I have good news and bad news.
Bad news first, though. That way I can soften up that blow with some great news.
Everyone knows that cool thing-a-ma-jiggy called Google, and their amazing word processing whats-a-ma-hoot-sits GoogleDocs. I wrote the majority of the beginnings of my debut novel, The Gathering Place, in GoogleDocs. I thought it was so nifty, and I sent revisions back and forth with many different editors, who’d make changes for me to review and accept, if I wanted.
The entire three years of this process I thought, “This is so cool! I am so green!” Gone were the days of printing out 4oo pages worth of crap and slicing and dicing 397 pages of it into the trashcan. I have spit shined the manuscript for “TGP” as much as I can, and my editors are tired of me talking about it. I submitted it, and ordered a proof, and…………
Tabs are EVERYWHERE. It doesn’t look like that at all on my digital proof. Tabs look nice, the fonts are embedded properly in the Word document, the grammar and spelling as perfect as my old eyes can see. But the proof? Tabs going crazy, all over the pages. I was so disheartened when I saw it. I called and texted and messaged everyone I could, until I finally apprehended the culprit.
Apparently the program’s capabilities aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. When you export your document as a Word document, the tabs and other snazzy formatting aspects you slaved over don’t come with it. I didn’t realize that until I got the proof. So now, I sit here, for hours (perhaps even days) backspacing all my quote and paragraph indention marks, getting them to line up properly and staring at the Word ruler like a pool of water in the middle of the Sahara.
Some day I will be done with this book. Like when I’m eighty.
But the GREAT FANTASTIC AMAZING OUTSTANDING NEWS is that I have a BOOK! Like a real, live book. It has covers designed by me (How the heck did I do that? I don’t know!) that look professional enough to sell, it has pages and pages of white, fresh paper that smell like ink, like all of my favorite old bookstores smell like, just without the must and dust.
I decided to self-publish this one, not to forego ever attempting to secure a book deal, but to build an audience. Some of the incredible feedback I got from agents that I queried was how to market these books. I don’t have a lot of likes on Facebook, I have nothing to sell, nothing to market that screams “HEY, Y’ALL! I WROTE A BOOK!!!” I went back and forth on this topic for ages until I decided that self-publishing and self-marketing my first book was the right way to go for me. I could use it as a tool to help me get exposure, to build a fan base, all the things I need to impress agents and publishers on down the line.
So, with that said, this week by some GoogleDocs hating miracle, or by next week at the latest, I will have a paperback and e-book version of my debut novel, The Gathering Place, available for sale on Amazon and my Create Space e-store.
I’m very excited about this and anxious to see what will happen once my writing is out there! We shall see!
P.S. If you are writing in GoogleDocs now, STOP IT.