Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rights

Many freelancers are concerned about retaining their rights. I really don't care about the rights to the items I freelance. (Which is a good thing since I can't retain my rights and work on Guru.) The thing that puzzles me about this is that traditionally published author's frequently give up their rights to the work. Go to the library and randomly choose five books off the shelves - look at the copyright page. Most of the time you are going to see a publishing company owns those rights not the author.

Now, this is shifting somewhat, but not necessarily for the better. Traditional publishing companies may make you file for the copyright, but then make you sign a contract that gives them unlimited use. Since they want you to market yourself, can you really expect them to pay to have the book copyrighted?

Anyway, the things I care about, I self-publish. There are, for example, plenty of freelance jobs asking people to write romance novels. I could do this, but I do not. I am not going to put that much time, effort, and thought into something that will be published by a probably mediocre publishing company and if promoted right may end up making them tons of money. It doesn't appeal. I can do that much myself, and I do with CreateSpace.

But there are tons of jobs that I really do not care about. Website content - I won't even take these unless I can't find something else or the topic is easy and interesting. Research papers - I am not daring enough to approach the peer-pressure (uh, I mean peer-review) community on my own at this time. Articles - I put them out in about 1 - 2 hours, not enough time to make me interested in putting my name on them most of the time.

I am not a good marketer. I am struggling through self-publishing and starting to see my business pick up, but I do not do everything I should be doing to make my business shine. And, for the most part, I focus on editing and giving people feedback on their manuscripts. I love helping others, not asking them to buy my work - trying to justify its value. So, I am a freelance writer. And I give my rights away because I don't really want them. But that's just my opinion.

If one of my book-length fiction works had been traditionally published, I would have fought tooth and nail to retain only movie rights.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Doing a job wrong...

Sigh, I had worked for this person once in 2012 and was hired again. However, the description of the project was "write an academic paper with personal experiences sprinkled in".

You can't write and academic paper with personal viewpoints sprinkled in. It just isn't proper, but instead of rereading the previous paper I had done for this employer, I attacked the project with careless abandon.

I wrote 2000 words from a very personal point of view, completely ignoring the definitions of the words on this topic. I used general definitions as anyone outside the topic would use them.

To better explain, consider this example: evolutionists/geneticists/ some biologists use the words "highly conserved" when they really mean that the DNA has similar patterning; however, they are using this word to say "these creatures are closely related on the evolutionary chain we have made up".


In general, they are full of it, just as anyone (in my opinion) is full of it when they take a normal sounding word and decide to turn it into something it is not just to sound smarter and exclude others from their conversation. However, had I read the last paper from this employer, I would have known exactly what I needed to do. But, alas, I was in too much of a hurry.

At 2000 words, I got very negative feedback, "well, this isn't working out. It's not going in the right direction. You were great before, but now I am going to hire someone else."

Whoa!! I knew I had messed up big time. I needed this job, I spent tons of time researching this job (well, half-heartedly, but still it took lots of time). I was getting paid good money to do this job with the promise of more nice jobs in the future. I couldn't throw that away, so I asked for a second chance.

Second chances are not the way to go. It's best to just do the job right the first time, no matter how much you are not truly into it. However, my employer was nice (and had already invested a week into the project). I promised to still deliver on deadline - which I did - scrap the paper I had done, and produce exactly what she wanted. It was hard in the end not to look at the paper I had written and steal something to boost my new paper, but I did it without even looking at the first paper. I also learned a lot about the topic - which wasn't a bad topic, I was just trying to do too much at once.

In the end, I kept the employer, but I am writing this as a lesson - don't brush off your really good jobs just because you happen to have a lot on your plate.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Harvard Style? or was it Harvard Law citation style?

I write according to several different style manuals. I, however, only own the APA manual. For the other styles, I check out a book at the library on citation as needed or I look online at university websites. You can find good basic references for APA here, MLA here, and "Harvard" style here.

Style manuals are generally upwards of $20, so they are not cheap investments. If you are writing with them all the time I recommend them. The reason is because while you will find information about how to cite sources (the most important part of these guides for non-fiction purposes), you will not find grammar and spelling details, which makes you stand out against others. Here are links to APA, MLA, and Chicago (shuddering). I am not all that fond of Chicago, but the press (AP style is a shortened Chicago style guide for the associated press-do not confuse it with APA style) and many other places are.

