Scary Time Begins

on February 25, 2011 in Misc

The time has come.   I’m about to jump off the OMG cliff.

I’m about to self-publish The Compass Master.

(Pause here to take a deep breath and steady my nerves.)

In reality (and often I can’t be bothered with reality) my finances are such that I should hold off for a few months before making this financial commitment.   Trouble is, I had settled on publishing through Amazon’s CreateSpace and they’re running an offer that ends on February 28.   Before now I couldn’t be bothered with most of their specials, but this one gives a big discount on the price of the cover design.   Well, the heftiest upfront expense I had always planned on was the cover art.   Nothing makes a book look amateurish from the get-go than a cheap or even not-quite-right package.

Hence the time has come for me to commit.   I signed up for a higher-level cover and professionally-done internal layout.   These two items are far and away the bulk of my publishing expenses.   Of course (damn it!) there’ll be a few more charges (getting the manuscript Kindle-ready, etc.), but those are almost money hiccups compared to the initial outlay.

As a few of you may recall, I did have at one point an agent for The Compass Master and she almost got a couple bites (at one big publishing house my manuscript went all the way up the chain to the editor-in-chief, who turned it down – blast him).

Yes, I could have kept plugging away and sent it off myself to smaller publishers or maybe other agents.   But every time I contemplated doing just that my gut turned itself inside out.   I just can’t, CAN’T keep my spirits up and keep plugging away at the commercial publishing game.   There comes a point where I just want to get on with my life.

In the next few days I’ll drive myself crazy getting ideas  for my book cover and looking over lots of other covers.   Then I’ll be able to work coherently with the graphic artist on my assigned CS team.   Of course in the end it’s the story that readers care about and the cover is just a come-on.   But since I’m paying for this baby and I’m ultimately in charge of my own book,  I want to get everything right.

Funny thing is, I already have a growing sense of peace and accomplishment.  Sure, I’ll be scared when my American Express bill arrives at the end of this month.    I’ll be a full-fledged neurotic as I go meticulously through the manuscript one last time to check for every errant comma or too-oft repeated word.   But this is it.



My pal Hart over at her (much more spectacular than mine) blog CONFESSIONS OF A WATERY TART is throwing a Delusional Doom Blogfest for Beware the Ides of March!   Here’s the link  (hope it works) explaining all.   If the link doesn’t work, look under her February 17 entry.

Basically, you get to predict a death or write an obituary, and the only requirement is that it be strange or bizarre or conspiratorial or fun.

So be morbid and literary and participate, y’all.

6 Responses to “Scary Time Begins”

  1. Hart says:

    Ha! I wish you a ton of luck! It’s funny, today’s blog talks a little about self-publishing, and your case is one of the sane ones where I think it was a reasoned decision and I hope it works REALLY well for you. When you have it all lined up and the book is OUT, give a shout. I’d love to host you!

    (and thanks for the shout out!)

  2. Robert L. Read says:

    Maybe you should have an image of Galileo’s compass, which is quite a work, above Chartres?

    Or a picture of the secret map? Or Layla on the sacred island scaling a cliff?

  3. Helena says:

    Hart — You are so generous! And again congratulations on making it to the (incredible) second round of ABNA and on your own about-to-be-published (by a REAL publisher) books.

  4. Helena says:

    Robert — Great suggestions, although I wouldn’t use Chartres because that would be a spoiler. I do want to add Galileo’s compass and something about my “geometric map,” which at the very least will be a black and white drawing in the text. One illustration that will probably make the cover is Blake’s “Urizen with Compass” (or God with Compass). In the image, that’s the image torn from the art book and used as another clue.

  5. ann says:

    wow, you’re getting close. I can hardly wait to see your book. If it doesn’t spoil it, can you share the cover with your blog readers before the general public gets it?

  6. Helena says:

    Ann — I’d love to show the cover on my blog. Right now it looks like the cover will be ready in May.