What I Did on My Summer Vacation

Although for many people summer isn’t over yet, my summer ends when I start working on plans for the fall semester, which happened this past week. Classes at North Carolina State University begin on August 20th, with my first faculty meeting of the school year on August 18th, so I have less than a week to finish my preparations.

That being said, I thought I would take a page from a traditional back-to-school writing assignment and tell you all some of the things I did on my summer vacation:

  1. My book publisher, C&M Online Media, the first general publisher of ebooks on the Internet, decided to close their doors so the owners could enjoy a well deserved retirement. That meant I needed to figure out a way to continue to distribute my book. After talking with several other publishers, I decided to go the self-publishing route, which entailed a whole series of learning experiences for me!
  2. The first thing I decided to do was update the book, making sure that links were accurate (many had changed) and revising any material that had become dated, even in the short amount of time since initial publication.
  3. I contacted Bob Kern at TIPS Technical Publishing to produce the various files needed for ebook publishing, and he suggested that I also produce the book in print-on-demand format. Once all my revisions were done, Bob and his crew transformed my Word document into the appropriate files.
  4. Meanwhile, I contacted and set up accounts with the major book distributors, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I also worked my way through the CreateSpace system to produce the print version of the book, had them send me a proof copy, reviewed the book, approved it for publication, and ordered some copies. Why is it that a print book just seems so much more real?
  5. About two weeks before the folks at C&M told me that they were closing their doors, I had ordered thousands of business and post cards for the book. All of those have the C&M logo on them, and some had the old ISBN number and pricing information, so I have been spending a few spare minutes here and there printing labels with new information and sticking them on the cards.
  6. The good news is that all that hard work has paid off with an updated and improved version of the book, available from Amazon for Kindle or Barnes & Noble for Nook for the new low price of $4.89, and as a print-on-demand book from Amazon for something less than $10 (they keep changing the price!) plus shipping.

Of course, I did other things this summer as well (travel, gardening, research, yoga, quilting, swimming, and reading), but the new version of my book—and its availability at a reduced price and in a new format for my expanding audience—is what has me most excited about how I spent the summer break.