Harvard style is used internationally. I always thought it was odd because Harvard is such an American school, but I didn't choose to investigate. In the past week, I was hired to do a Harvard style job. Since this is the second most popular style I write in, I decided it was time for me to expand my style guides. I typed in "Harvard style" on Amazon, and it returned this book. Now, the reviews at the time were mostly about the project managers test book (I complained and it looks like they have fixed it), which this is not, so I didn't have much to go on. I ordered it, and happily began writing, using the guidelines online.

The book arrived, and I was slightly disturbed to see it was for Harvard Law School. Hmmm... why was this international woman wanting me to write a research paper on a non-legal topic using Harvard Law School's citation manual? In fact, why do many of my international employers prefer this style? The book is thick, poorly organized, and primarily addresses legal citation. It looked to be a much heartier read that what the APA style manual is, so I gleaned the citation information and realized everything I had down needed to be fixed. Now, I know I was careful when I looked on the website (listed above), so I went back (unfortunately after changing everything) and discovered that the website was different from the book!!

Well, I can't just let something go - after all my job depended on it in this case. I needed to know which was correct. Guess what? It was the website (prompting more frantic citation changes - my least favorite thing to do). The internationally preferred "Harvard" style is actually put out by Australians. Yep, I spent about $40 on a book I will probably never use (unless a lawyer hires me to edit his citations). Anyone want to buy a slightly used legal citation book?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Business Connections

As I have mentioned before, I use LinkedIn and Google+ to make business connections. I will friend anyone who asks on these social networking websites. I give advice on LinkedIn in some of the freelancing groups and I give advice on here. Most of it is general, and I don't mind doing it. However, I recently had someone connect with me on LinkedIn and then ask to critique his stuff.

I know it sounds heartless, but I don't even critique/ edit my close friends' stuff for free. I have had two or three friends who were "writing a book," and they wanted me to either be their writing partners (i.e. encourage them to keep writing it by pestering them weekly) or to edit it. At this point, I said, "Sure, this is how much I charge..." and then they dropped the subject.

Sorry, I feed my family with my work. Every minute I spend working on something other than what I am getting paid to do is that much food I am taking away from my kids. My husband's paycheck pays the bills; mine pays gas, food, and to grow my business. So, when this person asked me, I calmly quoted my rates and referred him to my Guru profile link.

I have recently had someone contact me outside of Guru about doing freelancing. Expanding my work beyond Guru would be the next logical step in my freelance business growth. However, I have not made a final decision about it yet. I will keep you posted. Guru (or elance) is a lot safer than going it on your own.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a good way for authors to put their books out. You post a project on a project board and have friends and family (and hopefully strangers) donate. It actually works for a variety of things, but there are some websites that particularly target authors: Pubslush and Unbound are two that looked particularly appealing to me.

However, not every crowdfunding website is ideal. Since I am trying to create an entire publishing company, crowdfunding loans look good to me right now. Traditional banks give loans to small businesses sparingly and my bank has already told me I would have to show increasing returns for five years to get one. I have only worked a little over a year as a freelance writer, so I would have a long time to wait to expand into self-publishing. They also have donation crowdfunding and reward crowdfunding (where you give people who donate a reward like a free book or two after you reach your goal). The only kind of crowdfunding I don't recommend for freelancers is equity or royalty crowdfunding. Not only would these be difficult to pay out and manage on your taxes, most freelancers/ authors are not going to have a corporation set up that would easily be divided into shares.

Be prepared - you will have to show you know what you are doing and you are going to complete the project. Many of the better crowdfunding websites will screen people who want to post and all the loan/ equity ones will.

Friday, April 18, 2014

What Does It Cost to Get a Manuscript Edited?

I am always harping on people who self-publish to edit their work. I am an editor, but I am not saying you should have your work edited just because I want you to hire me. I am saying it because most people are not going to recommend a book that they struggled their way through because of editing errors. Generally, every time I publish a post on editing, it is because I recently read a self-published book that was awful because of the editing.

Today, I was reading a book that was self-published through a vanity press. In case you weren't aware, a vanity press is a brick and mortar press that will print your books for you and occasionally help you market and distribute it. However, unlike CreateSpace, they charge an arm and a leg and make you purchase a certain amount of hard copies when you do it. Before the internet, this was the only way you could self-publish - but it isn't really self-publishing. It is also not what I call "assisted self-publishing" - an online publishing company that charges you to print your book, but turns around and publishes it for you with CreateSpace/Kindle (or through another online self-publishing company).

