Last Sunday I was about 2/3 of the way through the final edit/revision of The Clockmaker's Son. I was chatting vis facebook messenger with author friends Kate Anderson and Melissa Volker when I mentioned I needed a cover for the book. Melissa jumped right on that. After asking a few questions she disappeared. Less than an hour later she was sending me a picture of the cover she'd designed- holy moly! Lightning strike and a bullseye! A few tweaks (color of wolf, where to locate the wolf head image, a few background touches) and the cover was basically ready! They she started work on the back cover! By late Sunday night I had had a lesson in back cover blurbs (keep it brief, make it compelling). I came up with something and sent it, but agreed to sleep on it and get back to her on Monday evening after work. Monday arrived and before dinner Monday night I'd sent her the tightened up, polished, very brief (especially for me!) back cover copy. By bedtime I had front and back covers, spine...and a full book (front and back cover with blurb) promo ready to upload to CreateSpace, and social media to promote the book!
I finished the interior copy edits/revisions early Wednesday morning and then uploaded the interior file and the cover image to CreateSpace. The file went into review as usual. On Thursday after work I was able to see the book on CreateSpace, and ordered two proof copies that night. Today (Saturday) I received notification that my proof copies were in the mail!
Six days from book cover creation to proof copy in the mail with said cover.
Now I need to say something else. Last June, Kelly and I founded the WhipCity Wordsmiths after being encouraged to start a writer's group in Westfield by Artworks of Westfield. I was reluctant because I had belonged to a writer's group in Westfield back when my playwright friend, Jim Curran, was still alive. Kelly and my sister Lynnmarie were also members with another woman whose name escapes me, Maryann S....? We used to meet in the reading room of the Athenaeum. We used to write to prompts and then read our work and receive gentle critique.
I did not want my authors group to be that author's group. I wanted something more along the line of the New England Authors/Writers Coffeehouse, a traveling group of authors who meet at various locations and just talk about writing, writing opportunities, and offer one another feedback and support. These are the big dogs in the area. They are fascinating to join, listen to and connect with.(I've been fortunate enough to attend one of these get togethers here at Blue Umbrella.)
But this little group Kelly and I have put together is a for local authors trying to find their toehold in the world of literature. It's more a social and support group for authors and writers- a gathering where we can kick around ideas, help one another, offer and receive advice, hook one another up to services for authors/writers (beta readers, book cover designers, proofreaders, editors) and share information about local author event opportunities where we can promote our work, and stay abreast of writing contest news/deadlines. The thought of sitting around a table writing to prompts is simultaneously braining numbing and anxiety inducing, something akin to test anxiety. I do write my best under pressure (well, sometimes), but that's when I already know what I want to write. I am thrilled with how this group is progressing toward that goal. The past three meetings have been fantastic!
I was asked today if I liked Createpace and why. I do like it because it gives me complete control over my book projects. I can also pull a book off Amazon or Kindle, or both, when I've made revisions or corrections and then get it back on there within 48 hours or less looking and reading better than before. If your big brand name publisher messes up your book and all your mistakes are printed, you can't say, whoa! Stop the presses! I screwed up! Sorry, they aren't going to pull your book and let you fix it. You have to negotiate a corrected second edition, I suppose, but they're not going to put out a second edition unless they're made their money back on your poorly edited and not exceptionally well proofread first edition. I, for one, get annoyed reading my favorite authors and finding all sorts of errors in the text. I probably have issues...but if I'm putting a book out there, I'm going to make sure it's the best it can be, no matter how many times I have to pull it to make tweaks. But, I guess if you're making big bucks because you're a big name author you probably don't care if your books read like crap because your fans are still going to buy them anyway. I'm a basically unknown author, so if someone stumbles upon one of my books I certainly want them to read me at my best, not like I'm a lazy writer who rolled out of bed, didn't have her morning coffee and wrote sloppily. I need to present myself to impress the reader. CreateSpace allows me to do that.