35 Days to 35: The Last Gift (1 more day)

Today is my last day as a girl in her ‘early thirties’ and it promised to be a long one. It’s also one of my six toilet days, so after the alarm went off at 6:00 a.m., I immediately grabbed my phone to see if the review process had been completed yet. I had gotten an email at 1 a.m. inviting me to proof my book again.

I knew I needed to get ready for work, but I REALLY wanted to go submit the book. I hurried through my shower and breakfast in order to submit it before I had to leave. The cover looked GREAT. Nothing was cut off, and I quickly flipped through the other pages to make sure they were all still okay. They were.

I submitted the book with more glee than I care to reenact at this time. I was then directed to the Kindle page, where I had to fill out a bunch of information and was again informed that even the e-book wouldn’t be an instant process.

Fearing I’d be late for work, I closed the file and vowed to finish up tonight.

Throughout the day, I kept checking the Amazon site to see if they had posted the paperback book yet. Even though they said it could take up to 3-5 days, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done earlier? Right?

It wasn’t.

Mid-way through the work day, I began to feel sneezy/yucky. I decided it was probably stress (from what, I can’t imagine) and I decided that right after I finished uploading the e-book tonight, I should turn in early and actually get some rest.
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Let’s all share a quiet chuckle together, shall we?
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I submitted the e-book, and when it came time to preview, some of the photos showed up, while the others just had a giant red X instead of a cute dinosaur. I noticed it was only my Mom’s illustrations.

I texted Rachael, who asked:

“Are they all in .jpg format?”
“Of course! I made sure of that! Why would it be incorrect in the e-book format if it worked in the paperback format?”

(We all know why. Because why. not.)

“Hmmm..that doesn’t make sense. Double check.”

So I did.

They weren’t in .jpg format.

I had accidentally saved the photoshop files instead. So I flattened them, uploaded the book and previewed it again.

Now the margins were off on my quotes. I sent it to a couple friends, one who assured me it was fine, another who said it was definitely off-putting.

ūüė¶

As I was waiting for various things to upload, and to hear back from texts telling me if the margins looked okay, I decided to begin this blog. I’ve been writing it off and on for about an hour now. I got halfway through and noticed that it was 9:45 p.m.

I sighed. Way too late to get an ‘early’ night sleep. I decided to finish this blog and work on the e-book tomorrow. Before I shut down the work computer, I refreshed the Amazon page…

It’s there.

The e-book may not be done, but the paperback is online. It counts.

I made it. The last gift of my 34th year is that I made it. I made the deadline. With one day to spare.

I sat silently for a few minutes, thanking God for the phenomenal feeling of accomplishment. I also may or may not have cried a little.

Friends, for those of you who have followed me through this journey, I thank you. If you could, please do me the gigantic favor of visiting my Amazon page. ¬†Even if you don’t buy the book (but I’d really like it if you did!) bask in the glow with me of knowing that¬†within 35 days, my book went from cancelled to published.

Lest this ‘published author’ become too prideful, Henry came up to me, meowed, and promptly sneezed on my leg.

Somehow, that’s so fitting for this triumphant moment.

ūüėÄ

http://www.amazon.com/Why-Not-Philosophy-Learned-Raptors/dp/1508557004/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424912517&sr=8-1&keywords=ashley+raymer-brown


Right at 35 days before my 35th birthday, Rachael and I¬†found out that a book we wrote about our experience making our first film ‚ÄúNo Lost Cause,‚ÄĚ was being returned to us by the publisher after a year of waiting for it to be printed. Instead of wallowing in our collective misery,¬†I committed to blogging every day while I searched for ways to overcome this perceived rejection and obstacle to our goal. I currently also have about three other projects brewing at the same time, and write about the progress of each of them.¬†This is part of that series.

Read the first entry here: https://ashleyraymerbrown.com/2015/01/23/35-days-to-35-dealing-with-rejection/

35 Days to 35: Say it with me…. (2 more days)

…..why not.

My book file came back with a few errors. The Create Space team ‘suggested’ I add a blank page to the beginning of my book and re-upload. For reasons. Because why not. From everything I can tell, it is not an essential change.

So, I am choosing not to follow this advice, because I know the way this goes. If I risk re-uploading, there is a nearly 100% chance of further errors, and I’m just ready to be done.
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35 Days to 35: Wait…what? (3 more days)

The cover design and upload went so well it was alarming. So when the power surged and my computer shut itself off in the middle of my work (despite being backed up by a surge protector whose sole job it is to prevent such a thing) I actually sighed in relief. “Okay. Whew…there’s the screw-up for today.” ¬†However, Murphy’s Law is late today, because the upload had completed prior to shutting down.

Once I finished uploading the material,  I began filling out the Create Space Amazon store requirements. I had to choose a price, fill out the description, write a bio and choose my publishing category and key search words.

If you think that didn’t cause some¬†anxiety, then you haven’t been reading this blog on the regular, have you? ¬†ūüėČ
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35 Days to 35: Josh’s White Horse (4 more days)

The last design element needed for the book is the cover. I designed one Super Bowl weekend that I liked a lot, but after previewing it on here, I got some good critiques from several sources who design for a living.

