My books are here!!! There are problems, but that’s okay!!!

Good news first — MY BOOKS HAVE ARRIVED!!!

2013-01-24 18.05.56

There they are!!! Right in front of the gorgeous rose bouquet my best friend Rhiannon bought me to celebrate my published-author-dom.

It felt indescribably good to hold my own book in my own hands, although the joy of the moment was somewhat dampened by my nagging uncertainty that there would be something wrong with them.

When working with iUniverse, this seems to be an ongoing theme.

Mother was happy to oblige my concerns. She quickly noted that the titles on the spine and back cover — which looked perfectly readable when we printed off a copy of the covers ourselves — are virtually unreadable on the actual books. The spine/back cover titles are basically cut out of the front cover image (so they’re starry red and black), except the right edge fades to black so much that when you try to read the title, it appears to read “Immin Dang”.

Immin Dang. Not the most attractive title I’ve ever encountered. No one will pick up a book called Immin Dang. Although oddly, the more I write it, the more I kind of want to read it …

Now, the iUniverse graphic designers obviously should have realized this would happen when they designed the cover. They’re cover designers, after all — this is sort of what they do. They know that the cover will appear darker when it’s printed out, and they should have compensated accordingly. Mother and I already have a phone call planned for tomorrow to see about fixing this little (major) issue. I suspect iUniverse will attempt to charge me for making these changes, although you can be assured I will fight that with all my might.

More news as it happens.

Other issues included the softcover pages being white instead of cream. Now, I chose the page colouring a long time ago, so I’m only 98% certain I asked for cream. We’ll have to see what the records indicate.

UPDATE: I asked for white. Dang. Well, we’ll just have to see how much the change will cost me.

Oh, and in an odd publishing strategy, iUniverse elected to have the paperback/hardback title for sale before I had actually approved the printer review copy. So that means there are a handful of people out there who own the incorrectly-coloured-page, Immin Dang version of the book. Original, flawed print run, baby!

BUT OTHER THAN THAT, the books look amazing! Fantastic! Indescribably awesome! WOOOOOO!

Can you tell I’m trying to cover up my irritation by overcompensating in my joy? I really am excited, but it’s hard to keep the momentum going when tiny little things keep going wrong. I will not rest until this book has reached an acceptable quality level to be purchased by the general public, dammit!

On a slightly different note, I decided to give the first hardcover to my mother. Considering how many hundreds of hours she’s put into it, I figured she deserved some sort of reward for her efforts. Here’s the dedication:

2013-01-24 18.05.34She was a fan of the dedication. Tears may have been involved.

Well, that wraps up the exciting news for today. Oh no, wait!


Hop over to this post before Saturday morning and get the chance to win an Imminent Danger magnet. Wow! Talk about a bank-breaking prize! You know you want one! Do it!

Unrelated image of the day:

I’m feeling patriotic. Here’s my country in an amusing and scarily accurate infographic:

Categories: iUniverse, My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 82 Comments

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82 thoughts on “My books are here!!! There are problems, but that’s okay!!!

  1. So So Happy for you. Even with the minor major issues, YOU DID IT!!!
    Love The books website too!

    • Hahaha minor major issues. Never ends, does it?

      But yes, I’m happy too 🙂 I officially have a book out there for sale! Even if people might be tricked into thinking it’s called Immin Dang!

      Thanks as always for the kindness and support 🙂 You rock!

  2. Immin Dang sounds like it should be the name of German Techno group. I went with CreateSpace, myself, for the print edition of my novel and I was very happy at how they turned out.

    For what it’s worth the cover looks great on my Kindle Fire.

    • That IS good news! I mean, the front cover looks fine. It’s the spine and back that you can’t actually read half the words. Which rocks for ebooks, and is not so ideal for print books. Not that all that many people will be buying print books, but still …

      • I will buy a thousand print books! Okay, maybe 10. Okay, just one hardcover and one softcover. But the hardcover I will keep for me, and the softcover I will pass around to all my friends and make them read it. Then I will make them go buy their own print copies. They’ll buy hardcovers, of course, so you get rich.

        • Hahaha I saw this message and I was like “Who the heck is this super fan?” Then I clicked your name and everything made sense 🙂 If we pool our collective genius, world domination will surely follow. Believe it!

  3. You’ve got this under control. A snag is all. It can be fixed.

  4. My first book had the title misspelled on the spine and that was with a traditional print publisher, so there you go. Congrats on your lovely book!

