High five world, the print edition of Diary of the Wolf is finally roaming wild! Get it here. It was a low-key birth, yes, but then it takes time for a baby to grow. Or so I might say if asked and feeling mysterious. The truth is filled with noob mistakes and learning.
CreateSpace is a very handy tool for indie authors. With enough care you can create a really high quality print product and, despite reading an awful lot of books on Kindle these days, I really love the feel of a physical book. For the last few months I’ve been in layout mode, learning inDesign (a much nicer result than Word) and waiting on proofs and such. Proofs are where the real fun and heartbreak is at.
Pesky physical things like binding and folding means your digital layout will never match the print product exactly, so to check everything is OK before you sell it, proofs are sent out. It took just a few days for the proof to be printed and mailed out, but the to-and-fro adds up. My first proof had a few stupid mistake: An L missing from the back cover, a chapter with no little heading and the gutter (the space given on the inside page for the book binding) was too small to be comfortable.
Luckily, proof number two was perfect. CreateSpace sits idle waiting for you to approve the proof. So, once proof two arrived, I clicked approve. I was expecting another button, another step. Surely there would be a “publish” button, possibly large and red. Nope. My book was suddenly live in the world.
I had planned to release it in early March, giving me plenty of time to get review copies out and the like. I was planning on a Goodreads giveaway (it’s happening this Saturday and running for a month) as well as setting up a pre-order screen. As an aside, turns out pre-orders are a pain in the ass (why is this, Amazon, seems like a basic thing!) There’s still a lot on my to-do list, beyond launch fun. I could have tried to put the genie back in the bottle, but, hey, indie publisher, why obey the regular rules. Let the book run free! Like the wind!
I ordered 50 copies to send to reviewers. The order went in Friday night, I received a nice big box that Wednesday. I underestimated the turn around but it kicked me in to overdrive. Thanks to some amazingly sound Twitter chums, I started adding names to my review list. Up to that point it had seemed incredibly difficult to break in to the world of the book blogger. It’s understandable, with thousands of books looking to be reviewed, bloggers need to be selective. A combination of “yes, it’s actually in print” and some help from one rather excellent blogger in particular, meant that the Diary of the Wolf word is slowly but surely spreading.
Traditional media is going to be a lot trickier, because they’re getting pounded by publishers all the time, but that’s next week’s challenge. I’ll write a detailed blog on all the publicity for the book and how I went about getting it, there’s no point keeping such things secret. I’ll also tell you how much I had to spend and what was and wasn’t effective. Hopefully including Haribo with the books is a winning move.
Until then, I’m keeping busy writing the 2nd draft of book two – Shadows in the Dark.