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I've only done a few minor projects with Lulu, so I can't speak for marketing, professional editing, etc. My first few were a disaster...and then I talked to someone in the community and realized that there were templates for each of the different-sized books that I was supposed to be following. It seems like something so stupid simple that I could figure out myself but...*shrugs*...I didn't manage it. My first actual novel, however, had everything in place. I followed the template guidelines, made a cover for myself, organized the book pretty much like a professional book (including a copyright page) and laid the chapters out exactly as I wanted them. The hardest part wasn't even Lulu's fault--it was getting the headers and footers to cooperate in Word, so the pages would be headed and numbered the same way all the way through the book! One thing that I discovered that helped in laying out the book (something I'm repeating with my current Lulu project) is using Excel to visually organize the pages (like virtual notecards, if you will). For example, my opening pages line reads: Title (R), Copyright (L), Dedication (R), Blank (L), Blank (R), Blank (L), Blank (R), Char Pg. 1 (L) I designate left and right on each page, so I know how it will be laid out in the book--especially important when I like to have the chapters always start on the right side. Therefore, with the help of my spreadsheet, I know that if chapter seventeen is nineteen pages long, I'll have to put a page break at the beginning of the chapter eighteen document to ensure continuity. But I digress.. When I let a few people read my first novel, they said nothing about the layout--they were more focused on my writing. And how cool it was that I was in print--with minimum effort, thanks to Lulu. ^_^
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I'm amazed you're so detailed with your book prep, Wil...but then again, I suppose anyone who outlines would be, compared to me. :D The only reason I get anywhere near outlining is that, at some point, the ideas start crowding in like soldiers to the chow line and I have to do something about it or the ideas will (old fashion horror movie voice) escape my brain! MWAHAHAHA! (Sorry. Couldn't help myself.) Conversely, I completely understand characters escaping from you. My favorite example of this from my current manuscript (a Roman á clef) is when my male lead is telling his fiancee how pissed he was that he had to stop shooting a movie and go back to America to get clean--and completely insulted the actor who replaced him in the process. I read over that section when I was finished and thought, "Oh my Goddess! [X] just insulted [Y]!" Of course, the trouble with a Roman á clef is that when one character insults another, it's inevitably the author insulting a real person and...O, what a mess! (But I'm keeping that part, because it's very good. :D )
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Best. Interview. Ever. I love, Love, LOVE James Remar and this interview was just...well, to use your pun (a favorite of everyone's!)...REMARkable. ;) Thank you, thank you, thank you. Have him back again, please!
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Jun 4, 2010