In the old days, vanity presses always edited your book for you - but you would have to submit an order of thousands of books at a time. They were also fly-by-night and occasionally authors would pay to have their book published and never receive the hard copies because the company would go under before they finished. Now, with print-on-demand (through modern technology), they still cost an arm and a leg, but you can choose from a variety of packages and you can order fewer books. It will still run you thousands of dollars to do it, though.

Sadly, editing services are often offered only in the more expensive packages. Looking at their prices, I know you can find freelancers to edit your work for less. So, I did some research, and I looked at how much freelance editors will charge you for their services. As expected there is great variation in rates charged, but in general you can expect to pay $2.50 - $12.00 per page (double spaced - 250 words) ($0.01 - $0.05/ word). Rates vary based on what type of service you need - obviously content editing costs more because the editor is making your manuscript flow and fixing problems with content that go beyond standard grammar and spelling errors. Paying more money does not necessarily mean you will get a better editor.

If you post a project on Guru (or elance), look at work samples of the freelancers who bid on your project. Make sure the person is (1) finding errors and (2) not correcting something that is correct. Generally, editors on freelance websites are going to charge on the lower end of the spectrum because they are bidding against others, but be careful of choosing someone simply because they bid lowest (or highest). If you don't want to hire a freelancer, you can also get Grammarly to edit for you, but I think you have to have a subscription and actually put the document into the checker before you get that option.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Quirks of IE 11

I knew not to click the upgrade button - but my ADHD was out of control. The second I did it, I realized I was in for a buggy ride across a plowed field.

[I know, if you aren't Amish you probably won't get that; and if you are Amish, I doubt you will be accessing the Internet to read it - but I'm from IN, so farm analogies are right there. :)]


Sure enough, Grammarly stopped working and told me I needed to upgrade to the latest version of IE. Of course when I clicked the link the Microsoft website informed me that I had the latest version. So, I have been running Chrome every time I use Grammarly.

[A while back my husband tried to install Comodo Dragon as a browser, but I nixed that. I am more paranoid about hackers than data miners.]


My profile on Guru only displayed a gray background with IE 11, but I knew the picture was there if I clicked Chrome.

Well, another freelancer asked why Guru wasn't loading her profile right tonight on their public answers forum. Several people suggested she clear her cache (always the first choice in resolving browser issues). I told her I thought it was just IE 11. Then I decided to check. Yep. There are issues all over the web with Microsoft's update.

One helpful article: Internet Explorer at it again... told me what I needed to know. So, I went to my profile and clicked compatibility mode (under tools). The picture of the water is my profile as I designed it and as it appears in Chrome. The other picture is how it appears in IE11 with compatibility mode on. I have no clue where the picture it is displaying came from. It is not on my computer, and I did not upload it.

Compatibility mode did fix the problem with Grammarly. Grammarly still asked me to upgrade, but when I skipped the upgrade functionality was returned to the website. (yeah) So, if any of you are having troubles and still really want to use IE like I do, compatibility mode may be the best fix for a rotten browser version (look under "tools).

However, in my quest, I discovered a couple of other obscene problems this "update" causes. First, it can interfere with the way Firefox functions. Second - I have not been able to print more than one item at a time from my wirelessly connected printer without rebooting my computer. I actually found someone else that was having this problem, too. This person uninstalled IE 11 and reinstalled IE 10 and found printing life was back to normal.

This news greatly saddened me. I have a favorites file with 121 links and 11 folders in it. With every book or series I am currently researching, I keep links to reference information easily. I have links to the Copyright office and social networking links that I don't want the info erased for when I clean my cookies in general. I assume the cookies would also need to be recreated for my favorites because I would probably purge them all before making the switch just to be sure some didn't get lost in my computer
[that pesky hacker paranoia again].
The thought of having to copy all these links manually into a document, uninstall IE11, install IE10, and then add them back in and arrange them is depressingly daunting.

If you haven't already, don't install this upgrade. You will save yourself a lot of pain if you can keep yourself from clicking it.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Should I Take a Proofreading/ Copyediting Course?

