Proof copies

My proofs finally came in!

cy proofs

I honestly wasn’t expecting them to have the cover I’d made in the cover designer. I expected something plain with the title and “PROOF” across the diagonal in faded lettering. This is much more exciting than that.

I had them delivered to work, so naturally some coworkers saw and I have been officially outed as a writer. I still feel as though I want to establish myself before letting people around me know, as though they’ll judge me for not having proven my worth as a writer. No one so far has done that to me, though. “Oh, you’re a writer? That’s great! What do you write? When can I read it?” It’s enough to give a man the warm and fuzzies.

I have gotten in contact with Creative Digital Studios with some questions about how they work. I’m hoping to get a nice cover out of them, but there is always the issue of payment. My first inquiry got a reply with an estimate of around $300, which really isn’t that much. I kind of like the idea of getting something done soon, printing it out in color and sticking it on the wall behind my computer screen to inspire me. Hanging it in my office could be neat too.

cy proof notes

Now that I have a convenient, paperback version of my first draft, I can carry it around with me and make notes on the train. I’ve scribbled my color-code on the inside of the cover, but I’ve memorized it by now. I’ll be indicating what chapter I’ve marked up to on the sidebar, more for me than for anyone else, but it’s there if you want to look at it.

The convenience of the proof does not in any way approach the awesome feeling of having a physical book in my possession with my name on it. All it took (apart from writing the thing) was a little bit of formatting, slapping together the preliminary cover, a credit card payment and time. It has the print date at the back; I received the proofs three weeks after printing. It printed the same day I ordered it.

I’m one step closer to having a finished, polished product.

Cover art and self publishing

I have uploaded my first draft of Climbing Yggdrasil to CreateSpace, designed a cover, and ordered proof copies for scribbling in. They’ve estimated I should have them by June 2, in time for me to start a second read-through looking for problems to correct. The book is not as frighteningly bad as I expected it to be, I actually came up with some good stuff somehow! I was most concerned about the end, because I kind of rushed through the last few chapters. The chapters themselves don’t feel rushed, but it’s clear there ought to be more chapters between the ones I have to flesh certain things out so that the reader doesn’t think, “Wait, when did that happen?”

climbing yggdrasil

This generic cover won’t do for final publication; I’ve done some looking into professional cover designers and really liked what I saw over at Creative Digital Studios, but it comes down to being able to justify paying for it. There are other avenues to pursue, and I believe I’m still early enough in the editing process that I shouldn’t be rushing to have a nicer cover done just yet.

I think in the beginning of this whole adventure, back in November when I realized I would actually make it to 50,000 words and finish a book for once, I wanted to try getting it published through traditional channels. Then one of the winner goodies from NaNoWriMo was a code good for two paperback copies of my book through CreateSpace, so I started checking them out and learned how easy it is to self-publish that way. After a message to customer support, I learned that this code is not valid for proof copies; I would have to submit my book for publication in order to redeem two free copies of the final product. I don’t think I’ll be ready by the time the code expires.

The more I played with CreateSpace, the more attractive the idea of self-publishing my first novel became. This wouldn’t mean I couldn’t try a later book through a publisher; it might even help to have a self-published book floating out there (assuming it gets positive reviews; I’ll have to make sure it’s good enough to do that). I could be entirely wrong, publishers might look at a self-published author as some kind of terrible amateur who has no business trying to gain traction in the world of traditional publishing.

I just want to get my work out there for people to read, though. I’d like to have a final draft polished and ready to go up on CreateSpace by November. I should probably figure out what I’m going to do about a cover in the coming months, then.

Anyone have experience with publishing, self or otherwise? What has that been like for you?