Thursday, December 15, 2022

the self publishing diaries

This lovely little stack of AUTOMAGICs arrived in my mail room on Wednesday and I can't quite stop staring at then.  The exterior turned out even more lovely than I imagined as I was designing it over the summer. While the release, which was expected around Halloween was delayed due to my dad's passing, I was able to finalize the tweaks that were in progress and order a set of copies to make available at the end of the month.  One of the biggest blessings of self-publishing of course being that flexibility in scheduling and timelines. The manuscript itself had been finished for a year when I first started the editing project to make the book a reality and I appreciated the space between finishing the last section of the poems in spring of 2021 and starting those edits this summer.  Even though some of the segments were chaps and zines previously, its good to spend some time away from work and then come back in with fresh eyes, another benefit of creative control on a project. 

I watch a lot of youtubers writing fiction who issue their own work, and am always a little relieved there is much less editing and proofing for a poetry collection than a novel. I like to get a second set of eyes to find any ridiculous typos, but I mostly do my own copyediting since I do it for the press already. You don't have all the continuity and plot issues that come up fiction, so editing is a lot easier. I probably took about a month and half to get things as I liked them with some minor changes, usually to the flow of language or changes and standardization in punctuation. All of that happened over the summer just marking up the manuscript bit by bit so that by early October I was able to make the changes and order my first proof copy.  I only had one this time since with each book, I get batter at landing the margins and spacing so the changes to the interior are smaller and then I'm ready to order a larger stack. It helped that I had used this trim size with FEED, so the specs were already worked out. (DARK COUNTRY and AVM were tougher--one wider, one narrower.)

The cover, which I designed over the summer, also needed a tweak to move the title text over and adjust some of the graphics at the bottom. Since you can't always tell what color things are actually going to be from the printer, I was happy that I nailed the salmon pink of the spine perfectly to match some of the flowers. I am also astounded at the quality.. They are much higher quality than  POD books of yore. Also quite a bit cheaper than I was looking at in the early 2000s when I considered self-publishing. 

With the actual production of the book a wrap, there was, and still is, promotion if anyone is going to read it, which leaves you as the author doing the heavy listing that publishers (well, some publishers) handle.  Even with presses bolstering the actual books, poets shoulder most of the task of selling the books.  I had a strong start with some teaser trailers, but I still need to do quite a bit more in the next two weeks before its officially available, including a proper trailer, promo graphics for social media, etc. I also plan, since a reading isn't really possible, to do some recordings. I may also have some other tricks up my sleeve in the next couple weeks, so stay tuned....

1 comment:

Carolee said...

congrats! it's gorgeous!