My mom had a favorite phrase she’d use when describing me: to be so book smart, she is so damn stupid. Basically, that I’m TSTL.
Before you jump to conclusions, she didn’t mean it as harshly as it sounds and by god she was right. I’m highly intelligent, but I’m also a complete and utter dumbass. I have no idea how I’ve made it to 30 without a handler.
This has become even more apparent during my trip into Authorland. I’ve decided to share some of my ARE YOU SERIOUS, YOU MORON moments in the hope of sparing others the misfortune of acting without thinking.
You may read these and go, “Wow. You call yourself intelligent and you did THAT?” Why yes. Yes I did. I may not be proud, but I’ll own up to my dumbassery.
1) Build your website BEFORE you publish your book. No shit. This is one of the most obvious lessons I learned but I shit you not it didn’t even cross my mind. I have a blog. I have contacts in the blogging/reviewing/reading community. I’m not looking to sell a million copies so why build a website?
Because, you moron, people will want to do things like interview you. Friends who blog will want to celebrate with you. Strangers who stumbled upon your book will want to review it. And your dumbass didn’t build a website. Good job!
Needless to say this is on the top of my To Do list. I work full time, go to school full time, and have a kindergartner, so things on my To Do list take forever. For. Ev. Er. Building a website prior to mom’s d-day and the release of Love You to Death would have saved me weeks of anxiety. Don’t be that guy. Don’t be me.
2) Read the instructions.
Love You to Death is self-published so I created my own cover and a friend was kind enough to tweak it. I didn’t tell said friend I was going to use CreateSpace and sell paperback copies. The cover we created is perfect for the Kindle and Nook versions, so I didn’t even think twice about it.
Fast-forward two weeks after publication. My print copies finally arrived and I spent the night happy dancing like a giant dork. The next morning I grabbed a copy to show off at work and was horrified to find a completely white book with my cover on a portion of the front. It looked like a bound galley. I was mortified. Three people – one friend and two strangers – had already bought print copies of the book. I’d sent one to a lady on Goodreads who wanted to review it.
I jumped on CreateSpace and looked at one of their custom covers to find these handy-dandy templates for a book with a front AND BACK COVER. I was so frustrated I deleted the entire cover and started over.
In my head, CreateSpace was going to magically know what I wanted on my back cover. I’d submitted a book description, so they could have just used that. Nope. Not how it works.
So there you have it. An idiot at work.
There’s a positive side to these tales though. I learned something with each mistake and I know I’m not the only one who will/has made these mistakes. People may not talk about it, but we all have a small moron living inside of us. Mine just reigns more often than most.