Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group: Formatting and Platforms and Urgh!

Insecure Writer's Support Group is a blog hop hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh where totally insecure writers can get together and share the things that are making us go argh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I bought a new phone last month. I made the switch from Apple to Android. Not for any particular reason except that my old iPhone refused to display most of the Flash embedded websites I use to shop online.  It's been almost three weeks and I'm still waiting to get used to the phone. I'll be the  first to admit that I hate change. I hate change in technology even more. Thirty years from now I'm going to be that crazy old lady being auto-tuned on YouTube (or whatever weird futuristic equivalent of YouTube will be around) for complaining about how evil technology is. Sadly, technology is a necessary evil when you're self publishing and my fear is that I will never get the hang of it all.
      I am Will Smith's character in I, Robot. I just don't trust or understand technology and the closer I get to publishing my novel the more freaked out I'm getting. I've already settled on paying someone to format my MS for publishing because just the thought of it is giving me a headache. I'm lining up poor unsuspecting friends and relatives to spearhead my Facebook and Twitter feeds because I'm still accidentally sending all sorts of weird friend/other requests to people I don't know.
       When I started this blog I thought that all I had to do was make it look like I had it together here. It took me six months to realise I could change the settings so no anonymous spammers could leave comments.
       So I just want to know, where any of you guys as clueless when you started and does it get better?


  1. Hey Lan!
    How DO you stop the spammers??? They don't show up on the blog, but I still get the comments sent to my email :(

    Anyway, I think it's smart to pay someone to do the formatting and such. The tech stuff is seriously confusing. Can't wait to find out more about how you journey to publication goes!!
    Ninja Girl

  2. What you do is make friends who are good at technology. ;-) you don't have to know it all. And if you mean layout, you really need the software anyway. I LOVE technology. I admit there's a lot I still don't know, but I learn. You can learn too, if you don't keep thinking,"I hate this!" The trouble with your generation(says the baby boomer) is that you never had to live without snazzy tech of one kind or another. I remember typewriters! My Honours thesis was typed on a manual typewriter, as were most of my early stories. When you've had to use liquid paper or even retype a whole page to get it right, you really, really appreciate technology that means you never have to do it again. When I was your age, self publishing meant having to go to a vanity press or a printer and end up with hundreds of books on your living room floor. So enjoy. Get an expert to help, though it will add to the cost. You want your book to look its best. If you don't ave a cover artist in mind, email me when ready, I know plenty.

  3. You don't need to con this friend - when you are ready to send your book into the world, I will be there to help.
    There are some excellent people out there who can format and do cover art and everything for you. Use them! Save yourself for the writing and promoting.
    And when it comes time, it will be all right.

  4. I think this stuff can get overwhelming when you're buried up to your ears in all the annoying social networking sites. I can handle the techie stuff, except for ebook formatting. I really can't wrap my brain around how to do that. Since I live on my computer, I don't have any fear about how to do everything. I do it all the time. It's just part of my life.

  5. It takes some time to get used to these things. I'm not super up on technology or html and whatnot, but I've learned a bit over time. There's a lot of sites out there and each of them has their own way of doing things. I can't tell you how many times I went into the wrong section on a website to change a certain setting. It once took me 5 minutes to find the spot where my old address was still displaying. Lol.

    In any case, on all the book related stuff, I'm definitely getting people to do a lot of stuff for me. I can't imagine doing formatting on my own. And I've decided I'd rather save up money and pay someone to host a blog tour for me than do it myself. I just don't have the free time to handle all the emails and set up all the stops. You'll be able to manage what you can and you can delegate the rest to others. ;)

  6. I dont want to ruin your day or anything, but it doesnt seem to get better for me. I'm still struggling miserably, which is why I havent yet made the switch to Wordpress. I have no idea how to do anything, and I never feel like figuring it out. I admire those who do the whole self publishing thing, because honestly, I think If I dont get picked up for regular publishing, I may just not publish at all. I'm lazy and self publishing terrifies me to death. The way I see it, if I cant get someone to do it for me, then it's not meant to be done. I know thats a ridiculous ideal to have but it is what it is.

  7. I get tired of the extensive social networking "must" list that writers need to have to supposedly be successful. Honestly, I've pared mine down to Facebook and blog. I've kept those two only because I enjoy them.

    The tech stuff with self-publishing does get easier and less intimidating, but I enjoy the technical part . . . goes with being a control freak. If the tech part isn't your thing I definitely recommend hiring help. There are so many good people out there to work with who do a great job. Good luck, Lan!

  8. Yeah, tech is rarely my friend. I use a formatting company for my ebooks, because I will never try to do that on my own. And at least once a day, I want to punch my website in the face. I've only recently managed to make enough sense of wordpress so that I can put up the pages I want. Parts of it are still not making me happy, but I don't know how to fix them. Incidentally, does anyone know how to prevent spammers on wordpress. If there is a way, of course.

  9. LOL about the phone. I've had my current one for just over two years (I keep getting texts that I'm eligible for an upgrade). I should switch, but darn I just know this one so well. It's a dinosaur by all standards, but I don't feel like going through the motions of learning new technology.

    Good luck on the self publishing. I love to follow the journey and admire that you are sharing your work with the world :)

    Meredith’s Musings

  10. Oh hahaha. ;) You can always ask me if you're in need of some website changes, Lan! I might not be much of help, but I'd do my best to help. :) I'm using Android as well, but I think it's much easier to use than Apple! I'm sure you'll love your new phone once you get a hang of it. :)

    I can't wait to read your book! I haven't read any word yet but I've already given my heart to it. <3

  11. Just when you think you have the latest social media figured out, they change it on you. It takes a lot of effort to keep up. Don't be discouraged, ask for help, and keep the story in mind. You're a writer first. The rest will come when you need it, or some teenager steps up to help!

  12. Ha! Welcome to the wonderful world of technology Lan! LOL. It doesn't usually take me long to figure out how to work technology. Now, it takes me awhile to set things up. I'm not a fan of putting stuff together, but technology I can work with. I'm both a mac user for my computer and an android user for my phone. I find that both are very similar. Don't worry, you'll get the hang of things in no time! :)

  13. I'd so pay someone to do it for me. Technology doesn't scare me, it makes me feel so I'm just too tired to bother.

  14. You are not alone! I swear, if I wasn't so freaked out about technology, I may have published my own books already. I'm totally impressed by the folks who figured it all out already. Have you visited Susan Kay Quinn's blog? She has great tips for all this techie stuff. Let me slip away and find it...

    *elevator music*

    Here you go!


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