Another cool NaNo perk

Pen and Paper

Pen and Paper (Photo credit: qisur)

Are you sick of hearing about NaNoWriMo yet?  Well, hold on.  I’ve got something interesting here that might make you perk up your ears.  I was perusing the NaNo site this evening (I know, I lead the most exciting life of anyone you know, right?)  and came across the list of things winners (meaning you complete your 50,000 words in 30 days.  Well, complete it and have it verified.) can walk away with.  Of course, the number one thing all winners receive is immense satisfaction in setting and achieving a goal.  And that’s nice…more than nice.  There’s tremendous satisfaction in a job well done.

But what caught my eye tonight was that all winners can have two copies of their completed book published by CreateSpace…free, just pay shipping.  It used to be five copies, but I’d imagine that becomes a tad expensive for the company giving them away, so two copies it is this year.  I still think that’s a pretty nifty reward.  Being able to hold a copy of your published book in your hands would be quite the thrill, don’t you think?

While reading the forums, I came across a question that does make me think I would want to do some research prior to going that route.  Would having your book printed by CreateSpace have any bearing on having it picked up by a publishing house in the future (whew, sounds like I’ve got big plans for this book, doesn’t it?).  Like I said, I would want to look into all of that before choosing to do it that way.  Luckily, they give you until June, 2014 to redeem your offer.  I would think that would be plenty of time for me to find the answers to any questions I have…oh yeah, and maybe do a little editing…that might come in handy too.

So what do you think?  Anybody have any advice for me about the publishing aspect?  Anybody want me to shut up about NaNo?  If you answered “yes” to that last question, my question to you would be, “Do you really know me?  Do you believe it would be possible for me to remain quiet about something I’m so excited about?”  Maybe you’ll just have to ignore me until the end of November.  I won’t hold it against you, I promise.  Or you could join in the fun and frenzy of NaNoWriMo!  Come on!  You know you want to.

Sleepless in B’town

Okay…I agree, not as catchy as sleepless in Seattle…but I’m at home in Bloomington and have been sleepless since a little after 3 am.  I laid in bed reading books (yes, books, plural) on my Kindle, with Spook snuggled up next to me.  It sounds sweet and picturesque, doesn’t it?  The truth of it is that Spook was sleeping peacefully, while I was in pain.  But really, how could I move to try to find a more comfortable position when she was zonked out beside me, her head resting on my shoulder?  Huh?  I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t start tossing and turning and wake her up.  Ah…the things we go through for our pets.

Anyhow, I’ve been reading books on self publishing, publishing e-books on Kindle, and starting a website.  The website seems the least daunting of the three.  Probably because I’ve been blogging for a couple of years and am at least somewhat familiar with making that transition.  But the self-publishing?  Wow!  Seems like there’s a lot involved in that.  And I’ve read some e-books that were obviously self-published…probably without anyone taking the time to edit, or even proofread, them.  I wouldn’t want any book I wrote riddled with mistakes.  I did discover that you can go back in to edit and update your e-book if you use Amazon’s KDP (Kindle direct publishing)…kind of makes me question whether or not these other authors reread their books.  KDP also allows you to run promotions for your book.  A few interesting tidbits there.

Apparently you have to format your manuscript for Kindle too.  Just to give you an idea of how much I don’t know, that’s something that wouldn’t have occurred to me prior to reading these books, although having seen the messes that some authors have published, I should have been aware of that fact.  I have downloaded the free publishing books that Amazon provides, so it seems like I have a lot more reading (and learning) ahead of me before I even attempt to publish one of my books that way.

kindle 003

I have a few (okay, a lot of) questions for you already published authors out there…e-books? Traditional publishing houses?  Self-publishing?  What are your experiences with any or all of these publishing methods?

My head is literally exploding

Uh…no, most likely it’s not literally exploding…if it is, you’re probably not going to be around to talk about it.  Or at least let me get out of the room before it happens.  Are there writing errors that authors make that literally drive you crazy?  Do you blame the author, do you blame their editors or proofreaders, or do you just try to overlook it?

If I come across just one error in an entire 300 page book, I can overlook that (sort of).  But if I happen upon glaring mistakes in grammar or spelling, or if the meaning of several passages is ambiguous…well, then I begin to get a bit annoyed.  I mean, come on, don’t we pay good money for our books?  Aren’t these authors professionals?  Shouldn’t we be able to expect them to follow at least the basic rules of English when distributing a book to the masses?

I admit it, I’m not the most patient person.  I do expect professionalism from professionals (I expect my doctor to be up-to-date on the latest advances in medicine.  I expect my mechanic to know how to repair my car.  I expect my plumber to be able to install that new toilet.  When I call the help desk, I expect the person answering the phone to actually be able to help me with whatever issue I’m calling  about…oh wait, the help desk isn’t particularly helpful…that’s another story for another blog……Anyhow, you catch my drift, right?).

Do you have any pet peeves related to the published word?  And how many of them did I violate with this post today?  I proofread it, really I did.  I take full responsibility for any and all mistakes.

Tech vacation

Take a Vacation!

Take a Vacation! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In case anyone was wondering, I’ve been on a vacation of sorts.  Still going in to my paying job every day, but decided to take a few days away from writing after the big NaNo month of June.  Managed to get a little more sleep over the past few nights, so that’s a plus.

I think I’m now ready to start writing regularly again…expanding on the book I started last month.  And I intend to go back over what I wrote and revise it…and then revise it some more.  I love writing, but a few days away did me a lot of good.  Maybe that’s something to consider in the future…write like I’m demon possessed for a month, then take a few days off…

So have any of you actually taken the step to have the book you wrote (or started) during NaNo published?  Any thoughts or tips on that?  I have quite a bit of work to do on it before it’s ready to be published, but it’s never too soon to learn all the ins and outs of publishing, is it?