Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Book to Please Myself

Writing the content was the hard part. Well, it took the longest anyway. But part of that was because I was focusing on school work.

Formatting wasn't easy, really. It was just more rote. Once I figured out how to format my pictures, I could just repeat the formula until the all the photos were finished.


I wrote a book about my solo hike to Stump Lake. The first part is an explanation of backpacking and hiking and what I bring and how I do it, and the second part is about the hike itself, including some parts that didn't make it into my blog entry about the trip. The reason there is an explanation section is that I wrote this book for my mom, and she's never been backpacking.

While I was on that hike, I thought about what I might write about it, and I got the idea in my head to take tons of photos to put into a book that I could send to my mom so that she could get some idea of what going on a backpacking trip was like. She has Multiple Sclerosis, and such a trip would not be feasible for her. But, I thought, I could try to write something that would be like being there for her.

In many ways, this book is for her. But, it is also a book for me. I wrote it to my standards. I chose the photos and wrote the captions and created the cover. My husband helped me proof-read it, but this book is mine. And it will soon be available as an ebook.

Getting the actual hard copy takes a little longer. I have ordered myself a proof copy, and, if it looks good, then I anticipate having the hard copy available for print on demand before the 15th of January. A large print edition, of course, since her eyesight is a bit weak.

I feel a bit strange about the whole thing. I put a lot of work into it, and I like it. But there's a part of me that knows that when I finally send a copy to my mom, she'll find something wrong with it. Like, "oh, what a lovely book, but why didn't you ... ?"

I'm actually counting on that, because it is feedback, and can help me make decisions for the next book.

But it doesn't really matter if she likes it or not, or if anyone buys a copy at all. I'm learning. The process of creating this book, creating the images using the photos that I took, and compiling it all, every little thing that I did is one more thing that I've learned. And it will be just a little less scary next time. And it won't take as much time, because I'll know some of the tricks of the trade - like make sure the photos are 300 dpi for print editions. And be patient while waiting for the proof to arrive.

It seems like there are dire warnings about publishing and self-publishing everywhere I look online. Do this. Don't do that. Never do this, unless you do that first. So I'm tuning it out, and I'm putting a book up for sale that pleases me.

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