In almost every case there is some production issue that rises up and bites us authors in the butt.
“He who shall not be named,” is a well-known line from the Harry Potter series of books, but I did not expect to find this sentiment in the book business. To cut production expenses, I decided to publish the softcover edition of my new business book, “Create Your Own Job Security: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife,” using Amazon.com’s Create Space (www.createspace.com) publishing platform. This has the considerable advantage of no up-front costs if you submit PDF files that fit their formats. However, it does grant exclusive sales rights to Amazon for the title.
I wanted my book to be able to reach other book outlets, so I elected to produce the e-book through Book Baby (www.bookbaby.com). For a fee they will design the book to fit all available platforms to allow one version of my title to be purchased by those who already had ties to Barnes & Nobles and other store front and electronic book outlets.
Within a day of each other, I had submitted the PDF to Amazon and a Microsoft Word version to Book Baby to run through their systems. The first response came from Book Baby who replied that they found numerous references to Amazon.com in my book’s text, and that this reference could cause the book to be refused by other booksellers. They gave me the choice of either removing the reference or having reduced sales. Thus my references to Amazon became “He who shall not be named,” and I removed these references from the text by substituting the more ambiguous reference of “online bookseller.”
In order to take advantage of the reduced price offered by Create Spate for formatted manuscripts, I had hired a fellow writer to convert my book to a PDF format suitable for printing a 5 1/2 by 8 1/2-inch size book on Amazon. With my text this would give the book a total length of around 200 pages, and this was accomplished by proper font selection and interior design to give an easy-to-read book with some desirable open spaces to give it a more inviting interior appearance. Working through Create Space’s form for submitting the book and metadata (other information related to the book), the manuscript was bounced by the automatic review process for two, unspecified, reasons.
The text and correspondence was sent back to my designer who informed me that one of their objections had to do with resolution of the book’s interior which was not really a problem, and the other was that they apparently did not like the interior formatting in the book, although there were sufficient margins, etc. He said that he had solved the problem and I resubmitted the book and completed the financial and other aspects of the book publishing contract.
Now the book is in the Create Space system and under review. There it is stew for 24 hours, or longer, while it is checked over and a review copy sent to me for final approval. I am also expecting a review copy from Book Baby for the e-book to be ready on June 21. I am now somewhat like an expectant father waiting for his children to be born. In my case I have the right to repair any errors and approve the manuscript before the book is published, something not possible for human parents who almost always must accept what they get – sorry, no returns or exchanges on kids.
So I wait. In almost every one of my 18 books, there has been some major production glitch. Sometimes these have been computer crashes, lost files, wrong ISBNs assigned, wrong cover printed with the book, etc. Such things are to be anticipated and prevented where possible, but the unexpected always seems to rise up from somewhere and bite us authors in the butt.
Advanced orders are being taken for the book and may be made below:
Create Your Own Job Security
Generally available for special promotion price of $10.99.