Some serious work has been going on behind the scenes on formatting my book ‘The Artemis Effect’, and it looks like there is only a tiny bit of work left before we can launch it on an unsuspecting world! I’m not sure how everyone else who has launched e-book has gone about translating it for Kindle, but my loyal team have been working hard to make sure that the html is nice and clean, and that things like images always read correctly. Ensuring that indents and line spacing read as well as they can, and tables of contents actually work.
So how does it feel to be this close after so long?
Well, the best parallel I can draw is to skydiving. I did my first (and only) parachute jump just after I turned 18, and took the option of an Accelerated Freefall Course, in Bairnsdale, Victoria. Accelerated Freefall means basically that you do a whole day of training, and then the next day, you launch yourself out of a perfectly good light aircraft at 10,000 feet. It’s not a tandem jump, so although you have a couple of jump-masters hanging on to your legs at first to make sure that you haven’t completed flipped out, you are responsible for choosing to leave the ‘plane, pulling your ripcord, and piloting yourself down to the ground.
Obviously this bears some comparison to indie publishing. There is a team to help you with major bloopers when it comes to grammar and spelling, but writing the novel, and choosing to thrust it into the ether are decisions you take on your own. If it goes well, then great! If the critics trash it, well, that’s also no-ones fault but my own (unless they are particularly grumpy people anyway I suppose ;)).
The funny thing in both cases is that I wasn’t really frightened. Please don’t get the impression that I’ve blowing my own bravery trumpet here! I can be a complete coward when it come to non-fatal heights. However, by the time we had done all the training and drills, and were up in that plane, there was a certain sense of inevitability about it. I knew that I was going to do it, and so didn’t freak out. So it is with the book: so much work has gone in over such a long period of time, that’s it’s going out no matter what.
As it was, on the day of my jump, I leapt out into the blue, and went into complete sensory overload for a while, which if you’ve never experienced it, is really very curious. You don’t think “Oh my god!”, or “Aaarghh! What am I doing?” or indeed anything at all. Your brain goes totally blank, and you have no recollection at all of what just happened. Having come to my senses, I did all the drills, and pulled my ripcord. For the record, you don’t jerk violently upwards as it may appear in videos. It’s rather gentle, and I thoroughly enjoyed wafting around up there on my own, taking in the scenery. Truly a delightful experience – very free. I landed competently enough if unspectacularly on my butt, and lived to tell the tale.
The guy who jumped after me got it wrong, failed to notice that his ‘chute had tangled, and broke both his legs and his pelvis. No-one else jumped that day.
I can only hope that the book launch goes as smoothly as my jump! I’ve no doubt that it will be buffeted by the fickle winds of critique, but hopefully will have a relatively peaceful float through the great world of publishing.