Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG July - Adaptability: Another Maalox Moment

This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post for July.


Alex's awesome co-hosts this month are: 
Please stop by their blogs and say thank you


First, some IWSG news from our fearless leader...
  • Be sure to visit other participants. The IWSG sign-up and linked list of members is here.
  • We now have a t-shirt! You can purchase it here.
  • Check the website for resources and weekly posts from the admins and guests.
  • And be sure to check out our Facebook group


My insecurity this month has to do with consistency and continuity of my products. You know how it is. Just when you think you have it all figured out, someone blasts apart a bridge on your path, and you have to adapt. 

I love to be creative, but I hate change.

I finished my WIP, got the beta feedback (which was mostly positive, thank goodness), and now I'm knee deep in final edits of the companion novel to my debut... only to discover the formatter who formatted my first book isn't taking new jobs, even from established clients. Oy vey.

I admit I had a little, private freak-out moment when I got her email. But..but...but... this is a companion novel. I silently shrieked in my mind. How can I be sure it will look the same if someone else does the formatting? I'm going to have to trust someone new with my baby--a baby that needs to be a twin!  

*grabs Maalox*

Then came acceptance and the search. I found someone new who has a glowing recommendation, but he wants more than twice the first formatter's fee for a story with half the number of words. Hm... 

I could try it myself. There are programs for do-it-yourself e-book formatting, but they have limitations, and it would be not only an added task but an added learning curve to heap on top of all the other things I have to do to get my twin baby published. 

And what about the PDF for the paperback? The most I know how to do with PDFs is open them, read them, and save them. 

I'm a tree. I can bend
*gags, then blisters the walls with a convoluted string of profanity*

Hopefully, by the time this post goes live, I'll have figured it out. 



IWSG is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. It's a monthly bloghop that offers a safe haven for writers to express their feelings and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. It's also a venue for offering support, both in the form of comments and positive posts. Writers of all kinds are welcome. 

We 'meet' the first Wednesday of every month. If you're interested in learning more, click on the link above. And don't be intimidated by the size of the group. We're not expected to visit everyone on the list

52 comments:

  1. I hear you regarding change. Ugh.

    In case you're still looking for a formatter, I really liked the company I used for my collection. I plan on/hope to use them again for my second collection. (If you go to my blog, click on The People We Used to Be tab at the top - the info is there.)

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    1. I keep a list, so eve if I don't use them for this, I'll check them out. ;)

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  2. It looks like your previous formatter used images for the chapter headings and scene breaks. Plus the first line of each scene is not indented. It's the image that pushes the beginning of each chapter down, so as long as the image height matches, you'll have the same look in formatting. You'll just need to figure out what font they used. It's possible to pull the scene divider image from your existing book, unless you signed some contract that says you can't. I don't know if people do that or not. I think your book is yours so you can do whatever you want with it, including copying the images inside it.

    If you do attempt to do it yourself, I'd be happy to help. :)

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    1. I just might take you up on that.

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  3. Oh no. It takes trust to hand over your project. But I'm sure you'll find a wonderful formatter. I have one that I love and I'm hoping he doesn't quit or cut me off. Best of luck.

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    1. I hope he doesn't either.

      I want to learn to format so I don't have to stress about it anymore.

      Delete
  4. Several IWSG members format - check that page at the site. Don't panic!

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  5. I'm so sorry! I know how awful a change in your writing roster can be. When I went to my editor with my last book, she was seriously backlogged, and I was totally freaking out because my deadline was SO close. But we survived.

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    1. Thanks, Crystal. I think what I need to do is just learn to do it myself. That would solve a whole lot of problems.

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  6. Oh, sweet gosh, do I hate change. Often, I try to fool myself into believing that I like it. That I embrace it. Hogwash. I really don't. It scares me to no end - literally. So sorry you're going through this with your companion novel. I'm sure it's stressful. Kind of goes along with my post today about how we need these insecurities and conflicts. But right now, you need some reassurance that this will all work out. It will. You did it once, and you'll do it again. And when you're on the other side of all this formatting (whether you hire someone new or give it a go yourself), you will smile.

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    1. I know, but the process sucks.
      Thanks for stopping by. :)

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  7. Dang. Sorry that change hit so hard. Breathe and relax. I'm sure you'll find a new way to go that's going to work really well. You're a smart gal. You'll figure it out!! :)

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  8. Hope you manage to solve the issues soon!

    I taught myself to format ebooks using Scrivener and paperbacks using Word because I couldn't fit a formatter into my budget. Createspace's website has downloadable paperback templates and some helpful instructions if you're struggling. :)

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    1. I didn't know that. Thank you! :)

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  9. I hope to be able to format my own books one day, but trying to match the format of your first book probably increases the difficulty level. And you're probably in a bit of a time crunch too. Good luck with the formatting.

