“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
— George Eliot
I’ve been time traveling lately. As you might imagine, it has made me both nostalgic and disoriented.
This immersive journey to my own past has occurred via the epic task (begun in January 2011 and still
ongoing) of copy editing (as well as formatting, converting, and packaging) all my old books and stories for
e-book release in my self-publishing venture, Blonde Trifecta.
The name of my e-publishing endeavor is a visit to my origins. As the blonde baby daughter of a horseracing
fanatic in Chicago, I was named after the thoroughbred Laura Lee, a stakes loser at Arlington the summer
I was born. I made the mistake of sharing this obscure fact about my birth with my roommates one drunken
night in college, 20 years later. From then on, when I was climbing the endless flight of steps at our apartment
complex to reach our dwelling at the very top of that hill, I would hear, wafting out of the windows of our
apartment and floating down the stairs for the amusement of the entire student village: “And it’s Laura Lee in
the homestretch, ahead by a nose! This plucky filly has run a great race, but she looks like she’s starting to
flag in homestretch!” And so on.
There’s a reason I never use my middle name. Not even on legal documents.
At any rate, for those of you who were not raised by racing fans, a “trifecta” is when you correctly bet on
win, place, and show at the track; it’s a triple victory at the cash window. Ah, may the gods of chance grant
that my e-business emulates its namesake!
When I started this venture, the logistics of self-publishing (choosing software, learning to format and
convert manuscripts to e-books, learning to create covers, figuring out how the online vendors and their systems
worked, making pricing decisions, etc.) were daunting enough that I deliberately choose to start by releasing
some of my more-recent backlist books—manuscripts that I knew were in pretty good shape and only
needed a quick once-over. My first half dozen e-books were all projects I knew pretty well; working with
them was like a good training run on a short, smooth track.
Since then, though, my progression on the rest of my body of work has led me on a journey through novels
I barely remember writing, as well as books whose publishing process was such a demoralizing nightmare
for me back in the day that I felt anxious about revisiting them now.
One of the projects I’d been dreading ever since I began self-publishing my backlist was a massive fantasy
trilogy I wrote over a period of several years. The first book was written in an archaic word-processing program
that made cleaning up the manuscript a Herculean task, even apart from the editing that the three
books would need. Additionally, the trilogy needed new front- and end-matter, including maps and glossaries.
And that’s just the practical stuff!
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