I finally navigated my way to the author center. I registered my “Title” and got my "Title #." I was ready to get down to the work at hand. Let’s kick this pig! There were decisions to be made. I had envisioned that I would be “talking” to someone who would be asking me what my preferences were as far as “dressing” my “baby” but it looked like it was just check boxes on a web page. OK….I guess that was OK, I mean this was fast and easy, right?
The questions seemed simple at first, but the more I looked at them I realized that I had no frame of reference. I ran to my library ( not a pretty picture; me running <limp limp> upstairs) and grabbed a couple of random books for examples. Surely I could do this, I mean I did computer forensics for goodness sake, this should be a piece of cake.
What size did I want the book? Color cover or B&W? What color interior? Any illustrations? Cover material; Paperback or hardbound ( Hardbound = more $) Line after line of DETAILS. My head was spinning. I didn’t KNOW. I needed advice, someone who KNEW what was best for my project. Thank goodness I had “One on One” help. I searched the list of my assistants and found a phone number. The person on my team at this point of the process was a “publishing consultant” who had taken over from the “Review Team” member. (We’ll call him "ADAM".) I called Adam and got his voice mail. I quickly told him who I was (with my Book’s Title #) and explained I needed to talk to him ASAP ref: the choices. Please call me back. I also sent an e-mail requesting a phone call and explaining I was retired and available almost anytime, Just call.
<Insert cricket sounds here>
I called again, left voice mail, e-mailed again, started to get nervous. More then week later I got an e-mail. It was from; we’ll call her “Alice.” She explained that "Adam" had handed me off to her now. She apologized for not getting back to me, she had been on vacation, and listed four (4) times that would be good for her to call me. I was to pick one and e-mail her with which one I wanted. My return e-mail reiterated that I was retired and any of the four were fine, just please, call.
<Insert cricket noise here.>
The four call times came and went, no call came. I called The Company and asked to speak to the head of Publication. I was informed that she was not available but I could leave voice mail. I reluctantly accepted that and left a curt message about how disappointed I was with the communication so far and stressed that I had paid them my $1000 all ready and would like to get this process going.
The next day I got a call from a guy who introduced himself as “Bruce.” He apologized for “Alice” not getting back to me (she had been on vacation ) and he would be happy to answer my questions. In fact he would be happy to take over my project from “Alice” if I wanted. I told him that I just needed a little help with getting through the details. He told me not to worry, it was easy! and he would be glad to help. (He reminded me of all the guys I had ever bought a car from.) For a half hour we plodded through the details and as we talked I checked the right buttons, moving through the process. We made a good start. I had two big questions,
1. How do I get a brick & Mortar store to carry my book and
2. How much should I sell my book for?
The answer to those 2 questions were about to set me back on my heels. It would also be the LAST time I ever got to speak to a real person from The Company, on the telephone, again.