Friday, 6 April 2012

Trials and tribulations of trying to get your book published (more accurately, printed)

First, you try to find someone who doesn’t charge stupidly.
Then you find someone who doesn’t really ask for money in advance, which brings us down from several thousand to about three, and you scratch the first line.
Then you try to decide on the book that is most logical and hitherto will pay off best.
You decide this by choosing which one of your books is the most: finished / edited / likable.
Then you just choose one that won’t cost too much.
Then you try not to die when you hear how much it WILL cost and you set it up and send it to the guy that’s willing to print (but not bind) it.
Once he manages to do that – and they tend to take their time, as you are the bottom feeder customer – don’t beat yourself too much over the choice you made nor how many spelling errors there are in a non-edited book.
Then you find someone who is willing to print the cover. With a little luck, you also find a bookbinder who will, well, bind, and press the pages; once he gets them (Murphy’s law dictates that person will be on the other side of the country).
Have one or two nervous breakdowns because the costs have elevated, you have no more money for basic bills, dog is eating better than you and still no sign of the finish line. At this point the book-binder will probably inform you that the cover you have already printed and put plastic over times 500, doesn’t fit after all and needs to be redone. ‘Twould be lovely if he would have told you this two fucking days ago, but you know. They’re doing YOU a favour.
Then you re-do the cover completely, because you realize it was a blessing the first one got rejected, regardless of costs, because you got some really cute ideas meanwhile. You re-do the cover,  then re-do it again as the printer lets you know you’ve forgotten some vital secret bit that he deeply needs.
Then you wait again. Holidays come and that pushed the release date a few more days further away. But slowly and surely you study the market and your friends and the family of the girl on the cover and hope that by the time you actually hold the physical volume in your hands, they won’t turn off your water, power and confiscate the dog. 
It is likely that at this point your computer will break down at the WORST possible timing and you'll have to postpone extending your National Geographic subscription to purchase the spare part. Though on the plus side, when you're in my shoes, when you buy the WORST and cheapest graphic card, it's still better than the one I had up until now.... This should tell you plenty about my techno savvy side.
This takes about two months and about four ulcers. Forget sex or being able to do anything else, yet alone have a non hysterical day meanwhile. I cannot stress how much of a fucking nightmare this is. But the trick is to keep pushing through and in the end, if you haven’t yet blown yourself like a balloon, you’ll have your very own novel to show for 8D