for the aggravation and time he spent on my project.

Why Independence Day?  I view this as my independence from the rigid restrictions of the traditional publishing world.  Not Quite Heaven is now out there on its own.  In its purest form, this is what writing fiction is about.  Author offers.  Universe responds.  The experiment begins.

A huge thank you to all those Techie Guys out there.  The paragraph indentations may not be perfect, but I literally could not have done this without you.

Dear readers please pray for me while I try to figure out how to do the print version.



  1. Tara

    Thank you so much for allowing me to be the first to read this beautiful story. Can not wait too read it again.

  2. Tara, you’re the best. I’ll never be able to thank you enough for applying your reading skills to my work before the world at large sees it. Thanks a ton.

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