I wrote this in response to a question on LinkedIn and thought others might be interested in it. The woman asking the question thought she could better edit her own work and then start freelancing as an editor if she took a course that was offered. She stated that she could not afford an editor for her 60,000 word YA book.

A writing course at a university is an investment.

I would not personally invest in a course that is solely about proofreading/ copyediting. Why? Because a good editing course (such as the one offered by the University of California San Diego Extension office) will cost over $1600. I am assuming if you can't afford an editor (for this novel probably around $600), you wouldn't be able to afford that either. Courses charging less than that may teach you how to track changes, but the rest of what you learn would only give you "tips" that will not be much benefit for a professional editor. Professional editors (and authors) need grammar lessons.

In addition, when you edit for someone, you use the style guide they want you to use (or if they don't have a preference, you use your favorite style guide). As an editor, I specialize in APA, Harvard, and MLA styles of editing. I use Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" for fiction. I am also familiar with AP and Chicago style manuals. I frequently have to review the style manual before I begin a project simply because they all have their quirks (especially when it comes to citation). If you are going to edit for others (or write for specific publications/ freelance jobs), invest in the style manual of what you are going to be editing and read it cover to cover. Then learn about the "track changes" and "comments" features of MSWord (you can find information online). Finally, take a grammar course to help you understand those quirks of the English language such as squinting modifiers, subject/ verb agreement, and faulty parallelism.

Proofreading requires you to not only know about the style manuals and grammar but also to know about formatting and the "styles" feature in MSWord (a formatting feature not an editing feature). Again, a basic course is not going to cover what you need simply because the key is consistent formatting. One document may have size 24 font for headings, another size 12 - as a copy editor, you are going to keep headings within the same document the same size, but the size may vary from document to document.

Even though I am an editor, I prefer to use 3 editors to edit my work after I am done. Yes, it is expensive, but it makes the difference between a professional and amateur product (book). However, I have also run into the problem of paying for an editor (especially on longer work). After you have gone through your work, you should use beta readers. I also recommend subscribing to Grammarly to check your work. It will actually teach you grammar while using it. In the end, you will need to set the work aside for a few weeks and then do a final edit. The goal is to get as many errors out of it before you make it public.

Also, if you want feedback (it can take 6 - 9 weeks) I am a reviewer on Reader's Favorite. Their website is very, um, toned down, but they will give you a free review on any book. You do not have to have your book published, but it is set up for published authors and targets self-published authors. I have reviewed works-in-progress, so I know people can submit them.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Content Marketing Your Brand

In general, I don't do content marketing beyond what I do for myself. In case you are not familiar with this - "content" refers to the content you find on a website that is generally SEO ("search engine optimized" so that search engines will find it a place it higher in their rankings). The latest trend in content marketing is not to provide hype about a product but to write articles that are helpful to their customers and relevant to their product. Although I do not write content for content marketing as a general rule, I make exceptions when the project is interesting. For example, I wrote the country information here.

If you look at my example, this website uses relevant, helpful content to promote their car rental agency. That is good content marketing. Here is another example that I did not write. This blog post spurred me to write this article.

The blog post itself didn't contain anything I didn't know, but I wanted to reference it so you can learn a little more about content marketing if you want (or if you don't believe me). As much as I hate business, I stay pretty well on top of business trends for a few of my loyal freelancing customers. It also helps my business.
That's right - as a freelance writer, you have a business, and you really need to look at it that way. I am not telling you that you should spend 5 - 10 hours a week researching the latest in small business trends like I do, but there are plenty of articles out there for you to glean useful information from. I share what I can, but most of the time I am already writing an article under an NDA about it for Ty B. 
My NDA limits me, except when I find articles like the one on the blog above by Paige. Paige just connected with me through LinkedIn, so I don't know anything about her and I can't recommend or not recommend the course she is advertising. Since she only seems to be making one blog post a month, she doesn't seem to have that end of her own content marketing down.
(I do the minimum when it comes to blogging - about three posts per week. And I have let this lapse a few times which is a no-no. If you are blogging less than a post a week or constantly have lapses, you are defeating your purpose.) 
But Paige brings up an important point: Content marketing is the future of freelance writing. You can get paid to write meaningful content and blog posts because businesses (especially small businesses) that want to capture this section of the market do not have writers on their team who can produce good content. They cannot afford to spend the time updating their blogs and staying on top of things because they either do not have the time to do it themselves or they cannot afford to hire a full time writer to do it for them. They need freelancers. They need you.