    • You’re kidding! That’s just crazy – how did no one catch that before it was printed? Ahhh, human error.

      And thanks 🙂 I’m pretty happy with it, as you might imagine!!!

  5. No, it’s Amazon being weird. They have been doing that lately with POD books.

  6. kathils

    I don’t know, Immin Dang is pretty catchy. I’d pick it up just out of curiosity alone.

  7. It’s not you. Now, if possible, I’d actually suggest buying a hardcover from Barnes & Noble. They currently have the cheapest hardcover price. ( The only thing is I don’t know how much they charge for shipping. But they’re charging $24.49, and the next cheapest at the moment is $31.72. So if you can figure out how the B&N shipping works, I’d say get it from them.

  8. Congratulations! Hope they solved the cover problem and you’re selling millions!

    • I’ll call them tomorrow and see what can be done. It’s really not a huge deal, but I’m pretty sure that if I don’t call them to make the changes, my mother will pretend to be me and call them anyway. So either way, this is getting fixed!

  9. I just love your enthusiasm, Michelle! 🙂 The bugs will eventually get worked out. The dedication to your mother was sooo sweet. And “Immin Dang” should be a song. Tell your brother to work on that. 😉

    • Hahaha. My brother is many things, but a song-writer is not one of them. He did suggest that Immindang would be a good name for a fantasy city, though, which I could see. Actually, now that you mention it, Immin Dang sounds like some sort of Celtic folk song, doesn’t it? Maybe I should contact Enya …

  10. Papizilla

    Reblogged this on The Ranting Papizilla and commented:
    We have books people! Immin Dang appears to be a wonderful title…. 😉 Check it out for the joke inside the post.

  11. Sending so much congrats out to you! Despite the issues, your book looks amazing. I hope you are just so happy and proud 😀

    • Definitely 🙂 Not as proud as my mother or best friend, though. They both started crying when I handed them the book. Clearly I need to up my display-of-emotion levels!

      • No wonder you’re such a positive person–you’re surrounded by them! Congratulations on your book and all your loving family, friends, and fans!

        • 🙂 When I forget to be proud of my own accomplishments, someone is always there to be super excited and cry tears of joy for me. Of course, then I feel bad that I made them cry, even if they’re good tears. Siiiiigh.

  12. minisculegiants

    i’m excited for you!

    • Apparently everyone is more excited than me, lol. Maybe I just internalize my excitement, whereas everyone I’ve shown the book so far has burst into tears of pride (with the exception of my brother, who looked very stoic about the whole thing).

      • minisculegiants

        He’s crying tears of joy, inside. 🙂

        I think it’s a little bit harder to feel so ecstatic yourself because it’s YOUR book, and I’m sure that’s got to be as scary as it is exciting. At least, it would be for me. But it’s still so very cool!

        • Haha, scary, yes! I think part of it is that I’ve been looking at the cover design and the interior formatting and everything for so long that the book kind of already exists for me, in my head, so that when I held the actual copy, it was less “oh my god!”, and more “yeah, this looks about what I expected”. Lol! Isn’t that terrible?

  13. Dang! (One of my favourite words for expressing annoyance, courtesy of the Far Side). I sympathize with the flies in what should be wonderful ointment (OK, that’s not such a great metaphor). I think it’s wonderful that you’ve had that hold-your-book-in-your-hands experience. I have a plan to publish mine in print someday, but right now am just as happy not to have to deal with some of the issues you are facing — another point in favour of ebooks.
    Love the map! I live in the bit on the far left called “hippies.”

  14. Congratulations Michelle! The books look amazing! I’m jealous!

  15. Your books look amazing. I’m sure the Immin Dang crisis will be worked out to your satisfaction (but your brother is totally right – it’s a brilliant name for a city! ‘The Battle of Immin Dang left Helm’s Deep in the shade, people…’)

    Really happy for you re. your books actually being in your hands, physically *there* and looking beautiful. I loved your beautiful dedication to your Mom. *sniff*

    And the map of Canada is the greatest thing I’d ever seen! So funny. If a similar map of Ireland existed, though, I fear most of it would be labelled ‘DRINK’. 😉

  16. Onya , Michelle! I note how your immense joy nicely balances the annoyance of the mistakes made by your cover designers. 😉

    • Such is my life, lol. Joy mixed with tragedy. Not that a difficult to read title is really a tragedy, but you get my meaning 🙂 I tend to hyperbolize like that.

