That Thing Kelly Shea Has Done

That quote floated across my Twitter stream yesterday, and I had to share it with Kelly Shea, our wonderful writer and designer for the Invictus Writers.

The reason: she’s been toiling endlessly over the last phase of the design for at least a week, which doesn’t begin to count the time she spent laying out each piece so we could upload it to Scribd before the book was published.

As soon as she finished the first design (which you can buy here), I made the comment that it would be nice to have an EPUB format too. It wasn’t necessary,  I said, but maybe worthwhile. Before I knew, she’d jumped into the Adobe tutorials, wrestling with her InDesign file to create a fully hyperlinked and visual digital copy (which is different from the digital PDF you can buy here).

Four days into wrestling with this, she’s nearly done with the EPUB.

Two days before – while she was at the height of EPUB hell – I mentioned that I’d snagged an ISBN number and barcode, and wouldn’t it great to add those to the back cover and change the copyright page in the book so we could sell The Invictus Collection Vol. 1 in major online retailers. It wasn’t necessary, I said, but maybe worthwhile.

I couldn’t hear her as she’s nearly 2,000 miles away, but if I could I expect I’d have heard a sign, watched her look sideways, before she returned my gaze with a big smile on her face: “Sure,” she say.

I write this because the last 20 percent of the project is the part you don’t see. There is no glory in finishing, tightening the last screws and hammering the last nails. There is no public display for you. One minute there is no EPUB file, the next there is.

I know, though. I have traded emails with Kelly into the wee hours of the night. I have received excited emails during breakthroughs, and tense emails when she hit brick walls. I have offered little help as I’m not a designer. Instead, I have been her cheerleader, reminding her that she can stop whenever she wants. We don’t need to do any of this.

She doesn’t stop, though, and in one minute very soon an EPUB file will be there. And then down the line, one minute If I Leave Here Tomorrow will appear in the Amazon store. It will not mean much to you. You will likely not think about it.

For Kelly, it will be a major triumph of skill and passion.

I just thought you should know.