I had the morning off today (which is always nice, except it means I show up in the afternoon and have to fit in a full day’s work). I decided to devote the morning to finishing getting a manuscript ready for publishing. This meant I was adding the front and back matter, and creating the live (or whatever the correct term is) Table of Contents. I sat there adding the bookmarks to the chapter headings, then putting in the hyperlinks, and mentally grumbling to myself about what a big pain it is you know where. I was making it even worse by thinking about another book I have to do this for that had even more chapters than the one I was working on (100+ vs. today’s 48) and how awful it was going to be to work on that one, and how lucky ‘real’ books authors were not to have to do this.
Then it struck me that this chore was a small price to pay to get what I’d always wanted, a published book. Yes, it would be nice to be a traditional author who has a publishing house to do all the scut work, but the reality is that was probably never going to happen. I reminded myself how, one of the last times I sent out a query letter (which I had slaved over, like we all do), I got an automatic rejection email within 10 seconds of my having hit send. I thought about how I have complete control not only over what I write but what is published. You have to be a really, really big name author to have that in the traditional publishing world. (Does anybody else remember how Stephen King came out with a different edition of The Stand several years after it was originally published; it was the version he had wanted published but was not yet well-known enough not to have his editors pare it down to what they considered a more commercial length). People may grumble a lot about dealing with Amazon, but they have never once that I know of rejected a manuscript that was uploaded on the basis of ‘not for us’ or told anyone to make it shorter before it could be offered for sale.
So with that change in attitude, I happily finished my Table of Contents.
Then I remembered I hadn’t yet written a blurb. As the late Gilda Radner (or one of her characters on SNL) used to say, “It’s always something.”