If you really want to be a freelance writer and you are struggling to get jobs, find a niche and promote yourself as a content marketer for that niche. If for example, you like health and fitness, promote yourself as a health and fitness content marketing specialist. Write unique (no regurgitation is allowed for good content), interesting articles about health and wellness for businesses in that industry.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spelling? Grammar? Who needs them?

I may personally be done with traditional publishing, but I am writing this for those who are still interested in it. On a LinkedIn board, I actually saw someone say that grammar and spelling are not important if you are going the traditional publishing route because there are editors to take care of that for you. 

Uh, no. That isn't how it works for several reasons. First, those editors have many manuscripts to get through by a deadline. As an editor, let me tell you, the more mistakes a manuscript has the longer it takes to edit (or even read through to determine if you are going to accept it). If I were in charge of a publishing company, I would probably be nice and send the manuscript back with a note like - "Sorry, I would have loved to read your manuscript to see if it was a good fit but only was able to make it to page 2 because of all the typos. Feel free to send it for a second try after you've had it edited."

[I know, it probably sounds heartless, but I am not really the editor of a publishing company getting ready to send that note out to anyone - if I were, I would have my husband write it so it would sound nice but not too hopeful. He is a much better PR person. My friends like me because I am loyal - his friends like him because he is funny. (I am not funny - except to him, but he is loyal.) In addition, I feel my response is much kinder than the standard rejection without any explanation. And that is what you will get from most other editors when your manuscript has too many typos.]


Aside from the excess time that a first draft will force an editor to put into your manuscript just to read it - and aside from the negative feelings the editor will associate with the same manuscript because he or she will be only thinking about how long it will take to edit - there is a very good reason why you want it sent in 100% polished.

Spelling and grammar errors can ruin your message. Many sentences punctuated incorrectly mean something entirely different. Words that are misspelled not only look unprofessional, but also may mean something different. And, there is always the occasional word that you might not really know the definition for but decide to use it anyway because it's 'cool' and then it didn't really mean what you thought it meant.

[I did this for a while - I went around telling people I was a "kept woman" jokingly. I thought it just meant that my husband took good care of me, and I liked the way it sounded. Then one guy started talking about doxies when I told him. So, I did a little research and found out that I am not a "kept woman." My husband takes care of me because he loves me - not because I am attractive.]


So, officially, you should hire a professional editor to go over your work before you submit it. But, that is pricey, especially if you want to go a traditional route and do not have a publishing budget. So, the next step down is beta readers. However, remember they are volunteers. I would recommend trying to find several and having each one edit only a chapter or two. Be sure to put in your post that is what you a looking for.

Why is another person so important?

In real life, I frequently say things like, "Dear, I need the thing so I can do that thing we have to do." Now, my husband has no clue (a) what the thing is or (b) what thing we are going to do. My sentence meets all grammar and spelling requirements, but you, my reader, probably also have no clue. If you are not clear in your writing, the editor won't know what you are trying to say either. I really try to be clear in my writing, but I know that I am not always
[Hence my new method for designating 'asides' in my post.].
I already know all the ins and outs of my work, just as I know what I am asking my husband to get and what we need to do. So when I talk about "things" I don't even realize I have skipped the name of the object(s). The same thing happens in writing. A second pair of eyes will see that.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Personal Life vs. Freelancer Life

I am relatively open about my life. I don't try to hide that I am a Christian (yeah, my blog readers might be surprised I am with all the grump I put on here, but this is therapy) with a very black and white view of things and a very black sense of humor ( I hate slapstick). Anyone can follow me on Facebook because 99% of my posts are public. (I don't accept Facebook friend requests unless I actually do know and recognize the person, though.) I post about my personal life there, and I make an effort to read every single post my friends put up (hence my limit on who I friend).

But Google+, blogging, Goodreads, and LinkedIn are different. I will connect with people who add me to their circles and network with others in my groups because this is about business. I try not to post things unrelated to writing on here because this blog is about work.

I am not a different person here than what I am on Facebook. My LinkedIn and Google+ accounts are just as public. But what I talk about is different. For example, a frequent post on Facebook will begin: "Mornings in the van:" and then I will talk about what my kids did or said in the van. You won't see that here. I also try to read many of the posts on Google+ when I get a chance, and I read the highlights for LinkedIn, but not to the extent I do on Facebook. I think it is important to keep business and personal life separated.

