Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Happy (Work) Place

This is my new and improved home office.

I decided that since I'm going to be working from home all the time now, I need to have a space where I can stay motivated and focused and feel comfortable at the same time.  Originally when we moved into our place, I claimed the sunroom as my office.  Who cares if it's really cold in there in the winter since there is no heat?  I can just wear layers and buy a small room heater...Yeah, I ended up doing my work on the kitchen table in the heated dining room.  I even continued to do so once summer started because, surprise, it was too hot in the sunroom and there is no air conditioning in there either.

So I would work away at the kitchen table all the time and create piles of "important" papers that overtook our eating space.

Since I had grown used to working in the dining room, I had this revelation:  What if I make the dining room my office?  Whoa!  I would have heat in the winter time and a space for my piles that is not our kitchen table!

All I had to do was move the kitchen table over to one side of the room and then I got my husband to help me carry this gajillion pound desk ($50 on craigslist) from the sunroom to the dining room and put it against the other wall.  Then I worked on organizing it and making it homey.

You can't see it in the picture, but there is a big ice cream scoop puzzle hanging on the wall above my desk.  The chair is an old thing from office depot that my mom nicely covered with floral fabric.  The fabric was originally meant for the cushions on our kitchen chairs, but my husband found it to be too girly for his bottom to rest upon.  The pencil holder is a Vera Bradley mug that my sister got me for my birthday one year, and it happens to match both the chair and the ice cream puzzle quite nicely.

In the second picture you can see that I made my office more personal and comfy with pictures of my favorite people.  Pictures of my family on the bulletin board, my husband in the frame, and my dog on the mouse pad.  All of these were ordered from snapfish.com.

I have worked in this space a few days now, and it is definitely an improvement over my original situation.  I'm looking forward to seeing if my productivity and eventually my paychecks start improving due to this new environment.    

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lots of Changes and Self-Publishing

It's been over a year since my last post.  I'm really good at this blogging thing, aren't I?

Maybe one day I'll actually be able to maintain this thing.  I always think about how cool it would be to have this blog that lots of people read, and to write great posts all the time.  And then for some reason I can only write one post a year...

Anyway, things have changed quite a bit since my last post.  I now live in Maine with my husband who transfered to the law school here in Portland, and we have a German Shepherd puppy named Archimedes (Archie for short).  I currently have two jobs, but I recently put in my two weeks notice at one of them.  Too stressful.

It's kind of funny how I was all unemployed during my last post a year ago, and since then I've had three different jobs.  I'll spare you the explanation.

So in about two weeks I will be working full time for Outskirts Press Inc. a self-publishing company.  I didn't really know what self-publishing was until I began working for Outskirts.  It's actually pretty cool.  If you write a book and want to avoid the frustrations of trying to get published by a big name publishing company, self-publishing is the way to go!  Especially if you are a new author that no one has ever heard of.

Outskirts Press has so many different options when it comes to publishing, it's almost impossible to not get what you want out of your experience with them.  You start out by choosing a package that will best suit your needs and then add on whatever else you might want.  They will also help you with your marketing efforts!

If I were to ever publish a book with Outskirts, I would choose the Diamond package for $999.  This package includes some great things such as a standard interior format based on industry standards for your book's genre, several different outlets for distribution including Spring Arbor Christian Distribution, and a free e-book format.

I would want my cover to be something special, so I would go with the Custom Cover option for $299 with the Diamond package.  With this option, I can give the cover designer my ideas for the cover and they will create two different concepts for me to choose from based on my ideas.  The result is a truly unique cover for my book.

Another thing to consider purchasing is editing, especially if you didn't have someone else edit the manuscript already.  This costs 1.4 cents per word.  It can be pricey if you have a lot of words, but I can't tell you how many times I've seen author's spend a lot of money on edits after they review their proofs because they didn't edit it before hand.

So that's my speil on Outskirts Press.  If you're interested, click here.

You can also check out the CEO's blog here.