Worth the wait?

As you may remember, I had the bright idea of creating an anthology for the Once Upon A Time Flash Fiction Contest, which was held to coincide with National Flash Fiction Day… which was on the 16th May. You may also remember that I had hoped to have the book ready for then… As you are no doubt aware, it is now almost July, and this was over six weeks ago…

So what happened?

Right, here goes (feel free to skip this bit if you’re not really interested in my pain, but the pain was real and I felt it and I want some sympathy…)

I DID have the book ready for the 16th May, pretty much. Of course I’ve made a few tweaks during the proofing stages, but by and large it was ready.

Thanks to Anna, we got a wonderful offer… Jess Grey (who also donated her book as a prize and is basically a bloody lovely lady) offered the services of her husband to create us a swanky new cover… for free! Whoohoo! Amazing, and after a very short time, we had agreed on the fabulous cover – which you can see below (sorry, it won’t go any bigger in this post, but you’ll get the general feel of its gorgeousness).

So far so good.

Then everything went wrong.

I wanted to use CreateSpace, but at the time they didn’t have a European distribution channel, which would’ve meant that half of the authors in the book would’ve had to order from the US, taking to long and costing too much in postage.

So I went with a UK based company, who have distribution partners in the US. They have a nice looking website and they came recommended and I had seen one of their books before Β and it looked great – so what could possibly go wrong? Upload the interior file (created according to their specs), then upload the cover file (created according to their specs), get a proof copy (quickly) then get it out there for everyone to buy. Simple, right?

WRONG.

First off, their lovely looking website was actually quite faffy and difficult to navigate. Then I uploaded the interior… the sizing was wrong… er, hello? I created it according to your sizing spec. I amended and uploaded another. Ok, fine.

Then for the cover. Sizing was wrong. Completely. Er, hello again? It was created according to your sizing spec. Now you might be thinking – ok, big deal, fix it, upload again, move on. It wasn’t that simple.

I sent it back to Jess and it was fixed quickly, despite the confusion over why it wasn’t right when it was right according to the specs. To cut a long story short, I think this happened three times, maybe four. I lost the will to live at one point, but luckily Jess was a sweetie and calmed me down. her hubby was fitting this work around his real, proper work, so I had to be patient. Meanwhile, I exchanged a few emails with my contact at the printing company. I was sick of the pretty website – it seemed to be full of bugs and issues and I lost faith in it.

Finally, the proof came: the cover was the wrong size and a white line appeared down the edge.

At this point I was ready to give up on the whole thing. I felt totally crap. I thought I was going to have to let everyone down. I stayed off twitter, I didn’t blog. I went on holiday and started thinking ‘what if I never go on twitter again?’ This might sound like an overreaction – my account of it all probably doesn’t even sound that bad… but when you’re like me, and you like things to be perfect, it was all a massive, massive let down. My contact at the printing company didn’t get back to me, it was all hanging in limbo…

Then a miracle happened.

CreateSpace announced that they now had a European distribution channel, so the book could listed on both the .com and .co.uk Amazon sites. Happy Days!!

The process looked a bit complicated – it wasn’t. I expected issues with the formatting. As it turned out, they have a neat little template for the interior, I had to do minor resizing and shuffling and checking. I expected that the cover wouldn’t fit. I uploaded it anyway. It didn’t fit quite right, but guess what? THEY FIXED IT. No hassle, no crap, no tears from me. I ordered a proof… I paid the extra for super fast delivery… it arrived.

Guess what?

It looks fan-bloody-tastic!!!

So it’s now in the CreateSpace eStore – you can buy it from there, but it should be on Amazon in 5-7 days where the prices will show up in dollars, sterling, euros. I’ve made it as cheap as I possibly can for you – it’s under Β£3/$4 (plus postage), but you’re not allowed to have no royalties so I’ve set them at a penny. I’ll give all the pennies to charity, and I’ll let you know which one when I do.

Finally, I’m excited again – and I’ve managed to get my mojo back – I’ve been back writing my novel again this week, and I’ll update you on the progress of that soon. I’m still a bit quiet on twitter, but I am back and I’m gradually popping my head above the parapet.

I can’t wait until you see the book… I can’t wait for your reactions when it plops through your letterbox.

I hope you’ll agree with me when I say it’s worth the wait!

***

P.S. I haven’t been totally idle, I wrote a festival review while I was on holiday… πŸ˜‰

15 thoughts on “Worth the wait?

  1. Congratulations of a job definitely well done! The cover looks beautiful and we already know the inside is a beauty.
    I know it’ll be worth the wait – thank you for making this all come true, Susi!
    And come back to our absurd twitter conversations, soon πŸ™‚

  2. Susi, thank you so much for your hard work (and Anna’s too!) for pulling this together. Good things take time, and this is GREAT news. I’m so glad you didn’t totally lose the will to live because we need your awesomeness. πŸ™‚ It looks beautiful and I can’t wait to pick up a copy and spout about it all over the internet. (Oh wait, I already started!) Thank you for giving us all our very own true fairy tale! And good luck with your book…hope to see you back on twitter soon!

  3. I think I speak on behalf of everyone when I say Thank YOU Susi (and Anna) for pulling this anthology together. I had NO idea how you must have been stressing about this, yet you persevered in order to get this done – not for you, but for all of us.
    I am so sorry you had to go through all those hurdles and wish now I had known, though I probably would have told you that you had done all you can do and not to worry! In the end, you pulled it off and for that, we cannot thank you enough.
    Was it worth the wait? You bet! I LOVE the cover and cannot wait to order a few copies!
    xxx

    • Thanks B! It was quite a tough time, I wasn’t having fun at all but I didn’t want to keep whinging so I just went underground! Now it’s just the darn waiting for it to be on the UK site that is annoying πŸ˜‰ xx

  4. I could feel your pain and utter frustration oozing from your blog, thank you for never giving up! The cover looks enticing and I cannot wait to search on Amazon and find THE book. Am excited and so grateful for all your patience and perseverance. Glad you are back at your own writing now.

  5. THANK YOU !!! THANK YOU !!! THANKY YOU!! ( and the marvellous Anna Meade) for all you have done.

    You are simply brilliant and your tenacity for the sake of every one of us is greatlyy appreacited and admired.

    Thank you so much again! I have ordered from the stated and paid for priority mail. It’s worth it

    #yourock

  6. Thanks so much for doing all of that work to get this book created! It looks fantastic!

    I looked for it on Amazon.co.uk but couldn’t find it. Found it on the .com site though. Is there something I am missing?

    I heard the proceeds will be going to charity?

    • Hi Rebecca – it’s not on the UK site yet, they’ve said it will be there by the 11th. Yes, the very small proceeds will be going to charity, I am planning to reveal all about that next week, hopefully when I have the .co.uk link to send out too! πŸ™‚

      • Awesome! πŸ™‚ I can’t wait! And in the meantime, I can send a copy to my parents in the Arizona. πŸ™‚

  7. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to comment, I guess I haven’t been paying attention. Susi, want to thank you for all the work you’ve put into putting this together. It really means a lot to all of the writers and it is a present to each of us. Thank you, thank you!!!

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