      • Hyperbolize all you like! 🙂
        You’re scaring me away from that mob. But I’m still a while away from needing services of that kind just yet. 😐

  17. I can understand your disappointment, given the time, energy, money and trust you’ve put into iUniverse. I hope you win in your battle to have cost-free revisions to the cover art. It isn’t a BIG problem, but all text should certainly be readable.

    You’ll have to let us know how sales run, I love numbers. 😀 Incidentally, how does iUniverse fare as far as transparency to sales goes? We had to manually handle our distribution channels to Amazon Kindle, Smashwords and Kobo, so we have to check those pages individually; but the iBookstore and (eventually) paperback is funneled through, so any sales from them will show on our Lulu revenue page.

    • Well, I can apparently track my sales on Amazon. Other than that, iUniverse collects all the sales records and then issues a quarterly report. I don’t think it specifies which companies I’m getting the money from, just total ebook sales, total print book sales, etc. The next quarterly report won’t be until May, so more news on that when May rolls around.

  18. Thanks for stopping by my page. I hope you enjoy 🙂 Keep in touch!

  19. Pulling that first copy out of the box is one of the greatest feelings of the process. I like to celebrate each step (finishing the draft/manuscript, checking proofs, first sale and signing etc.) but the first time you hold your book in your hand is probably the most special. It was about a week later that someone pointed out a typo (extra word actually) in the write-up on the back cover. I know how it happened, it was partially my fault, and it still bothers me every time I see a copy but I won’t let it take anything away from the big “Hurrah!!” cutting open the case brought. Congrats Michelle!!

    • Ack, typos are the worst. I’m glad you were able to move past it, though. At some point we have to put the perfectionist streak aside and just let the cards fall as they will. And holding my book for the first time was definitely a Hurrah! moment 🙂 It will be an even better hurrah moment once they fix those little issues!

  20. Do you think you should redden your blog background to match the starfield on your book? I think you should, at least temporarily, in connection with your release.

    Wanna do a blog tour stop on my blog–maybe next week? I can come up with questions for you to do if you don’t have anything already prepared (God knows I haven’t ever managed to prepare for a blog tour!).

    • Wait, is this your blog tour or my blog tour? Because I don’t have any sort of blog tour in the works at the moment. Well, I mean, I have plans for a blog tour, but I haven’t actually contacted anyone about doing it. Or have I? I wouldn’t put it past myself to ask people to participate in a blog tour without even realizing it …

      Also, fun idea with the background! I’ll need to find an appropriately red-themed background image … hmm …

      • You haven’t said anything about a tour, but you ought to have one. (And once you have done it, I can do one! I need the motivation!)

        And you don’t have to go searching for a completely new background. All you have to do is redden the one you have. Like this: (I’m in your computer, reddening your starfields.)

        I think my doing it caused some loss of resolution, so you’ll probably want to do it yourself from the original image. I recommend as an online photo editor. Just upload the pic, then do a color filter and set it to a dark red.

        • Haha okay, I’ll do a blog tour. Not right away, though. I’m pathetically behind on work and really need to get that sorted before I tackle a blog tour.

          As for the image … I don’t know, I feel like the stars lose some of their brilliance when I colour filter it. Maybe I’ll try to find a space image that’s already red. Hang on … how’s this?

          • Can you purple the background a bit and red the stars? That’s the way your book cover is.

            This is a lot crisper before I upload it to my blog; it looks better in original form. I used befunky again, but I did a duotone with re and purple color replacement. That allows your stars to be a different color.

            • Oh gosh. I think I’ll just stick with what I have, lol. This photo editing thing is far too complex for me! But thank you for trying to explain it to me 🙂

  21. Flaw or no flaw. . .they still look good. Again, Michelle, Congrats!


  22. A major accomplishment, Michelle! You deserve to be popping your buttons. Congratulations!

    I love your map of Canada–very clever. Now you need to do one of the US.

    Thanks for reading my blog–I really appreciate it!

    • Haha popping my buttons, I like that!

      Tragically, I didn’t make that Canada map — although I wish I had! I should see if a USA one exists …

  23. I was told once you approved the PDF, it went into full run and the hard and softcover books sent are called “Author” editions, the first off the press and all their glory. Just what I was told. My boyfriend’s mom ordered a copy but sent it to me and the cover from the distributor/printer was disgusting. It was like someone covered my cover in crimson. Nothing like the original book. I was told the colors from the printer may vary, which I understand … but damn. It shouldn’t look like a coat of red paint ate my book. Iuniverse said it was a printer issue not their issue.