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    1. Yup. That's a big part of the stressor.
      Thanks.

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  10. Oh, man...thats a bummer. So hard to find service providers you can trust only to lose them right at a crucial moment. Hope you get it all worked out. :)

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    1. Yup.

      I'm coming to believe: if you want it done right and without a heap of stress, do it yourself.

      Delete
  11. Ooo, that's hard. I'm almost ready to hire an editor and formatter for my sequel, but my preferred person is on maternity leave. I hate change so much that I'm willing to wait until she comes back. That may be crazy, but I love her and the job she does.

    Good luck with your search. I hope you find the right formatter for a good price.

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    1. I could wait, but I've already gone past my self-imposed deadline, and a year has already passed between releases. I kinda want to get it published, even if I have to endure some stress over it.

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  12. You poor thing, how awful that you lost a great formatter that you liked and trusted! I format for digital, but I think I'd freak if I had to format for print. I hope you solve your problem soon!

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  13. I would have been freaking out, too. I used a Word template from bookdesigntemplates.com. It worked pretty well and didn't have a huge learning curve. It might not match what you already have, though. Good luck finding the right formatter!

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  14. Hey,

    I may not format all the time, but when I do, I call on Carrie Butler to help out/offer advice... (actually, I'm not sure if she does formatting, but she is a Graphics Goddess, so I would reach out to her :)

    PS: Thanks for the comments (you made me laugh, baby:) and you know I'll be in touch !!

    "Break a leg" with finding your formatter :)

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    1. Carrie is certainly a gem.
      Thanks, Mark. :)

      Delete
  15. Oh no!!! What terrible timing. I'm sorry. you did make me laugh, though, with the Maalox moment :) I don't have much advice to offer, sadly, except to say that I KNOW you'll figure it out, and it'll all work out OK in the end. Good luck!

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  16. Oh, I commiserate with the fickle commitments of those who edit, do voice overs, book covers, and format. I'm on too tight a budget to do anything other than that tried (very trying) and true DIY. Actually making a PDF file is pretty easy if you work in Word. Just use the SAVE AS feature and select PDF. But double-check every page . . . Good wishes for the coming month and thanks for visiting my blog even before I posted this month's entry (my first).

    Beth #IWSG 276

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  17. Good luck! I hope you figure it all out. It all sounds so complicated. I wish I knew something about formatting!

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    1. Thank you. I'll need it, I'm sure. :)

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  18. Change is definitely right up there with root canals! Keep going and keep flexible.

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  19. I'm the one who always says that change is good, we should embrace it, learn from it.
    In this case, I'm hesitant...
    Formatting and PDF's etc?? Sounds scary.
    I'm sure you'll figure it out.

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    1. It wouldn't be so stressful except that the kids are out of school, so I don't have long stretches of time to learn something so technical.

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  20. That's too bad, Melissa... Why not check out the IWSG Website for possible formatters. Alex and THE TEAM have compiled a great list of service for us writers to use.

    CONGRATS on you new novel. So exciting! I know you will pull it together. You are a WOMAN WITH A MISSION!

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  21. OUCH! Hopefully you find someone good enough to match the formatting of the first book. :/

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  22. I do book formatting, print and ebook - http://www.spunkonastick.net/book-formatting-services/ I don't know how much the others were charging you, but I've tried to keep my prices reasonable.

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  23. Yuck. I remember learning Latex to formate my dissertation. Once I got started, all went well, but that's the hard part--getting started.

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    1. Yup. The kids being out for summer vacation doesn't help either.

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  24. Oh geez I'm sorry this happened. Good luck with the formatting. I'm sure you will figure it out. And there are lots of folks in this group who know how to do it so you could get advice. I feel for you though, I'm so intimidated to try things like that.

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  25. Oog. >_< Best of luck getting it all figured out and done. Maybe you could give one of the formatting programs a try, see if it works for you? If it works, great. If it doesn't, at least you gave that option a shot. Hope you can find a way to make things work.

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  26. Oh, man, can I relate. I've lost two editors and two cover designers but so far--knock on wood--not my proofer or formatter. I'll gladly share info if you don't have anyone yet. Email if you want info: tikihuttime AT gmail.com

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  27. I hope this formatter is worth the $ you now have to spend. I'm sorry you couldn't find a more reasonable one sooner. We're PDF twins too; I know as much as you. Hope everything works out. Hugs.

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  28. Dude, that'd freak me out, too. I'm happy to give you my formatter's details, if you're still on the hunt. I like her a lot, she's quick, responsive, steeped in the romance tradition, and has, in my opinion, reasonable rates.

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  29. The thought of formatting my own book gives me anxiety. If you haven't found someone, I'd be happy to recommend. At least your feedback was largely positive. Always a silver lining, thank goodness.

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