A WRITER'S WIT
Who fears to offend takes the first step to please.
Born November 6, 1671
DIY PUBLISHING: The Final Product
Throughout April and May, the idea gained momentum. My mind began to play with the best arrangement of stories. There seemed to be no question that I would make “My Long-Playing Records,” first published by Boulevard, the title story. The idea of making music, recorded music in particular, a continuing motif, seemed plausible, since so many of the other stories also referenced music. What really made the idea come to life was when Ken Dixon, my longtime companion, offered me a choice of images for the cover. I jumped on “Unfinished Target” immediately. The center image’s shape, reminiscent of an old LP, its bright colors, Ken’s characteristic work with woodcuts, the square nature of the canvas—perfect for occupying the top half of a cover!
Throughout June I polished the preface and acknowledgements pages. I proofread and revised all the stories so that they would fall more uniformly as a collection. For example, I had chosen, when two stories were written at different times, the name of “Vivian” for two different characters. Not good. So I set priorities and decided that the Vivian in “Tales of the Millerettes” was more important, and so the Vivian in “Men at Sea” became “Winifred.” I made a number of changes like that, eliminating the overuse of certain words in stories that were located next to one another.
In July I began researching self-publishing companies, which I blogged about in an earlier post. After due consideration I decided to go with CreateSpace at Amazon. Shortly after I engaged friend and colleague Barbara Brannon, author and editor, to copyedit the MS. She located a number of other visual difficulties I had not considered: the use of small capitals for certain phrases or words so that they do not scream at the reader. Questions about word usage. Places where I had coined a word or altered spellings for certain effects (most of which I retained). But she also provided an overview, asking me to think about certain thematic issues before I uploaded the manuscript: the use of active voice in a strategic spot; changing “theatre” to “theater” throughout; inadvertently misplaced modifiers (I do know what they are); the question of whether a character portrayed in WWII would be wearing silk stockings or nylons; homonym problems (hail or hale); word choice for youthful characters (too sophisticated?); the word “der,” which was, for a short time, used interchangeably with “duh”; and many more. With her sharp eye and ear, she helped to shape the manuscript so that it reads as one integrated whole.
September brought on the back-and-forth exchange of information with CreateSpace. Uploading my Word document. Receiving the “interior proof” of the MS. A careful reading. My submission of changes. Uploading a revised Word document along with a submission of a list of changes. The reception of a second interior proof. Another careful reading to make sure that the old changes were indeed oncorporated and that no new errors were created. Uploading another revised MS along with a list of changes. And then the final interior proof. I say “final,” because after examining both the PDF proof and the printed proof received through the mail, I then clicked on the “Approve” button at the CS website . . . and my book became real. This event took place yesterday, November 5, 2014! [Is there an Emoticon for a champagne glass?]
The publishing schedule is now as follows:
Available in the CreateSpace eStore immediately (Remember to "Like" me on FB)
I'll post the following as the links become available:
Available at Amazon.com in 3-5 business days
Available at Amazon Europe 3-5 business days
Expanded distribution channels (the opportunity to access a larger audience through online retailers, bookstores, libraries, academic institutions, and distributors within the United States) 6-8 weeks
My first reading for this work will be held as part of a larger event, when four other members of our Ad Hoc writing group will read from recently published works or works in progress. December 4, 7:00 p.m., at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, at 2801 42nd Street, Lubbock, Texas.
NEXT TIME: NEW YORKER FICTION 2014