Panic, Planning, and Publishing

HmmmPreviously on Betsy’s blog…

Betsy has just published her third book, Believing It, and the publishing experience was more than a little stressful.  Part of that has to do with the fact she decided to put the book out right when she was scrambling to finish her taxes.

But it was also stressful because Betsy can be something of an idiot.

Harry, the white Gerbil who has the unenviable task of Guiding Betsy on her Quest to become a successful indie author has a few thoughts on the matter.  He’s in Betsy’s brain now, looking for her.

Let’s see what happens…


*Harry walks down the corridor in Betsy’s brain* *Enters his office* *Stops*


*Betsy is sprawled face down on the sofa in the office* *Grunts unintelligibly*

*Harry shuts office door* *Trots to sofa* *Considers Betsy* *Jumps up and perches on her butt*

You do realize you’re insane, right?

*Betsy grunts*

And I mean other than just blogging about the voices in your head. We’re talking full blown mania here.

Am not.

Really? Exactly how much time have you spent obsessing about publishing in the last two weeks?

I was just concerned about the shopping experience.

Oh, bull. I live in here, remember? I was so drenched in stress hormones I had to shower twice to wash them off.

*Betsy rolls over* *Harry nimbly jumps off before he is crushed under her*

Of course I was stressed!  Okay, maybe I was a little quick pushing the “publish” button. Maybe I didn’t think things through exactly. I was just intent on making my date. Getting the thing up and running the way I’d promised.

First of all, you were the only one really intent on making that date. You hadn’t actually promised a date to the world at large.

I always feel like I’m running to catch up, and that when I actually have a product to put out there, I want to get it done and out because I’m afraid I won’t ever actually put it out if I don’t push it through and do it.

You rushed.


And you pushed the “publish” button.

*Betsy sighs* Yeah. And then I saw that the Amazon file was opening in the table of contents-even though it shouldn’t have been doing that.  So I fixed that, or thought I did.

So you published Believing It again.

And then I found formatting errors in all of the vendors’ files, where some paragraph indents were missing.

So you published Believing It again.

And then I wanted to put in links to Believing It in the back of Handling It when I had the links available.

So you published Handling It again.

And then I figured out how to make the covers for both books nicer. That was fine, but I wanted to put the updated cover in the actual books, so people would have it when they opened.

So you published both books again.

And then I announced Believing It was published, only to realize, right after I did, that I’d missed some other missing paragraph indents, and it was still opening in the table of contents or other random places on Amazon, even though I thought I’d fixed it.

So you published Believing It again

And then I realized that the reason the Amazon file was opening in random places was because I’d uploaded an ePub file—which you’re supposed to be able to do—instead of an amazon format file.

So you published Believing It again.

*Betsy sighs* Yeah.

*Harry jumps up to the top of his gerbil habitat* *Grabs little bottle of orange juice* *Takes a long swig* Sweet Christmas! No wonder you got confused.

*Betsy sighs* Yeah.

*Harry rests little arms on the edge of the habitat* So, maybe you should have looked into all of this before you pushed publish in the first place?

*Betsy sighs* Yeah.

*Harry considers her for a moment* Okay. Let’s regroup.


First of all, the book is finished, up, live, published. And now that your insanity seems to have settled down, it actually looks relatively nice. That’s all good.

*Betsy straightens* You’re right. That IS good.

*Harry holds up a paw* But because you didn’t plan, because you rushed, because you panicked, and because you were an insane idiot publishing over and over again instead of getting it all right before you pushed “publish” in the first place, people might have bought the book when the shopping experience was not ideal.

*Betsy droops* I know. *Looks at Harry* But the book itself never changed. It was always just formatting. I wasn’t editing the actual book.

Still. *Harry looks stern* You don’t have so many readers that you can afford to make people angry or confused because the book they purchased opens the first time to some random place instead of chapter one like it was supposed to. Or that when they’re reading, some paragraph formatting is missing in a few places. It makes you look very unprofessional.

*Betsy droops further* I know.

So you need to plan. You need to find the problems first, fix them, and THEN go live.

*Betsy kicks toe of running shoe against coffee table* I know.

You can’t panic, and rush your product to the market before you’ve thought everything through.

*Betsy throws up hands* I know, all right? I know! But the book is fine now on all of the platforms. I’ve tested it. It looks fine. It opens to chapter one on Amazon. The places where the paragraphs weren’t indented is fixed.

You never have a second chance to make a first impression.

*Betsy droops even more*  I know

Okay.  Let’s hope you mean it.  *Harry crosses little paws over his chest*  Anything else you’ve learned from this experience?

*Betsy straightens*  Oh, tons!

Then we know what to talk about next time.


To be continued…



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