#3 Scribbling Chronicles


At this point in our relationship, a confession is due. I have a guilty secret shared only with select understanding friends. Spreadsheets turn me on.

Excel spreadsheets are my particular fetish, with their sexy grids and sinuous ability to morph into graphs and pie charts. “I can be whatever you want me to be,” they pout.

In the dark of night, when the husband and children are asleep in their beds, I slink to the silent office and switch on my laptop. The x icon on my desktop calls to me. I tap at it impatiently. In a second, the spreadsheet flashes onto the screen. I stroke the key pad and the cells, almost musky with content-rich essence, thrust their data into my consciousness. I close my eyes and tremble.

Maybe I am exaggerating a little but perfect spelling has a similar effect on me. Spreadsheets and perfect spelling are to me what shoes are to others. Sad, I know. Perhaps the others never were nerds. They don’t get hives in the presence of a split infinitive or stray commas.

But then I don’t get excited about red soles.

On Edith’s advice, I spent a solid week researching self-publishing companies online and prettying their details onto my beauteous excel spreadsheet, all organized by company name and relevant details, cost and content of various packages, whether the company had published a best seller before and what genres they specialized in, and also whether I liked the covers they created.

Some covers are like my granny’s bucket knickers.

I don’t know about you, but once I’ve condensed all my data, I find that some boxes just glow. At the top of my table, ordered by cost, the boxes about Lulu (http://www.lulu.com/) beckoned with a fuschia pink light. “Pick me, pick me!” they called. I was tempted. Lulu lets you do as much or as little as you want. Very flexible, and reasonable, and great margins. Trouble was, I didn’t know what I was doing. I had to pass.

Near the bottom of the table, iUniverse (http://www.iuniverse.com/) glittered golden, promising to hold my hand every step of the way, until I had a book I would be proud of. I had nothing to lose. I called. It was the beginning of something, but I’m still not sure how to describe it.

This entry was posted in advice from writers, self-publishing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to #3 Scribbling Chronicles

  1. M. Ziegler says:

    I love excel – I to use it to organize all things writing. I don’t think I have the same love affair though. Good luck. 🙂

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