The first time I heard this expression I couldn’t help laughing. In case you don’t know what molasses is, it’s a thick,15 Health Benefits of Blackstrap Molasses dark liquid extracted during the refining of sugar cane to make table sugar. I was born in Trinidad and Tobago, a country that grew sugar cane and produced sugar for export, and maybe because of that, molasses was very popular with Trinidad housewives. My mother used it to make toloom, a dark, sticky, bitter-sweet candy, which was, and I believe still is, well liked by the kids. I found the recipe here. But that wasn’t all she made. She used molasses to make all kinds of medicinal drinks which, if they didn’t always cure the illness, certainly tasted like medicine.

So why am I writing all this? Because I was always fascinated with the slowness with which the molasses ran – no, it didn’t run – came out of the bottle, as if gravity was non-existent. So, could you imagine molasses having to work its way uphill against gravity? Well, these past weeks I have been feeling like molasses going uphill as far as publishing my book Coming Out Of Egypt goes. I had originally planned to have it released the middle of April, but I lost my battle with the Createspace template, and that’s when my horrors began.

After struggling to format headers, footers and everything else, I gave up and outsourced it to someone on Fiverr. She did a fine job. Every header and footer was where it was supposed to be and she even did a beautiful Drop Cap. I was about to do a happy dance when I realized that more than half the book was missing. Had I given her only half the file? It’s possible, since I started and stopped so many times and each time I carefully saved the darned thing. So back I went to Fiverr, told her what happened and what I needed. I even offered to pay her to do the rest. She said she would do it by Sunday (yesterday), but she didn’t give me a quote. I uploaded the file – the complete one this time – but haven’t received it yet. No reply from her.

But remember I said the toloom has a bitter-sweet taste? Well, I tasted something sweet today. The file I uploaded to Smashwords to place my book on preorder made it successfully into the premium catalog. And I did the formatting all by myself! You may be asking why didn’t I tackle the Createspace monster myself? Because Createspace needs headers and footers with page numbers. Digital files don’t need all that. That’s the beauty of technology. So now my book is still going to be on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo etc.

Whether you are writing, querying agents and editors or self-publishing, you are going to have to climb the hill. Anything worth having has a cost factor. It may cost you your hair – one friend said she almost lost hers – or your sanity, but it will cost. Just be prepared for it, and keep on climbing.

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