Wednesday, August 24, 2011

SPJA - Keeping track of everything

Right at this moment I'm in the middle of preparing Hal Junior for print and ebook release. Polishing the text is straightforward, and arranging the cover art involves a few emails and discussions. It's all the other publisher hats which can get overwhelming.

From the start I've been using Freemind, as per an earlier blog post. I set up nodes for various tasks (publicity) then sub-nodes (reviewers), then sub-sub nodes (Australia, UK, USA, etc), and then under each of those I add even more nodes: to contact, awaiting reply, heard back. Under heard back I have yes and no, and finally under Yes I have their details - website, contact email, address.

I can collapse the entire publicity node by clicking it, which means you can be looking at a screen with a few simple headings one minute - ebook version, print version, publicity, advertising, cover art, website, etc - and then you start clicking and before you know it the whole page explodes into a mad spider's nightmare.

The other good thing about Freemind (apart from the 'free' part) is that you can apply icons to your nodes. I use green ticks for items I've done, but there are also crosses, smilies, etc. You can also bold a node with Ctrl+B, and Ctrl+plus and Ctrl+minus make the font bigger or smaller, making the important ones easier to spot.

It's a handy tool, and when you add hyperlinks (to websites) and local links (to open files from your PC with a click), it's a fantastic dashboard for your entire self-pub enterprise.

Simon Haynes is the author of the Hal Spacejock and Hal Junior series (Amazon / Smashwords / other formats)

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