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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015

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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

More time than money

Whenever faced with doing an unpleasant task that she could have hired someone else to do, my mother would say, "I've got more time than money," and would set out to do it herself. When I was a DINK (dual income, no kids) it seemed that I had more money than time, so any kind of home or car or life maintenance was better left to a professional I could pay to do the job right. Now that I'm a UFAH (unemployed father and husband) I find myself returning to Mom's philosophy. Except that at my age, it seems like I don't have that much of either.

Author Stephen Beirne passed away this week. He was 20 years old. When Stephen was just 14 and diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer, he began writing a Celtic adventure fantasy called November Reign. In 2008, the Make-a-Wish Foundation pulled together a cadre of 20 professionals for everything from editing to cover design to printing and made Stephen's wish to have his book published come true. It was published by Harper Collins in 2008 and all proceeds from the sale were dedicate back to the Make-a-Wish Foundation. It makes one think about whether we really have more time than money.

The fact that it took 20 professionals to donate their time to publishing Stephen's book is not lost on me. I pride myself in the fact that I have written nine novels in the past seven years. One is in print. I am in the process of independently publishing another. Steeped in Microsoft project management, I listed all the tasks that I need to accomplish with due dates and time estimates for each one in order to release my book on schedule. I can safely say that the ratio of publishing activity to writing activity is very close to 20:1. For example, the cover design will take me about 30 hours to complete. That is the same as my normally alotted writing time in a month. Granted, I'm not the fastest designer in the world, but I've got more time than money.

Half a dozen volunteers read through the "beta" draft of the book and made extensive notes and caught a huge number of proofreading errors I thought were clean. I am forever grateful for their time and energy. Layout of the print book will take another 20 hours. Then there is the ePUB, the audio book, the promotion, production, party planning, posters, and publicity. At this rate, I figure I have another seven years worth of work ahead of me to publish my backlog of written novels.

But I've got more time than money. I think.

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