Monday, March 22, 2010

Words To Live By Gathers Speed

It’s great to be able to say to my students, I know just what you’re going through because I’m going through it, too. The book is on fast forward, moving faster than I ever dreamed it would.

Here’s what I’ve done:

  • Had my manuscript copy edited
  • Purchased my ISBNs
  • Had my book cover and interior designed (now in layout)
  • Applied for a fictitious name for my publishing company
  • Opened an account with CreateSpace to publish the book
  • Begun to fill out their voluminous application forms
  • Created a new Web site and ShopSite store
  • Developed a detailed marketing plan
  • Registered my copyright
  • Designed bookmarks

What are my next steps?

  • Read galleys and have them copy edited
  • Create list and send out readers’ copies
  • Write press release and set up press room on Web site
  • Make a list of local TV and radio talk shows
  • Write talking points for interviews
  • Contacted a copy editor for the galley proofs
  • Begun to request testimonials from fellow authors

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Web Site Nightmare

I am about to scream. If you do anything that involves Web sites and the Internet, perhaps you will understand my exasperation.

I decided to create my own Web site for Words To Live By. For only $1,000 I could have hired an expert to do it, but, no; I had to do it myself. I had designed and created my other Web site for, which has a gazillion links and pages. (In the interest of full disclosure, my friend and Web guru Bobette Kyle wondered around behind the scenes and fixed my mistakes. Since I didn’t understand HTML, she found quite a few little mistakes to fix.) The site now runs like a well-oiled machine most of the time. It has a ShopSite store constructed by a ShopSite-approved firm in Canada; it has a blog, created in the simplest of all blog programs, Blogspot; it has links to a video and In short, it works.

So, how hard could it be to design a simple little Web site for one book? This one has only a few links to pages about the book and the author, testimonials, and a shopping cart. It took a while, but I finally got all the pages set up and the links to connect to the right pages.

Wednesday: It is not difficult to upload a Web site … usually. In this case, it was impossible. would not upload. It could not find the server. Nothing worked. Nothing. Not even six phone calls to Verio (my wonderful Web site host) over three days. Each time, things improved somewhat, but never enough to fix the problem, whatever the problem may have been. I will spare you the details, because there are hundreds. Suffice to say, this was frustrating beyond belief.

10:30 a.m., Thursday: Today, I got some “good news.” Verio is having a DNS problem that is affecting other sites as well as mine. I guess the good news in that I am not alone, this has become a high priority, and they are working hard to resolve it.

8:04 p.m., Thursday: Another half hour on the phone with Verio. Dreamweaver, my Web design program, seems to be corrupt in some way. The Verio tech suggested calling Adobe. The sixth or seventh tech I've talked to told me everything was fixed, including the store, which was set up wrong by the ShopSite tech. Tried it. Lost all the links and can't even connect with the server via Cute FTP, which was the only thing that was working before.

10:00 p.m., still Thursday: Just hung up from Verio tech #8, who was learning HTML but didn't know enough to help me. Back to doing it myself. Space by space and letter by letter, I went through all the lines where things did not appear to be working; found the glitches; fixed them; redid all the links; uploaded the site again: and (this was too insane for words) created a blog to go with the

Friday: Peggy Nehmen, who designed my fabulous book cover, sent me a new JPEG file, which meant I had to go into every page of the Website, store, and blog to remove the old cover and insert the new one.

Saturday: My daughter called and pointed out a couple of typos on one of the pages; I fixed them and reloaded again. My friend, Bobette, wrote a testimonial and e-mailed it to me. It never arrived. It turns out I have not been receiving her e-mails for a week. We don't know why. She dictated her testimonial; I copied and pasted it and uploaded again.

But this time, I think I've done it. I really think I've done it. If I haven't, please don't tell me.