This is harder as a freelancer because most of us work from home. I can be typing this while my children are screaming in the background or while my husband is snoring next to me, and I have to block all that out and focus on my work. That can be difficult. Sometimes, I find it so difficult that I get in the car, drive to McDonalds, get a smoothie, and sit in their parking lot working. It is the closest thing I have to an office.

It can also be difficult to relate each blog/ Google+/ and LinkedIn post back to writing. (Goodreads posts are all about reading of course!) But that's what work is about.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sharing Other Blogs

Up until now, I have shared a few useful links on here, but I read several blogs and occasionally, I find a good link to one that is useful on LinkedIn. For example, today, I read: Guest Blogging : How To Use Your Blog To Get The Attention of Other Bloggers. Now, I have no interest in guest blogging, and I generally avoid blogging sorts of freelance jobs. However, I am more than willing to do interviews. (The one I did for Pebble in the Still Waters was great!)

So, I have decided to start including interesting posts on my blog (occasionally). In part, this is because I know that links are important for SEO, but in part it is because there is some really good information I come across that would be useful to people interested in becoming writers. I am still planning on keeping my posts focused: on my experiences freelancing and on what I have learned/ am learning from them. But, just like my occasional Reader's favorite review, I will add a blog post here and there. I may even decide to review another writer's blog, since I enjoy reading them and find certain ones inspiring or relaxing.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Getting Hardcover Books on CreateSpace

CreateSpace (Amazon's paperback self-publishing imprint) does not advertise that you can make hardcovers. They offer paperback, audiobooks, and a couple other options, but I wanted to make a hardcover version of Sal, Captain of the Baby Guards. I sent them an email, and they told me they do offer that service. You just have to contact them about it.

It costs $99 to set it up a hardcover, and then you have to pay for your own books (base rate + per page rate) and distribute them yourself - through a website or in person, for example. You can choose laminate case (glossy hardcover with the picture right on it) or library cloth with a dust cover (it's a little more expensive per book for the latter because you pay for a dust cover in addition to each books' base rate and per page rate). You also have the option of BW or color interior but like paperbacks, color pages are more expensive.

The representative was very friendly, but every time I asked a question, he would usually take 1 - 2 days to respond to it. (I could never get ahold of him on the phone and never did he return my calls, so e-mail was our sole communication.) That was a little frustrating. When we finally worked it all out, I told him I wanted the library cloth. He made it so a separate file was created on my account with a special icon. So, now I have two "Sal Captain of the Baby Guards" titles with slightly different icons.

Once it was set up, I went onto my account and paid the set up fee. (I didn't even realize I had a "cart" button until I did this.) Supposedly, it takes 10 days from payment to set it up. However, I thought that was the end. Nope, the next business day, there was action required on the hardcover. I was able to give it an ISBN (free through CreateSpace or you can enter one you purchased; purchased ISBNs are portable they transfer between publishing houses if you want to switch. Free ones stay at the publishing house that assigned them. But if you are changing publishing houses, you are probably going to want to upgrade or change the book to a new edition anyway.)

Once the ISBN was assigned, I could upload the information I wanted on the inside front and back flaps (because I chose a dust jacket). You can use a text file, like ".doc" or you can upload an image if you want your picture or some other graphic. The image needs to be of both flaps front and back. It also should contain words and exactly how you want the flap to look. Since I didn't have anyone design this for me, I went with straight text. I do not know if I will be able to adjust this in the future without another set up fee. Once you submit that, you get an message saying they will let you know when further action is required by you (or the "we're working on it" message). When you migrate away from that it will say you didn't save, but there is no save button - just ignore it. I did, then I went back in to check and everything was still good. You can click a link that takes you back to the "we're working on it" message.

I don't know yet if they will use library binding or glue or what other options I will get. I am not that far in this process that began weeks ago. I will keep you posted, though. I do hope that my going through it will make it easier for any of you if you want to publish a hardcover of your book.

I think a hardcover will be a good investment - especially for a children's book. Although I have to order and sell all hardcover copies myself because they tell you it will not be listed on Amazon, I have my own website, so this is not a problem. In addition, I can use them for trade shows if I decide to go that route in the future. The only difficulty was deciding on laminate or dust jacket.