Ha, you know, when I first started doing this, I thought that people who didn’t call it “self-publishing” but called it “independent publishing” were just being wankers, for lack of a better term, about not wanting to be seen as self-published.
But I have to tell you, I do, at this point, feel like calling what I’m doing “self-publishing” gives the wrong impression–like I could have somehow made this whole product myself and had it turn out just like it has. That is an enormous falsity. I am, in fact, independently publishing this. I am doing my part–creating content, project managing, and marketing–and that’s a big chunk.
But I really depended on the skills of other folks to pull this together.
And I think that’s important to stress. It may be that you are the kind of person who has mad skills in every area. Maybe you like the book cover templates they provide just fine and you can copy edit yourself and typeset passably well and market yourself. In that case, I think you can truly self-publish.
But I am not that person. So, I had to be able to pull together a team of folks who could do that stuff. In that regard, living in Nashville has been a tremendous asset, because we have such a large creative community that leans geeky who are excited about the creative stuff people in town are up to and willing to help. I can’t speak for other places, but damn, I feel like that’s a crucial component to my success.
Let’s just take this Kindle nonsense. Last week, I tried to upload the PDF to Kindle and it came out looking… well… bad. Bad is too mild a word, but bad. And it was the kind of bad that scared me not just in this realm, but had reverberations into my professional life (which we will not talk about, except to say that, whoa, are a lot of places relying on magic to fix this or what?).
I was, of course, relying on magic. “Upload PDF”—magic–“Something Kindle readers can use without turning to their significant others and saying ‘Honey, I think a pirate has hacked my Kindle and is trying to send me a very lengthy ransom note. Something about ghosts. And Nashville. Do you know anyone in Nashville?'”
This is really the difference between ceremonial magicians and kitchen witches. A ceremonial magician would have been all “Draw an elaborate symbol passed down from Solomon himself with interlocking circles and triangles and words in dead languages written with letters you don’t even recognize”–“upload PDF”–magic–“Pirate ransom note about ghosts.”
Ha, that’s a little pagan humor there for you. Please don’t beat me up, ceremonial magicians. I don’t even know if you draw elaborate symbols passed down from Solomon himself. I just assumed you did because who else has the time? Ooo, yeah, I said it! (Please don’t turn my cat into a frog. I have a great respect for ceremonial magicians. I just also like to talk a lot of smack.)
Anyway, so I was all “What am I doing wrong?” to Samantha, who took a look at it and got some help from this dude she knows and long story short, it is not magic. It’s kind of a pain in the butt.
I mean, it still looks like magic from my end, because I am just sitting here befuddled. But it is not.
Adobe even has directions for how to go from PDF to Kindle’s MOBI format, which you might use, if you ever need to do this.
Though, I think we should all appreciate how close “Get this open source program” is to “magic” for geeks.
Ha ha ha ha ha.