Self-Publishing: The Devil is in the Details

With Forever Grace being my third self-publishing effort, you’d think I’d have the hang of the process by now, wouldn’t you? Ha.

Not. 😛

It turns out that the process is more of a continuous learning curve than something set in stone. And (for me at least) that learning curve is jam-packed with every kind of niggly little detail you can imagine. Forget one of those details–or mess it up–and the entire thing teeters as precariously as a house of cards when you breathe too hard.

To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, here’s what my last two weeks have looked like:

  1. I received my copy edits, made all the final changes to the story that I needed, and did my last proofread. So far, so good.
  2. I uploaded the manuscript to Vook, the e-book distributor I’ve elected to work with this time around.
  3. Then I uploaded the copyright, dedication, acknowledgement, and author bio pages that I forgot to include the first time.
  4. Then I uploaded a corrected copyright page to Vook because the first one had the print ISBN on it rather than the e-book ISBN.
  5. I emailed my designer with the final back cover blurb for the print cover.
  6. I spoke with my contact in Vook’s marketing department about strategies such as having the book put up onto NetGalley. In the course of the conversation, I learned that I needed to combine all the files I’d sent to Vook into one.
  7. I updated and uploaded a new final manuscript.
  8. I sent the manuscript to my print formatter.
  9. Then I sent a corrected copyright page to my print formatter when I realized the first one referred to “this e-book.”
  10. Then I sent a corrected, corrected copyright page to my print formatter when she reminded me that this one needed the print ISBN and not the e-book one.
  11. I finalized arrangements for my print book launch.
  12. I finalized arrangements for a Mother’s Day book signing.
  13. I designed (using Canva) a postcard announcement for the e-novella (this will be a handout along with bookmarks at my launch and signing).
  14. I ordered the postcards from VistaPrint.
  15. I proofed the print format of the book received from my formatter.
  16. I sent the page count to my designer so she could finalize the spine on the print cover.
  17. I uploaded the print file and final print cover to IngramSpark.
  18. I received a notification from IngramSpark that my spine width was wrong, and that my ISBN on the cover art didn’t match the information on file. Oops.  😕
  19. I downloaded a new cover template for my graphic designer.
  20. I proofed and approved the epub and .mobi files sent to me by Vook.
  21. On Friday, I uploaded the corrected cover to IngramSpark and emailed to let them know the ISBN on the cover art was the correct one (I’d messed up when I filled in the online form).
  22. On Monday, I received another notification from IngramSpark that the ISBNs didn’t match.
  23. I hyperventilated because I was coming dangerously close to not having print copies in time for my launch.
  24. I called IngramSpark to have the information corrected. The book went back into production.
  25. I obsessively checked every few hours for the final print proof to appear for approval on IngramSpark…when it didn’t, I called IngramSparks again on Tuesday, only to find out their sy.01stem had glitched, and they had to reset my title.
  26. I decided the book was cursed.  😯
  27. Three hours later, I called IngramSparks again because the e-proof still wasn’t available. Another system reset.
  28. The very helpful gentleman in support decided I might be right about the book being cursed. 😛
  29. This morning, I called IngramSpark again because the title was now showing as rejected.0012It turns out that the ISBN change made last Friday meant the entire book had to be reformatted at their end. On the good news side? It should be ready for me to proof by this afternoon. (Feel free to send me positive vibes so this actually happens! 😀 ).0013

And now? Now I cross my fingers and hope the books arrive in time for my launch on May 2nd…and for the bookstore signing I have set up on May 9th…

And next time around, I’ll make sure I leave myself a whole lot more room for glitches and oopses. 😉

UPDATE: Well, someone sent those positive vibes my way, because ladies and gentlemen, the e-proof has been approved and we will have a print book in time for launch!!! .01

P.S. By the way, I’m still thrilled with IngramSpark as a POD service. They’ve been nothing but supportive and highly responsive to issues that can only be blamed on me…and yes, I would highly recommend them to other authors! 😉


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Comments

4 responses to “Self-Publishing: The Devil is in the Details”

  1. Sandy Avatar

    Tikes! This post isn’t helping my stress level about my first self published book. July 1st can’t come soon enough*. I need to get past it so I can breath.

    And thanks for Ingram spark rec. I’d need debating which pod service to use.

    * actually, I can wait. I need time to get everything done!

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      I’m sure you’ll do just fine, Sandy. My first two forays into self-pub were much smoother than this one. I blame my super-tight schedule this time around…and lack of attention to those details I mentioned. Feel free to email me if you have any questions about IngramSpark or whatever…I’m happy to help! 🙂

  2. JP McLean Avatar

    I’ve just started down the path with IngramSpark – today in fact – and have already messed up the sign-up process (my fault) which required two emails and a phone call and I’m not sure if its sorted out yet. And that’s before submitting any files. I sure hope this gets easier… Best of luck with your Mothers’ Day book signing.

    1. Linda Avatar
      Linda

      Yes, the process can be a little tricky, JP, but in my opinion, it’s totally worth the effort. Superior product, global availability, the allowing of returns…all things that make an indie book more appealing to a book store. So hang in there, and best of luck to you! 🙂

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