Since I last posted to this blog, Falling has entered (and emerged from) the most intensive period of activity it's probably seen since that first honeymoon phase rush of being in with the idea and starting the first draft.
I signed up properly with Squarespace and built the entire site – you're actually looking at the results of that right now, since I moved the blog across from where it was hosted in a Wordpress site.
That meant writing the bio, blurb and a marketing kit. Selecting, isolating and reformatting the sample chapter. Getting pictures of the cover and new bridge organised to feature and learning their system to create the whole thing (I highly recommend it - I've spent hours in online chats with the tech support people and they're great). I even got a brand new picture taken of myself for the media kit, because the pictures of me on various social media accounts are at least a decade old.
I set up and designed the Facebook and Twitter pages, thought long and hard about Instagram (and decided against it – it's just not my thing. Ask me again if this takes off and maybe I've employed a social media manager).
I had to go through the final stages of buying the cover image from the news service, which was around $1,000. That's on top of the $500 I spent on the harbour bridge shoot and the US$2,500 for digital art to redraw the new bridge.
One of the biggest jobs was formatting the entire manuscript. The original plan was just to do Amazon but then I thought I might as well try and do Apple iBooks and Smashwords to, and a bit of research revealed that you need a well formatted .doc or .pdf copy (you might for Amazon too and I'm yet to discover that – I've only set up the page so far).
That meant not only designing graphics to indicate the start of a new part in the book, I had to get all the publishing details together (including the ISBN, was was another purchase), insert the cover and new bridge pic, and then cut and paste the entire book into the one document in the right font and format, going right through to make a new page for each chapter and check everything.
And because I did that in Microsoft Word rather than my usual word processor of OpenOffice, it showed – to my horror – more spelling errors and typos because Word has that red and green underline which shows you the errors.
That meant scanning right through page by page watching like a hawk for red underlines, and I'm ashamed to admit I found three or four more in the entire 760 page document. God willing there are no more typographical or spelling errors in Falling.
Then, because the bonus features at the end of the book let you download and read the entire first draft if you like, I had to do the same for that.
I've printed out and proofread everything, got all the mechanical details in place, got all the imagery I need for marketing and presentation, and just this morning I finalised a hiccup I had with the ISBN. I'm actually downloading the photos of myself to the very laptop I'm writing this post on at this precise moment, so choosing and using one will be the last step.
I'm not sure how in-depth and time-consuming publishing on Smashwords and Apple are, but as I said the Amazon page is half done apart from some images, blurb and the actual files so that should be pretty quick.
That means that after starting this book in 1991 – 28 years ago as I write these words – the official publication might be any time in the next day or so.
Then (as I keep saying to myself, unless I've written it here), the real work starts.