Thursday, 29 April 2010

Easy Breezy Lemon Squeezy

People are asking for books. Worrying. There are no books. Well, there ARE books, but they're not bound. Well, they ARE bound but they're not for sale. Galleys. I have galleys and am dealing with the hell of pantone colours about which I know squat.

That is a mere garnish on the plate of dung stew with which I am presented. I could be published tomorrow. I could put out a PDF and charge for it. Don't want to do that though. I picture people snuggling down with hot beverages and slankets/snuggies or cold beverages and floppy holiday hats. They are reading my story. They are not wincing at formatting errors. After all this work, I want the end product to be worth the wait.

Of course, in between trying to pay for food, hot water, and broadband, I also need to put aside cash for the books legally required within a month of publication by: the British Library, Bodleian Library in Oxford, Cambridge University Library, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, and Trinity College Library, Dublin.

You had better make it available in the right format for my device or you're just asking for me to pirate it.

Of course I'm asking for you to pirate my work, Cherub.  What else would I be doing?  Not working my butt off, trying to get my books to you even though every step of the way impoverishes me still further.  Absolutely you should steal from me.  Why not?

Pages of digital and physical paper fill my table, computer and brain.  If I want it to look right on an iPad, I need to pay X amount to this person.  For it to work properly on a Kindle, then I need to pay X amount to that person.  I have to have ISBNs, but if I have them then Lulu will double the price, unless I pick the easy breezy free ISBN option.  That'll be Lulu registered as the publisher then?  Publishers rights would rest with... um... not me, that's for sure.

You had better keep the price low.  If it goes over $9.99 you've lost me as a reader FOR LIFE!!!  

Oh, okay then.  Um... what if I can't actually supply it to you for that amount without losing money?  What if Lulu or whomever has their own way of doing business that is completely out of my hands?  Oh.  You unfollowed.  Oh look.  You're flaming me because I'm such a money-grabbing capitalist.  I should provide you with the stories you want and pay you for the privilege of you reading them.  Bye then.

When is this book coming out?  You said it was finished!  

It is finished.  I wish I could get it to you yesterday but publishing takes time.  It takes publishing houses months and months and months.  They have employees and specialists, and budgets.  I just have me.

Copyright laws aren't the same in America.  Need to pay X amount to a company to register my copyright.  Have to make sure I register for my other rights to be protected.  That money comes out of income.  Income?  What income?  My head hurts.  I'm nearly out of paracetamol and they've changed the formulation.  Don't know if I'm allergic to this one or not.  Hmm... another night in hospital or should I just put up with the headache?  Just put up with the headache.

What the hell are you doing automating tweets?  You have no right!  

Sorry.  I did it in response to complaints on the other side of the world that I wasn't tweeting enough for their time zone.  Apparently I had no right to do that either.  I looked at the stats.  My following is global.  Not a time zone missed out.  To tweet in person to the whims of each user would mean I could never again sleep.  You know I have C.F.S./M.E. right?  Do you think I can go without sleep?  Hmm?

Not sure when I became a public service.  Do people pay taxes for me to entertain them?  If so, I haven't been informed.

The latest galley isn't the right size for book shops.  It's gorgeous though.  It may be the best sized book I've ever read.  It fits in my hands perfectly.  I tested it out in extreme reading conditions.  I threw it at my husband.  It survived.  I read it in the bath.  It survived.  I dropped it in the bath.  It survived.  It's not quite the traditional ticket size-wise though so I need to try out another one.  More money.  Thank God for my slow metabolism.  Nothing like being chunky to get you through a financial crisis.  No starvation for me.  Hurrah!

Paying rent is a chore.  Ah... rent.... the wonder of the tenancy agreement.  Can't register a business to a rented property.  To get ISBNs you have to register yourself as a publisher.  Your address gets printed.  Can't happen.  Cost of PO Box for one year? £95.

What if I jump through all these hoops and nobody likes it?  Well, there's nothing I can do about that.  It won't be for lack of trying.  I put up a page for people to help if they want to, but that will probably get me shouted at.  Turns out that self-publishing in a professional way, on a tight budget, isn't a doddle - not that I thought it would be.

Why don't you just sell a PDF?  Stop pretending it's hard to self-publish.  Anyone can do it!

Oh, sod off!


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