What do you think? I’m torn.
Everything else is in place, I have my ISBNs, pricing structure, cover designs for two of the three books I want to get set up with my new printer, and the bulk of the bookblocks (the insides, the text) ready to go … but I applied to the Library of Congress a week or two (or three, I ought to have marked my calendar, I guess, or just done it at the same time as something else) ago to get access to Library of Congress Control Numbers for my books, and I don’t have a response yet. I’m supposed to put the appropriate LCCN on the verso of the title page, with the ISBN and Copyright stuff, it’s the magical code that allows libraries (including the Library of Congress) be able to handle my book appropriately. Without it, most libraries simply won’t accept a book.
Now, admittedly, I’m not exactly a well-known author, or really expect libraries to want to stock my books, but officially, and especially with my new printer, if anything changes on the inside of my book, I pay for it. If it’s just a little thing like putting the LCCN number in, updating the copyrights, et cetera, I only have to pay the printer – except it actually costs more to change an existing title than to set up a new one, in most cases. If I make more radical changes, such as -say- correcting errors, changing the layout, changing the cover, et cetera, it is my understanding that I need a new ISBN assigned at that point, and to set up an entirely new ‘book’ with my printer. Which, fine, the publishing industry is built around the old ways of doing things, the old models that are still in use for the bulk of the books being created, and the new(er) parts of the publishing business have to make nice with the older ones.
But if you’re just printing my book from a digital file, which I have to create to very exact specifications for your print setup, and if I’m uploading them directly to your server, and you keep restating that you won’t do anything to fix problems and don’t take responsibility if I’ve sent you a file with half the pages backwards or with elements that get cut off in the bleed … what’s all the expense for? I am aware I’m paying a lot less than it costs to have an offset run made of a single title, and that I’m setting up several, it still seems out of proportion. Probably because I’m poor.
Anyhow, I can go forward, get the books uploaded, set up, get proofs in my hands and then … I don’t know, figure out how to get them listed on Amazon. (Did you know that depression, communism, and trying to build a business from scratch don’t mix well?) Or I can stay on standby, waiting… waiting for LCCNs… patience, I suppose. Not exactly in a hurry, no deadlines but the ones I set, no co-workers or employees or marketing departments… No need to have a book’s release date coincide with a book tour or an advertising campaign… Heck, these books are already available on a limited basis. Fine. I’ve talked me out of it. I’ll keep working on the files, get things in order, and when I get my LCCNs, it’ll only take a few moments to get my files online. Right?
Okay, now I just need to find a model who will work for free, has her own wardrobe and looks like Tinkerbell. And go do a photo shoot. And then spend a couple days doing the rest of the image manipulation work needed to create the (hopefully) compelling cover I have in mind. Or I need to come up with a new idea, and … do that. Anyway, I don’t like the old cover for Lost and Not Found, and I want to create a new one before properly releasing the book.
If you look like Tinkerbell, have an outfit that looks like Tinkerbell might wear it, and want to model for free (ooh, or I could give you books as payment, if you read), please let me know.
UPDATE: I’m a jerk. I’ve been spending several hours going through all the old email in my inbox (I’ve deleted over 10,000 emails so far, mostly spam), and found that the gov’t responded in a timely fashion and I just didn’t notice, and couldn’t find it by search because they didn’t use any of the words I was expecting in their emails. So. I’ve just filled out the form to request a control number for Worth 1k — Volume 1, which I have literally ready to upload, and I’ll know what to look for when they email me in a few days to a week with the answer. Whee!