Thursday, April 9, 2015

pre-order panic

So I’m checking email, making a chore list and battling a bit o’ stuffy head from allergies, and I see that Amazon helpfully sent me this:

Thank you for making your book Bramble Burn available for pre-order.
We see that you have not yet submitted the final version of the book file. Please remember you are required to provide the final file by 04/20/2015. Maintaining a positive customer experience is important, and delivering your book on schedule is required to retain access to pre-order. If you do not upload the final version of your book on time, your pre-order will be cancelled and customers will be notified that you did not publish your book. Also, you will lose pre-order access for one year.

And I think, panic! What if I break an arm, or someone dies, or it rains turtles?! This is why I don’t like pre-orders! I'm only one person, and I have no backup plan. Run about, wave arms.

And then I think, you know, if it’s such a problem, discipline yourself to get the book edited and sit on it so it can pre-order properly. Mark Coker (Smashwords) swears that it drives sales, and that's important.

This is were I lecture my daughter (who says she's going to write books like Mom, and is working on practice graphic novels daily) on the importance of business sense. Artists are selling a product, and we can't afford to be special snowflakes, too delicate for the real world. Whatever she ends up doing, she'd need to understand contracts, deadlines and editing, and possibly how to work with other freelancers as a team. She'll need an understanding of budgets, royalties and taxes, and she'll need to be able to evaluate suggestions to see what improves the work and what doesn't.

It's not enough to be an excellent artist, although that is wonderful and fulfilling. It's about having the determination to wash, rinse, repeat. That's what separates a hobby from a profession.

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