I haven’t posted anything – I haven’t even looked at this website – in a couple of weeks. I know how little traffic I get, so I’d be lying to myself if I pretended anybody was affected by this. But I did start out determined to catalogue the process of self-publishing my first novel, and I have done some work toward that in the last couple of weeks, so here we go.

The last time I checked in, I had just received the first print proof of To the North, and I was pleased. I needed to fix a couple of formatting things, and to do some color correction on the cover, but I was happy with the quality.

So I made the changes and resubmitted it to CreateSpace. Then things got a little frustrating.

Since I hadn’t made any major changes to the interior (fixed a few headers, etc.), I expected it to be accepted just as before. And the digital preview didn’t show any problems. But then, for some reason, it got blocked for having too many blank pages at the beginning of the book.

It had exactly as many as the first time, which was approved.

The most frustrating part was that it took a full 24 hours to get notification on whether or not the changes were accepted, so while I tried to workaround this bizarre problem, it took 4 days to finally get the solution. I ordered another set of proofs, they arrived three days later, and they looked great. I logged into CreateSpace and approved the final for distribution.

This is when things got really frustrating. When I ordered the proofs I had the option to rush order (2-day shipping), but standard shipping was still 5-6 days. But once I approved the finals, those dates got pushed wayyyyy back. “Rush” order was was two fucking weeks. Standard shipping wouldn’t get them to me until next year.

What? Seriously, what?

Here’s the kicker. Rather than take the full week as anticipated, CreateSpace made the paperback available on Amazon pretty much immediately. And it’s Prime eligible. So somebody could buy the book on Amazon and get it in their hands more than a week before I, the author, could get my own copies. In what world does that make any kind of sense?

It also means I’m cutting it awful close with my Goodreads Giveaway. Technically I have a week or so to send them out after I get the list of winners, and with the holidays I’m sure they’ll understand any shipping delays. But I was hoping I’d have them ready to go before I got the list, so I could just slap the mailing labels on and call it good.

Best laid plans, yadda yadda yadda.

In other news, now that To the North is officially finished, I’ve started working on the next installment in the anthology. And I am excited for it. It will be called To the East, and here’s a two-word teaser for you: “sea zombie.”

Yup. It’s gonna be fun.

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