So, it's been a while. Sorry about that. Truth be told, though, there hasn't been tons to tell. It's tough being in the "hurry up and wait" phase, but I've found ways to pass the time (that haven't involved hitting "refresh" on my CreateSpace page every 5 minutes; no, really).
Well, we left off (I think) with me hitting "submit" on my questionnaire and specifications. I also uploaded my manuscript - that was a bit of a project, though. I write my novels in Scrivener, and to use the CreateSpace services, they recommend you upload your manuscript in Word. So I had to convert it over, which is an imperfect process, and then add some formatting elements to ensure the translation worked well. This leads me to a caveat: if you plan on using CreateSpace, it'd be a good idea to write your novel using Word to begin with, or at least use a program that converts to Word pretty easily. I love Scrivener, though, so I think I'll just build in the conversion to my expected workload in publishing a book with their tools (and work on learning how to do it right; I think I figured it out, but it took some fiddling and I still had to go through and double-check everything).
So, after all the submissions had been made on my end, I cooled my heels until the best day ever: my cover concepts came in.
I cannot tell you what an emotional experience that was. I know it's a little silly, but getting to see the cover ideas for my book, with the title and my name and everything, was one of the most exciting moments in this whole process.
Until I then had to agonize over which one I was going to pick.
I polled several people in my target demographic before making my decision. I got a lot of great input from folks, but ultimately I had to make a very tough choice. I can't wait til it launches and I can show it off!
CreateSpace uploads your cover concepts to your project toolbox, where you can view them and then select which one you want to use. You're allowed to request a certain number of changes or a third concept if you don't like either one. I requested a few changes to my chosen cover design, which I'm supposed to get back in another few days for final approval.
In addition to my covers, I also received the internal formatting file so I could review and make sure the page layouts were done correctly and looked good. This includes things like chapter headers, spacing, the little symbols between separate sections of the chapter (what're those called again?), etc. I got mine back and it was also AWESOME. It wasn't just a few random pages off of a PDF - it had my name on each page and the title of the book on each page, just like a real book. These are things that make me go "squee", people. It's things like these you don't even probably notice when you are reading, and it just tickles me.
I had to send in my initial approval of the internal formatting and will get a final review of it when they send me my physical review copy.
Finally, they also sent me my promotional text. This was something I really debated about doing - after all, I'm a writer, how tough can it be to do promotional text? But the truth is, I can't do stuff like that without feeling campy and ridiculous. It felt about 100% better to have someone do it for me, and I'm glad I did it. I didn't like all of the choices they made and I edited a few parts pretty heavily, but just having that launching point saved me hours of time agonizing over it myself. They did a pretty good job, though the concise-writer part of me just had to tweak it (srsly, there were quite a few run-on sentences, be on the lookout).
Sooo. My promotional text is all approved, my book cover is almost done, the internal formatting is completed. Next: Physical review copy, and then onward to my final approval and marketing products! Gah it's so exciting I just can't stand it!