Writing is not my day job, in case you hadn’t gathered that from the other material on this site. When I’m at my “real” job, I do astronautical engineering and essentially get to live out a science fiction novel. Perhaps you won’t be surprised to learn, then, that I’m a little on the organized side. I’ll get to why this is relevant shortly.
As I’ve said before, I’ve been writing for quite some time, and I’ve been thinking about publishing, marketing, and selling my work for a fairly long time. Long enough that I created this website months ago, and have only now made it public. Now that I’ve made that decision, to plunge into the wild, uncharted territory of writing, editing, publishing, and selling my own stories to the reading public, I needed to decide what I would release first.
On my computer, there is a folder called “Stories,” and within it is every bit of fiction I’ve written in the past 3+ years, which is when I consider that my writing first began to be consistently “good,” or at least decent. I base this on the fact that three years ago is when someone first read one of my rough drafts and said “you need to stop doing your real work and start writing more, because I want the sequel now.”
Now, within that stories folder there is a sub-folder called “Complete Short Stories.” There are a lot fewer files in that folder than there are in the main folder. For the first public release on this site, I knew I would want to draw from there, but I wasn’t sure what I would choose. Once I had, I began the work of giving it a final line edit, and then formatting. And now we get to the real matter of this post.
You probably don’t think about it – I hadn’t given it more than cursory consideration – but there is a lot that goes into a book beyond the simple writing of the story. Front and back covers have to be designed. ISBNs have to be purchased. Copyrights have to be obtained. Fonts have to be chosen, and sizes: page sizes, font sizes, margin sizes. Pages have to be numbered, prefaces and acknowledgements have to be written…I could go on.
The point is, I’ve just finished the front and back matter for our first public release, a short story called The Grounds Warden. I’ll be working on final formatting over the next few days, and, if all goes well, I should have it ready for you next weekend.