Saturday, June 21, 2014

Why call it "Nerd Girl"?

One of the things I continue to read in book reviews of Nerd Girl, is that people don't understand why I titled the book  "Nerd Girl".  After all, Julia is smart, pretty, but not quite a nerd in the traditional sense.

Well, I have a very good reason.  The availability and easy accessibility of eBooks, has revolutionized the world of publishing.  However, no matter how convenient eBooks are, there are also some limitations.  EBooks don't support footnotes, endnotes, and embedded images (i.e. graphs/charts) very well. 

When my manuscript was finished, I worked with a professional editor.  At that time, I hadn't decided on a title yet for my book.  As my editor, Erin, and I continued to go back and forth, Erin helped me to demonstrate Julia's personality more by suggesting that we include footnotes for some of her more anal and professional references.  I loved the idea and we started having a lot of fun with it.  For example, Julia works at Megasoft (which if you haven't figured out, is actually a cover name for Microsoft).  There are a lot of Microsoft acronyms in the book, that originally were referenced by a footnote and a sometimes accompanied by a small humorous anecdote.  Julia also referenced a few more charts as well that were intended to demonstrate her anal way of thinking and how she organized some facets of her life.  The end result was that Julia's whole personality was highlighted and brought out more clearly with the use of footnotes and charts.  Yes, she is an attractive, funny, smart woman.  But she's also anal, loves science fiction, technology, and has some very nerdy tendencies.  When the editing process was done, the title "Nerd Girl" jumped out at me and my editor was in enthusiastic agreement.

After the editing process was completed, the formatting process began.  I was heartbroken to learn that eBooks did not support footnotes, images, or endnotes very well.  You could force it but then the formatting of the book would be compromised, and readers would be lost and irritated.  At the editorial expense of some of Julia's more nerdy personality traits, I had to make a heartbreaking decision to pull those pieces out.   In the final version of Nerd Girl, you still get a good idea of Julia's personality, but not the parts that I thought made her an adorable nerdy woman <big SIGH>....

That being said, this was my first experience with indie publishing and lesson learned.   Since the book cover had already been designed and since I didn't have unlimited funds, I kept the title "Nerd Girl".  It works for some and not for others. 

And for those of you wondering....well, now you know.   At some point, I may end up publishing a paperback version of the original Nerd Girl manuscript.  We'll see....

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