Ok, so I've sent The Gifted to one publisher, and I haven't heard back, and I'm prepping to send it to another publisher.
I know, I know. It's been a LONG time...but I had to go through the book again to polish it one more time. And boy am I glad I did.
The first publisher I sent it to I was able to just upload it on the computer directly to their website. The second publisher wanted it printed off with a specific formatting for page numbering and such, and then mailed in. It's 222 pages, and you can't just print that off anywhere!
And in my mind's eye I saw an editor sitting in a big fancy office. In front of him sits my manuscript. It's a hot day, so he opens the window. Suddenly the wind barges in, takes loose pages of my manuscript and blows them out the window and down the street. Do you think the editor is going to chase the random pages down the street until he catches them all? Probably not. He can just slide mine off the desk and into the garbage and pick up the next book without another thought.
I did not want to let that happen. So I decided to have it bound. No loose pages, no pesky wind, no problems for me.
The only place I know of to print stuff off and have it bound is the Copy Spot, the copy center at the university. Sure, I probably could have gone to one of the ship and copy places in town, but let's be honest: I'm comfortable with what I'm familiar with.
So yesterday, being my day off, I drove up to campus, fought for a parking spot (school started a week ago), and hiked down to the Copy Spot. Tyler came with me, he likes to get out of the office when I come to campus.
I got to the Copy Spot and asked the college student wearing the maroon Copy Spot vest how it worked. Did I need to print it off there and give it to him to bind? Did I just give him my jump drive and he took care of it?
"Is this for seminary?" He asked.
"Ok....is it for history?"
So he told me to pull it up on the computer there, and once I had it up, he would help me print it. I went over to the indicated computer and got in my purse to pull out the jump drive. Well, I was supposed to meet someone on campus at 10:00 to sell her something, and it wasn't in my purse. I looked up at the clock, it was 9:44. I didn't have time, so Tyler and I left. I drove home, grabbed the item, drove all the way back to campus, fought for another parking spot, made $.65, then hiked back down to the Copy Spot.
When I got there, the guy I talked to before was gone, and a bubbly blonde was in his place. There were two or three people in line, so I thought, "No problem." So I went up and told her I needed to print and bind a 222 page document.
"Is it for religion class?" She asked.
"Is it for Brother So-and-So's history class?"
"So what is it?"
'Scuze me? It's mine, that's what it is. It's the next best-seller! Don't you know who I am? Just kidding:)
"It's just mine." Lame-o answer, I know. But she caught me off guard.
So she smacked her gum, flipped her hair and told me to pull it up on the computer and she'd come over once I got it pulled up. By then there was no one else in the store. No one. I pulled it up on the computer and went back to the counter. Mind you, this is a TINY store. It has a maximum capacity of twelve people. It's little. So I went back to the counter to let her know I was ready for her and the blonde just stared at me. Finally she said, "Hi, can I help you?" I looked around, unsure if she was serious. I wanted to say, "I was up here 38 seconds ago and you forgot who I was...?" But I just pointed to the computer and said, "It's up."
So she came over and pressed print. Yeah, I could have done that. So my document started to print. I waited until it was done printing before I logged off the computer, just in case there was a problem. In the mean time, the Copy Spot all of a sudden became a popular hang out. It was soon filled beyond capacity with students. And everyone was looking at me like I was the hold up. Ok, so maybe I was the hold up, but there were two other computers! So I hurried over to the printer to see how far along I was in the printing process. According to the publisher's directions, in each upper right hand corner it was to say: Andreasen/Gifted/Page 1. So I just looked in the upper right hand corner for the page number....but it wasn't there.
In a panic I checked all the other pages. It wasn't there either. Instead it said: Debhr?Ghf*hbh
On every. Single. Page.
So there were 15 pairs of eyes on me, and I had a choice to make: accept this garbled version of my book and send it off to the publisher, or track down an employee and do it again. I wasn't entirely sure I could find the employee in the sea of bodies that massed that little cave of a store...but I knew that if I sent something to the publisher that wasn't up to their specifications, they had no obligation to read a single word.
So I squared my jaw, straightened my back, and elbowed my way through the crowd until I found the maroon vest.
I'm not rude, so I waited my turn and showed her the garbled mess. She went over to the printer (which was luckily out of paper) and canceled the print job. In the mean time someone else had tried to print and their job got canceled too. In a huff he left the store and vowed to return when it was empty.
Good luck with that.
So I asked the attendant, as she's flying away to help someone else, what to do about my paper. She yells over her shoulder, "Is it in PDF form?"
"Well isn't there a way to convert it to PDF form?"
"I don't know," I shrug.
And then she's gone. Helping someone else. So I stand there like a dweeb, holding the computer and catching glares, waiting for her to come back. Finally the girl next to me takes pity on my and shows me how. I felt like an idiot because it took one click of the mouse and voila.
So I finally got my document to print, and I checked to make sure that it looked right. It was perfect.
222 pages takes a while to print. So I had to stand there guarding the printer with people behind me huffing and tapping their feet waiting for me to be done.
FINALLY I had my manuscript in my hand...for real. This was it. All I needed was to have it bound. So I waited and took it up to the counter, where they showed me, "Oh, to bind it you take it over to this hole punch, and do it just like this..."
So five sheets at a time or less, not kidding, I had to hole punch my entire book. It took me forever! And then they gave me the front, back, and spiral binder and waved me out the door.
Ok, so 45 minutes, $12.91 later, here I am:
It's so beautiful!
No, I didn't dress up just for this picture. I took the picture this morning before work. I considered being funny and taking a picture of the last page...but I didn't :)
So I'll kiss my book good-bye and send her off to the publisher. With a self-addressed-stamped envelope so I will get her back if they don't want her.
Wish me luck!