Today is Lammas, the ancient celebration of abundance as gardens explode with bounty. This special day is what spawned county fairs. Metaphorically it is the time to step back, take a breath in the midst of mid-summer intensity and give thanks for the gifts of life. Harvest for me, in Montana, comes in the form of wildlife. The past week I have seen wild turkey, does with fawns, moose with calves, bull moose, night herons, a coopers hawk, osprey, bald eagles, kingfishers, a willow flycatcher and great blue heron. All within walking distance of the door. The past week also saw the first proof of my book delivered by UPS. Today comes the final proof. I can't think of a better harvest.
Getting to this point has been daunting. The polish edit done, I needed to read the book one more time with a keen eye. Must have been at least the 1000th read. And, I loved every second. And, I saw changes. Editor not happy. This, while I decided the book cover with the designer. Photo. Text. Font. Try this font. No, try this one. Use this blurb, no, another. This color. This shading. This acknowledgement. Don't forget the dedication. I want these pages switched around. This dizzying flurry, I might add, with Mercury in retrograde. Sometimes Debora didn't see my messages, or me, hers.
I was a far cry from the world of traditional publishing. With my past two books I sent in the manuscript, did some minor editing and received a proof with a gorgeous cover that I approved. Done deal. With Indie, the buck stopped with me. Read: one of the biggest professional decisions of my life. My inner critic taunted me with threats that I just might end up looking like a clown. I had a circle of consultants that were gold. When it came to subtitle decisions they split down the middle. So I went outside the circle to more distant opinions. Back Roads Odyssey Across the West? or, A Western Odyssey? This is after a pile of other options. I even went to my Facebook community for their vote.
Piece by holy piece, it came together; my designer/format-Goddess didn't desert me after all. Neither did my editors, friends and confidants; although my emails were sometimes ignored. Let me say, I didn't blame them. It was a frightful realization, at times, that I was hanging out on a limb by myself. I fired off more than one msg when I shoulda/coulda been quiet. But I also caught errors right down to the wire in disbelief, a couple on the back cover!
Debora sent the formatted manuscript to CreateSpace (Amazon's publishing wing) whereupon they approved it within 24 hours and I ordered a proof. Then I went onto their site and set up an account, submitted a book description and bibliography and decided on a price for the book. Every word, every decision, huge. Drive Me Wild will go live on Amazon's site once I okay a proof. Just like that, people can order a printed copy and it will be in their hands within a couple of days. (My first proof arrived within 24 hrs. I couldn't fathom it.) I will receive 40% of sales revenue from my book on Amazon, compared with 8-12% royalty with traditional publishers. I paid an extra $25 to have it listed in Europe as well as North America. Once the POD copy is completed, Debora will turn to e-books, where it will be available on all major distribution platforms (more on this later).
When the first proof arrived last week I slept with it that night. PROOF that I had survived my decision to go Indie. That my words took form. When the 2nd proof arrives today I will carry it down to fire pit along the river where I will slowly flip pages as I sit with the full moon energy, light a fire and breathe in the product of my harvest. It's real. It's tangible. It's gorgeous. And it happened in a month from when I decided to go Indie.
Next up: Into Indie, Part 3 (It's not over by a long shot!)