Last week, I read Rotting Apricot aloud multiple times and polished the formatting. I learned a ton of awesome Microsoft Word search operators and tricks, like how to find every single italicized thing in a document.

I also attended a very helpful Seattle Writes self-editing course led by Beth Jusino, a local freelance editor, book marketer, and former literary agent. She’s coached authors on multiple publishing trails, including traditional, digital self-pub, and print-on-demand. The workshop helped me hone in on minutiae that I would have otherwise missed. And the developmental editing section was full of smart questions that I can ask during future fiction workshops.

Publishing Night: A Stream of Consciousness

My eBook was officially published on Smashwords at 4:28 am on October 6. Why so late? Just in case the initial eBook file had weird formatting errors, I wanted to catch them before anyone had the chance to download the book. Also I’m just on a really weird sleep schedule right now, which can happen when you freelance on a project basis.

Just in case you’d like to know what was going on in my head while publishing this thing, here’s a blow-by-blow stream of consciousness that I recorded that night, along with screenshots.

*Mimicking a serious owl. This is my celebratory post-publishing drink! *

Reading this thang aloud for the fortieth time. I really need to just submit it, or the contest deadline will pass.

Wow, mold is a gnarly antagonist.

Pretty sure my Command and S keys are going to crumble soon, since I’ve saved this Word doc about 16 billion times.

“Upload file” seems like such a casual way to demand someone’s soul.

Publishing agreement

“Publish immediately.” It really can’t be this easy. OH WAIT IT IS.

Free ISBN if my work gets accepted into the Premium Catalog? WHY THANK YOU SMASHWORDS

HOLY SHIT I HAVE AN ISBN NUMBER! “Bowker” is fun to say. Bowwwker.

Getting an ISBN number is very exciting

Things just got real with this ISBN number. I want to roll around on the floor and call all of my friends. Too bad it’s 4:30 am.

Smashwords Conversion Status

“You may also publish another ebook.” Yeah, cuz I totally just have those strewn around my apartment.

I need something punchy for my writer’s profile. Let’s add something about hair dye and dangerous levels of coffee and how the two combine.

Time to test the ePub! I rushed by that Adobe Digital Editions Terms of Service SO FAST that they might be asking for my kidneys in exchange for the install.

Faust and the devil

*“Bro, what did I just sign?! Doesn’t matter, published eBook.”

(Illustration from Michael Pacher’s St. Wolfgang Altarpiece)*

Digital Editions keeps crashing! Double-click the ePub file in a frenzy and see what opens instead!

Oh hello iBooks! Let’s scroll through the entire eBook. Everything looks great! Ohhhh snap!

Rotting Apricot ebook cover

I’m done! I’m done!

Oh wait, now I actually need to enter the Seattle Writes / library contest.

Seattle Writes contest submission page


At this very moment, I value my library card more than my insurance card.