Last summer, when I went to Nebraska to meet the committee of ladies who were writing a book on the history of Minatare, Nebraska, the little village where my great-great-grandfather and other ancestors homesteaded, I realized that the ladies were going to have to pay someone an awful lot of money to make their self-published book print-ready. After returning home and thinking about that some more, I offered to take on that task for them. I honestly didn't expect it to be the monumental project that it turned out to be, but I don't regret having offered to help them out.
For seven months I've been receiving chapters, one after the other, in the mail and turning them into a unified manuscript that could be taken to a printer for publication. It turned out to be 15 chapters and 350 pages. Nearly every page had at least one photo, which had to be scanned, edited and inserted into the text. My software didn't handle photos well at all. I had trouble anchoring them in place. And once the chapters were finished there was the front matter and the index to be created. Indexing a book that size is a huge job in itself, but it appears to be complete and accurate now.
Yesterday I mailed off a flash drive with the entire book on it - a little tiny flash drive held seven months of work! I sent it off with a sense of apprehension and with my fingers crossed that the print shop will be happy with the formatting. For so long, every spare moment has been spent at the computer working with the book, and now . . . it's done! It feels a little like the empty nest syndrome. My most recent "chick" has flown the nest! (And I'm praying it doesn't come back.)
The ladies are hoping for a completion date in March. I wish them all the best as they move forward with the printing.