Two days ago I published a book. It is just a small chapbook of poems but it is out there, floating in cyberspace and available on Amazon. I went through createspace and Amazon KDP, so I guess that means I am self-published. Or I went indie. Or I am a micro-press with a client of one. You can take your pick on which one you want to use. I am still in that stage of semi shock, where I ask myself “Okay I’ve got it, now what do I do with it?”
I know there are people out there turning up their noses and sharpening stakes because I didn’t go through the usual long trek up the mountain of publishing. Hey, calm down it’s a chapbook, 24 pages at the most. And I have said all along that if I got my wish I would be a hybrid author. (I think I’ve said that here…I’ve certainly thought it enough.)
Will that wish ever be granted? Who knows. What I do know is that I gathered a bunch of words I wrote and turned them into a book.
Was it easy? Well, no. I didn’t know what I was doing at first. I kept making stupid mistakes and formatting was confusing. But I kept at it until I was satisfied. (The formatting probably wouldn’t be that difficult for anyone else, it was user error on my part.)
I didn’t just slap the first draft of the chapbook up there and call it done. I must have re-uploaded that thing at least two dozen times. The important part is that I did it, and that I did it to the best of my ability.
I had someone I trusted look over my work for mistakes. I didn’t settle with widows and orphans left on pages because of a single space. I went back through a took out the extra space. Then re-uploaded again. At one point all of the contractions were translated into kanji for some reason. I went back and fixed that too. Then I ordered a proof copy and waited days for it to arrive so that I could quadruple check everything.
I decided on the cover. (It was a picture I took on a walk.) I decided the font, the color of the cover, the title, what went on the back, and even the color of the paper. I do wish there were more font choices, but all in all I don’t think I did that bad.
The thing is, now I know I can do it and that is kind of scary. Kind of like learning to ride a bike. When you first ride by yourself it’s exciting. You made it to the end of the driveway! Go You! But then you realize there are more places to ride than just to the end of the driveway. There are hills out there. And hills are whole different terrain than the familiar flat drive way.