The cover is the first impression, and it truly can make a difference, so the important thing for me when reading their critiques was not to be so in love with my own design that I refused to allow improvements.

After listening to their feedback, I designed a new cover, and shared it with a few friends. The agreed it was an improvement, but it still wasn’t quite right.
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35 Days to 35: 10 more days

TEN DAYS.

I only have ten days until my birthday/book deadline.  Jillian and I were originally supposed to meet today so I could pick up the book and we could discuss the revisions, BUT winter has once again taken Kentucky by surprise.

You see, every year it snows, and every year Kentucky officials go “Huh? What’s this white stuff? What should we¬†do?? WE’RE NOT READY!!!”

Then everyone in the world goes to the grocery to buy milk, bread, and eggs. To make french toast. I guess. Yesterday, people were posting pictures of empty bread shelves at our local Kroger¬†by 5pm and it didn’t start snowing until midnight. I really hesitate to think what will happen when the BIG one hits. Whatever the BIG one is.

All snark aside, in their defense, there IS more snow than usual this year. A state of emergency has officially been declared. Unless absolutely necessary, we’re being asked not to leave our homes. This won’t be difficult for me as the driveway is completely covered thanks to a nice drift.

The roof of the porch is groaning under the strain of almost a foot of snow, and my dog Riley, who LOVES snow and spends all day running in and out, went outside, looked around at the landscape, looked back up at me, uttered a silent “NOPE” and trotted back in.

Thankfully, the snow was light and fluffy instead of angry and heavy. With the snow in such a good mood, nothing weighed down the wires and the electricity stayed on.

Hooray! Because seriously, being snowed in with NO ability to work on my book could have been real state of emergency. I spent the afternoon revising/obsessing over the book cover. Two professionals were kind enough to give me their feedback, and I absorbed all their revisions and tried again.

I ended up designing about five alternate covers. I’m not going to post them here, because I’m still not quite happy with them.¬†Thankfully, a friend of mine helped me focus my obsession in a positive way, and I now know what might be missing.

One step closer, friends. One step closer.


Right at 35 days before my 35th birthday, Rachael and I¬†found out that a book we wrote about our experience making our first film ‚ÄúNo Lost Cause,‚ÄĚ was being returned to us by the publisher after a year of waiting for it to be printed. Instead of wallowing in our collective misery,¬†I committed to blogging every day while I searched for ways to overcome this perceived rejection and obstacle to our goal. I currently also have about three other projects brewing at the same time, and write about the progress of each of them.¬†This is part of that series.

Read the first entry here: https://ashleyraymerbrown.com/2015/01/23/35-days-to-35-dealing-with-rejection/

35 Days to 35: Weekend Plans

It is February 6th, so that means I have twenty more days to try and finish up the book. On one hand, I feel like that is plenty of time, but on the other, oh so familiar worried hand, that doesn’t seem like time enough. Especially given my work and theatre schedule during the week.

Therefore, my immediate weekend plans, beginning right now, are to work on the book. Specifically, I want to:

-Insert the new (utterly adorable) illustrations my Mom completed and turned in.
-Begin working on the edits that Rachael found when reading through the manuscript.
-Do some revisions of my own and update some of the information.
-Take the fantastic advice given me about my book cover design, tweak and refine it.

I’m putting my plans on here to force some accountability to myself. The weather is supposed to be lovely this weekend, and while I’d like to be outside enjoying it, there is much to be accomplished. That is part of the price you pay for ardently pursuing a goal. Perhaps I will compromise and open a window!

Sometimes I get cranky and feel like I’d rather go watch a movie, but then I remember that no one else is going to do this for me, and putting it off doesn’t make it happen. I have to make it happen, and the ‘sooner I get to it, the sooner I can get through it.’

….

Hmmm…it appears that’s the best encouragement I have for you today. Something that reads like it would be better on a tee-shirt. :/

We’re all allowed off days, right?


Right at 35 days before my 35th birthday, Rachael and I¬†found out that a book we wrote about our experience making our first film “No Lost Cause,” was being returned to us by the publisher after a year of waiting for it to be printed. Instead of wallowing in our collective misery,¬†I committed to blogging every day while I searched for ways to overcome this perceived rejection and obstacle to our goal. I currently also have about three other projects brewing at the same time, and write about the progress of each of them.¬†This is part of that series.

Read the first entry here: https://ashleyraymerbrown.com/2015/01/23/35-days-to-35-dealing-with-rejection/

35 Days to 35: Super Book

 

After the nail biting incident last night, I went to my room with a queasy stomach and a headache, drained and frustrated by the lack of ‘fast enough’ results on designing the book cover. I am decidedly from the “I want it now” generation. ¬†Last night, I dreamed about the book cover and woke up still feeling exhausted and physically ill.

This. This is what I do best. Worrying. Did it help the book cover magically materialize? No. All it did was make me feel sick, cranky, and distracted.

Today, I sat down again and decided to do some research. While most of America is gearing up to watch the Super Bowl, I was determined that Sunday would come to a close without a book cover.
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