Media Mail and CreateSpace

Dear Reader,

Don’t switch addresses while waiting for a shipment of books from CreateSpace. It causes a mini-headache.

So get this: I’m currently at my parents’ house, waiting for a shipment of books from CreateSpace that I will be giving to winners of a GoodReads contest I’m holding, as well as my local library. They should have come last week, but I had my fingers crossed that they would magically appear at my parents’ door.

You see, I’m moving out, and I have a forwarding address in place. I assumed the book package would be forwarded to the new address.

WRONG. Oh so wrong. I just got an email this morning stating CreateSpace couldn’t deliver the package and it has been returned to them. In ten days, the package will be destroyed.

WHAT?!

Ok. Don’t panic. Contact them. Only, what do you know? Their response form is BROKEN. Ok, don’t panic. Have them call you. Wait on the line. Ask them what the freaking hell happened, why are they back in CreateSpace’s hands if they were at my doorstep?!

I’m sorry ma’am, I’m looking through all our systems and I can’t find a reason why. Here’s the package number for you, it was sent media mail. We’ll send them back to you the same way you originally asked, free of charge.

So I look up the number at the USPS and UPS websites. Except they say the number doesn’t match their tracking systems. Oh, excellent.  Let’s call the local post office and see if they know what happened.

Nope, they don’t. By this point, I think the lady on the other end heard my irritation and slight desperation and began asking questions.

Did you write the address correctly? Yes, I’ve had shipments from CreateSpace to this address only last month.

What sort of shipment method was it? Media mail? Why yes, it was. I set up a forwarding address because I’m moving, why didn’t it go to the new address?

We don’t forward media mail. That’s just not how it’s done. Especially books. We never forward bulk book shipments. Consider me flabbergasted and resigned.

All right then. I guess I’ll twiddle my thumbs in the meantime while CreateSpace sends it back to me, free of charge. It better come in time for my GoodReads contest! At least I got answers and know the books are coming back to me.

Lesson learned: stay where you are when books are coming your way.

All the best,

Belinda

Worderella Re-releases an Old Book

Dear Reader,

You might wonder why I’m publishing a second edition of my first book while in the middle of writing my second book. You wouldn’t be alone in wondering this. My mother has asked why I bother in looking to the past when I’m also planning for the future.

It’s a good question, and one I thought I’d answer here at Worderella Writes. You see, Catching the Rose was my learning book. When I say that I mean this was the book I wrote in which I learned how to:

  1. write a novel.
  2. edit a novel.
  3. ensure my book was the only one with that particular title.
  4. look for a reputable vanity/subsidy publisher.
  5. deal with a vanity publisher.
  6. make a cover sketch so my cover designer would know what I’m looking for.
  7. twiddle my thumbs while I waited for the proof to arrive.
  8. scream with excitement as I held my book in my hands.
  9. gain local buzz for writing a 384 page novel as a high school student.
  10. set up a professional writing website.
  11. set up a professional writing blog.
  12. compare my cover to other covers in the genre.
  13. recognize my back cover copy was sadly lacking.
  14. recognize my marketing plan sucked, because I didn’t have one.
  15. accept compliments and criticisms with the same smile.
  16. swallow my pride.

I learned a great many more things, but there’s no need to list them all. The point is, I love Catching the Rose, and a great number of my readers do as well. Almost seven years later, I’m still hearing about how a friend of a friend of a friend of my mother picked up my book, and liked it so much that they asked my mother when my next one was coming out.

If you’ve ever had this happen to you, you know the quiet joy that spreads within your chest, blossoms in your heart, and makes your eyes shine.

So I’m releasing a second edition of this book, giving it a real chance this time because it deserves it. I know so much more now about the book industry, though I have a lot more to learn. I know how to do page layout and cover design; I did both for this second edition. I removed a number of my glaring rookie mistakes, such as

  1. spelling out accents (“Why how dayah you, Mistah Williams, foah speakin’ to me in such a mannah!”)
  2. allowing widows and orphans to mess up the visual harmony of the typographical page.
  3. adverbs run rampant.

I didn’t catch everything, but like I said, I’m still learning. Catching the Rose is my baby. I spent six years writing it during the developmental stage of life. I poured in all of my teenage confusion and angst, edited out the worst of it, and made an entertaining and engaging read for women of all ages. And a few men, too.

Even as I was re-doing the page layout last night, I caught myself reading passages and chuckling at the characters, or wondering what was going to happen next. Isn’t that odd? I mean, I wrote the book. Shouldn’t I know what’s going to happen?

I do, because I did write the book. But for me, it’s always been about the journey. I’m that jerk who reads the end of the book before I read the entire thing, because I don’t want to read it if I won’t like the ending. That doesn’t mean I only like happy endings, because I don’t. I like well-written endings. And a well-written bittersweet ending is clutch.

So I’m re-releasing Catching the Rose because:

  1. It was, and still is, my learning book.
  2. As per #1, I’m learning how to truly self-publish so when I self-publish Haunting Miss Trentwood, I’ll have worked out the kinks.
  3. I love this book.
  4. I love the characters, and I love their issues.
  5. My readers ask me, years after reading the book, what happened to Veronica and Brad.
  6. While formatting the pages, I got lost in my own story.
  7. I am a writer, and I must write.
  8. I am a storyteller, and I must tell this story.

So what do you think? Am I being dumb? Am I being greedy? Or something else entirely?