I have a few quick announcements before launching into today's post.
First, voting for the Utopia Awards ends tonight at midnight (central time). Voting is open to the public and you don't have to register or even put in your name. If you haven't done so, I encourage you to take a few minutes and vote for your favorite reads from the past year. You might also notice a familiar title *cough Rite of Revelation cough* nominated in the first category.
Second, I am finalizing the blog tour for Rite of Redemption and will post the full schedule next week. If you have a blog and would like to participate, it's not too late. Just fill out this short form with all your contact info and I'll get you everything you need pronto.
Alright! With that out of the way, let's talk about how weird publishing a book is. Seriously, it doesn't matter what path you take, turning a steaming pile of words into a glorious masterpiece fit to be consumed by perfect strangers is just bizarre. (Tweet This)
There are plenty of odd nuggets that you might expect, but here are five random little know facts that I've discovered over the course of publishing three books.
1. Chapter breaks are expensive
This means nothing for eBook, but in your print copies, the more chapters you have, the more pages your book will be. This is due to page breaks and the fact that chapters generally don't start at the top of the page. The more pages you have the more expensive it is to print your book and it could mean distributors will force you to charge more for your book than you wanted.
There is a reason, big publishers rarely gamble on debut authors with extra long books. Those books cost more to print, but you can't charge more since the author is a debut and doesn't have a following yet. This is why I always tell new authors that they shouldn't count on being the exception.
2. Microsoft word is created by the devil
Chances are you already know this, but book formatting will really drive the point home just in case you forgot. Word is filled with a million settings, the vast majority of which we never use. Some of them will make you book look amazing. Others will make you want to punch a baby.
Case in point. My proofreader recently had to delete and retype a few sentences of my manuscript word-for-word, because the formatting was wonky and she couldn't figure out why. It was easier to delete and start over than to figure out what strange formatting word was using. So that's fun.
3. Someday your book will not be your baby
When your first book comes out, you will wrap it up in swaddling clothes and lay it in a...well you get the point. You will take a million picture of you and your book, shout about it from the rooftops, and expect payment for every single copy.
By the time you've got a few books out there, you'll basically throw that first book at random people on the street if they promise to read it. Not because you don't love your book, but because you realize that precious angel is in a sea of precious angels and that makes it not so precious.
4. First royalty payments are also created by the devil
Most of us understand that in a sea of millions of books there is little to no chance that ours will be the one that catches on fire and becomes an instant bestseller. Of course, that doesn't stop us from wishing and dreaming that it will happen. And that's why that first royalty payment is the devil.
You are first crazy excited because here is actual money that someone else is paying you for your book. When this happens for the first time it's all kinds of magic because you know you've crossed that barrier of just dreaming of being an author to becoming one. It's real! And then you read the statement and no matter how much it is, you're going to be disappointed. Because even though your head knows it's not a mega bestseller, try telling that to your heart. Chances are you will simultaneously want to frame and torch your first check.
5. The weeks leading up to publication are stupid dumb
There is so much to do before your book publishes. Seriously, So MUCH! And it doesn't matter which route you take. The list is endless. I keep going to do a task and see something that reminds me of a task that wasn't even on my list yet, but obviously needs to be done, and how could I be so stupid to forget it, and what was I doing again.
Yep, that's me right now. So eventually you reach a point where there is so much to do, and because each tasks takes you down a rabbit hole of to-do lists, you become frozen by it all. I swear to you, I sat at my desk for a good half-hour the other day just staring at my computer and all the random lists of things I need to do, frozen by the decision of what to do next. 30 minutes of nothing because of how much needs to be done. The sooner you realize that the whole thing is a hot mess and you'll never finish all of it, the better.
That's it! Don't forget to vote for the Utopia Awards and let me know if you'd like to be part of the Rite of Redemption blog tour. If you've got your own random facts about publishing, I'd love to hear them. Just tell me your crazy facts in the comments. Sometimes it helps to know we aren't alone in the craziness that is bringing a book to readers.