Southern Scotch

Southern Scotch

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How Fast Can Your Mind's Fingers Fly?

A good man knows his limits, as Dirty Harry said.  And sooner or later we each find our own.  I found my own, damned rudely, when I previewed the finished copy I'd just submitted to Kindle:  formatting nightmares I couldn't resolve.  Now, I can read most Roman classics in the original Latin--but if you show me a list of computer instructions, I break out into a cold sweat.  Techno-dyslexia. 

Michael Prescott responded to an e-mail with a wonderfully detailed note that left me with an even greater sense of my severe computer skills limits...and the sure knowledge that, on my own, the challenge might take weeks.  Or months.  But he did suggest the possibility of getting pro assistance.  Others I'd reached out to were less helpful and less kind.  Handicapped and knowing it, I said Yes to Michael's suggestion and liked it a lot better than running around with my hat in my hand and risking a wad of cold phlegm in the eye.  What I liked even better than the sense of self-reliance was the extra time I'd gain.  I could be getting the next e-book ready instead of fixing bum indents, etc.

I set my mind's fingers flying.  How could I get myself out of this jam?  Who did formatting for ebooks and how much would it cost?  And, oh, what about getting a cover?  Come on, keyword searches, what can you do for me?  My hands' fingers couldn't keep up with my mind's!  What was out there on the subject of promotion?  And, wait a second, what is this--this nifty little tip about moving the Acknowledgments to the back, so that readers who check out free samples aren't put off by 'fluff'? 

The lesson I learned was a great one:  Let the mind's fingers fly at their speed where they will and be less quick to ask for help.  But, oh yeah, add this lesson too:  Remember how the bum's rush felt and somewhere further down the line, be like Michael Prescott to some lost soul who needs a hand.

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