I’m ramping up to publishing, and I plan to use the program Vellum for formatting my novel. It’s one of the best in the field, and it allows you to preview your novel on different kinds of e-readers and devices. It provide a professional level product, which is the goal.
Doing my own formatting is a LOT cheaper than hiring someone, and I can feel confident in a passable format with this program. My husband got it for my birthday in 2018, and he got the version that does both ebooks and paperbacks. It was not cheap, but we’ve been heading steadily towards publishing for a long time, and the cost of the program ($250) is a LOT lower than formatting estimates I’ve seen, many in the $800 range, plus you have to go back and pay more if you need a change.
So we’re avoiding that. It’s a one time cost. All good and well, right?
Except Vellum ONLY runs on Mac. At the time it was bought, I thought I had a borrowed mac ready to use, but 2021 rolled around and I didn’t have that as an option.
So, first I begged my mother-in-law for her old mac since she had moved to a newer machine, and she was SO NICE and gave it to me. (THANK YOU!!! Even if it didn’t work, THANK YOU!!!) Great, I thought. I’ll just update it to Catalina so it will work with Vellum and…
I upgraded and the mac fell on its sword and refused to run ANYTHING. *facepalm* Multiple days of fighting with this brought no solutions. My mother-in-law stripped almost all the programs before she gave it to me, and it ran when I got it, but fighting this, it’s apparently a switch from 32 bit to 64 bit, whatever that means, and it’s a brick.
Great. So I’ll just run a virtual mac instead. I have a newish computer, so it should be able to support a virtual machine. My husband researched extensively, spent days setting it up properly on my computer, did SO MUCH code, and boom. Looked good. Except, you couldn’t move files onto it. At all.
We found a work around, and then I tried to actively use it, and my mouse moooooooved liiiiiike molaaaaaaasses. More fiddling, no improvement, much gnashing of teeth. We weren’t able to resolve it.
So that left me with purchasing a mac.
Ya’ll, I don’t want a mac. I didn’t like my husband’s, and I have a great computer I love that I have no intention of replacing. I’d have to purchase it for ONE type of use only, leaving it just taking up space the rest of the time.
I waffled back and forth for almost two weeks before finally folding and ordering a Mac to the tune of $1400. It’s scheduled to arrive Tuesday, which is yesterday in relation to this blog post. My parents are helping with it, which is amazing and kind of them, but UGH.
And, to add insult to injury, it doesn’t come with ANY peripherals. The Mac I ordered has TWO USB C ports. And that’s it. No USB standard ports. I had to order a cord to link it to a normal USB drive, a dock so it can attach to the internet and run a mouse, a mouse because why would it come with a mouse? The dock and mouse I bought on Amazon because they wanted SEVENTY-NINE DOLLARS for a MOUSE.
So, now I’m feeling guilty, cringing at the money, stressed about everything. It was SO MUCH money. I didn’t even get a fancy one; I went for their second cheapest, but it was SO MUCH MONEY.
All I’m saying is I hope people buy my books, because this was RIDICULOUS. It’s an investment. I KNOW it’s an investment, and it can be a tax write off because I ONLY use it for writing. I bought these things because I don’t intend to only publish one book… as soon as that one goes live, I’m aiming for the next. I’ve got the next outlined and waiting. And then I’ll keep going. This book is the 9th one I’ve written, and it’s the first good enough to put out there.
I want this to be a career, so I’m treating it seriously and like a career.
SO MUCH MONEY.