Sweating the Small Stuff

Self-publishing takes time. Time that could be spent writing is taken up with other details and even nagging worries.

For a month, I’ve been waiting patiently for my books to show up at Barnes & Noble. The books didn’t come up in a search by title, author, or ISBN. After a quick inquiry, I was told the books should be indexed just a few days after Smashwords ships, so I knew something was wrong.

Yesterday, a helpful customer service rep at Smashwords sent an email to me with the B&N links to all three books. I was a little flabbergasted, and I still don’t have a clue how she found them. Even after she sent the links, I still couldn’t bring up the books or my name through the B&N search feature. When I checked the links she provided, I saw that two of the books didn’t even show descriptions. I had a feeling I’d probably done something wrong, and it threw a damper on my morning.

Of course, I had to start searching to find out why the search didn’t work and what I could do about it. I read message boards and finally found where others from as far back as 2010 had the same problems – books not indexed in search with no description and/or cover image. I finally gave up and decided it would be more productive to update my website to reflect the new links.

Errands had to be run in the afternoon, and there were a few unexpected interruptions. By the time I sat down to write in the evening, I’d lost my writing mojo. I spent most of my time reading what was already written and doing some proofreading. Still productive, but not what I wanted to do.

Have you ever been expecting a package, and it doesn’t come, and it doesn’t come, and you finally write and say, “Where’s my package?” Then it usually shows up in the mail that day or the next, and you wasted your time and the sender’s. Before heading up to bed, I searched my name again. All three books showed up, all were searchable, and all had descriptions.

I simply have to ignore some of this stuff, or I’ll never get any writing done.