Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

What's Old

. . . Is Still Old.

But here's how the new edition of my old book looks: 

Recently, I decided to recycle (yet again!) my self-published novel, Patches on the Same Quilt, into a brand new edition via Createspace. The original was published in 2001, thanks to a grant from the Smith Mountain Arts Council that subsidized about a third of the cost of the first press run. Back in those days, self-publishing was a pricey endeavor that involved a print run of at least a thousand to keep the cost per copy down. To further keep the cost down, I went with a two-color cover that the printer designed instead of a pricey full color cover. As covers went, it wasn't a thing of beauty.

It took me over a year to sell the first thousand copies, and I did another press run (the second thousand was way cheaper than the first!). During the following decade, I've sold about eight hundred copies. There were a few minor things I wanted to change, but—while they weren't set in stone, they were set in type.

In 2013, I decided to make a Kindle ebook of Patches, and—with a little help from cover-designer Ed Mitchell—I did. Making an ebook, I learned, is tedious but not difficult.

Because Createspace's print-on-demand technology provides an inexpensive way to get books printed as well as make them available on online sites, I decided to give Patches a new life in print. I read up on how to use Createspace and downloaded a template. It took me several tries, with a little help from my friends, to get the manuscript the way I wanted. I used the front cover Ed had designed, and Lake Writer buddy Chuck Lumpkin helped me with the back cover.

After I'd uploaded what I thought was the final result, I ordered a proof copy. Several errors became apparent, so I marked up the proof copy, made some edits, uploaded the revised version, and ordered another proof copy. Then I compared the second proof with the first.

Proof number two was good! I clicked the button on the Createspace site and the latest edition of Patches on the Same Quilt went live. Here's how the back of the book looks.

The process, now that I look back on it and realize how I made the errors I did, was not difficult. Tedious, yes, but not really difficult. 

If anyone wants to go the self-publishing route—after you've exhausted attempts at getting an agent or big-name publisher—I'd recommend Createspace. Granted, it's not a legit publishing credit—no self-publishing effort is. But it's a fast, inexpensive, and fairly easy way to get your work into print.

Now I think I'll go back and tweak the e-book version.

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