Published, at last...

Even understanding that self-publishing would require some learning steps, I was surprised at the effort required to finally get my book into print. Hiring an experienced firm to help design a cover, as well as to put the manuscript in good order, was an obvious need this first time around. But I got frustrated by the time required to produce, then meld sketches and maps with the manuscript — more than 6 weeks later than the firm's original estimate. Meanwhile, "helpful" articles for first-time authors suggested I should have developed a marketing plan a year ago! That's a tall order when my focus was on writing and revising to put the manuscript in final form and get it edited and proofread properly. Finally, who said I'd have to design my own web page? But an author page is essential these days, and unless I wanted to fork over additional dough (one firm said their standard fee was $5,000) it was trial and error again. Fortunately, Squarespace ended up being mostly intuitive (with a little assist from others), and I was able to produce a content-oriented site. (My sense is that too many sites — be they author or political candidate sites — focus on bells and whistles, but forget the importance of providing substantive and hopefully new information, and present it in an interesting manner.) Anyway, as Longfellow would say: Excelsior! (i.e., Onward and upward!)