Something that often comes up at the meetings of my writing group is the need to keep a balance between learning about and using social media and actually writing. Sometimes a person can get so involved with electronic “stuff” that it leaves no time to write. At the same time, if she writes up a storm but refuses to become involved in blogs, facebook, linkedin, twitter, or any other program, then she’s selling herself short. I realize that I’m using clichés tonight, but I’m in a hurry so you’ll have to overlook that.
What I’ve also discovered is that, for me, it takes an inordinate amount of time learning the intricacies of formatting and uploading an eBook to Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon. I’m almost there. In fact, I thought I was there, just minutes away from pressing “Publish,” but then I discovered some little issues that I hadn’t considered.
Pictures have to be inserted, not copied and pasted, and then they have to be extracted from the document and reinserted (at least I think that’s right). When working on the references today, I found myself torn between styles. Do I really have to use APA?? And what about citing a Kindle source? Do you just put “location 3577” when there’s no page number? And what about the cover? Although I know the photograph I want to use for the cover, but I’m no designer. Should I take my ideas and photo to the UPS store and see if the talented young ladies there can help me come up with something?
All of these things are making me just a little bit stressed. I have so many things I want to write about that I just can’t get to: a story I once read about some sea birds who were fed by tourists and who later starved to death after the little beach town dried up; America’s changing demographics and why that’s exciting and scary at the same time; a travel blog about a recent trip to the mountains; a couple of book reviews, and a gratitude post. I also want to write an afterword for the eBook and a new blog post for the psychology blog at http://psychcentral.wordpress.com. And I want to read some more of Suite Francaise, a lovely, yet disturbing book.
The above paragraphs explain why someone like me needs an editor, a cover designer, an “uploader,” and a social media person. It’d be nice to have an agent too, but in the meantime, I’m doing this eBook on my own with a little help from a couple of books I downloaded from Amazon. It’s quite a challenge, but I think it will be worth it when I finally see that miniature book cover showing up on Amazon. After I master this, I’ll get back to writing…unless you need for me to help you upload something, that is.