  24. Problems aside (Immin Dang is a catchy title though ;)), congratulations! It’s really awesome when you get to hold your books for the first time!

    My self-publishing experience is with Lulu, and I’ve never had problems. My only complaint about Lulu is that they don’t have many options with cream paper, and the cover is not matte, but otherwise it’s all good!

    • Ha. I kind of want to call the sequel Immin Dang, just for lulz.

      Ah yes, Lulu. Tell me, how is the quality of their books? They look really good online, but I don’t think I’ve ever held one in my hands. Would you say it’s up to traditional publishing quality standards / close enough that it doesn’t matter?

      • The quality is good! As I said, my only complaints are that cream pages are offered with a limited number of paper sizes, and the cover is not matte. But otherwise the binding and everything is pretty good.

        The best thing about it is that it’s all for free. You really don’t have to pay anything to publish your book via Lulu, unless of course you use a publishing package. I hired someone to design my cover (only cost me $50) and did the formatting myself, then followed a simple step-by-step process to publish my book. You should give it a try. 🙂

        • I’m pretty sure I will. iUniverse produces an excellent quality product, but I don’t think the stress or money makes it worth it in the end. And if I can create something of nearly/the same quality FOR FREE, why the heck not?

  25. Thanks for sharing that! Been dreaming of that moment too when a big ol box of my books arrives. Love that image. Poutine does define Quebec! Those are my peeps.

    • Have you ever had smoked meat poutine? Or BACON poutine? I’m drooling just thinking about it.

      Side note: When I was teaching English in Korea, my students would always ask me what we ate in Canada. So I would of course reply that we ate poutine. They don’t know what that is, so I had to try and explain it to kids who can barely string an English sentence together. It usually went something along the line of “French fries, cheese, and … you know when you cook a cow, and then there is juice left over? We put really thick meat juice on the fries and cheese so it’s very sticky and delicious.” My students thought that sounded disgusting, and I can’t really blame them — thick meant juice. Yuck. But they didn’t know the word “gravy”, so what was I supposed to do???!

      • Potatoes, unripened cheese and meat juice: Love it! What a reputation you’ve given us Canadians to your students. Near my old apartment in Montreal there was a famous poutine joint called “La Banquise” that served about twenty kinds of poutine, incorporating many types of meat. My favourite was what I called “Thanksgiving Poutine” (Poutine Galvaude), which comes with chicken, gravy and peas. So delicious I’m gonna start drooling on myself any minute now.

        • One of my brother’s favourites is Sunny Side Up poutine — which would be poutine topped with hashbrowns, bacon, and a sunny side up egg.

  26. inkspeare

    Congratulations! This is a very important achievement.

    • Thanks 🙂 It definitely made the whole publishing thing feel real for the first time, actually getting to hold a book that I’d written. Such a cool feeling!

      • inkspeare

        Have you heard about CreateSpace? It is own by Amazon and offers all those services you mentioned on your Vlogs. It is the company of choice for well published authors who are now going Indi.

        • I have! I’m strongly considering it as an option for future books. My worry is that, because it’s owned by Amazon, it would restrict distribution to Amazon-owned sites. Do you know if that’s the case?

          • inkspeare

            No, you will have distribution through Amazon in the USA, UK, and Europe and if you choose to be included in the Ingram Catalog ($25.00) it will give you access to all bookstores, meaning that anyone can go to any bookstore and order your book- request – In addition, libraries will be able to order it as well as any other type of institution, but for that you have to pay the 25.00. This distribution is for the paperback and kindle versions. Form Create Space you can convert your book into the kindle format as well. If you want to have the electronic version available in other formats such as nook and Apple and others, then you can publish also in Smashwords which covers all those, but not the kindle. So you get great distribution from Create Space and you can supplement the ebook distribution through Smashwords.

            • Ah, I see, so publish through both! I’d always thought it was a one-or-the-other type deal. That makes my life much easier 🙂

              • inkspeare

                You can do both. The only thing is that if you do the special Amazon books for free program (I forgot the name of it) then you have to remove your book from those sites, but this program is only optional, and involves putting your book for free to readers for a certain amount of time, but you don’t have to do that. Here is the smashwords link that tells you which ebook platforms they handle –

  27. Thanks for following my blog Our styles certainly are different, so I hope that you enjoy my posts. Yours are very entertaining.

  28. My hearty congratulations! You must feel like you just competed a world marathon. Keep up the good work. Deb

  29. Pingback: I missed my own blogiversary! | Zen Scribbles

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