Progress report

I finished the first eight chapters (two yesterday, six today) of the large-print edition. It's going OK, but there's a little bit of a hitch. Per the AAPH guidelines, you're supposed to have a certain amount of space between lines, as well as a line space between paragraphs.

The problem is that the amounts I chose don't quite line up. So, if you have a spread with a bunch of paragraph breaks on the left-hand side and long text blocks on the right, the bottom lines don't quite line up. I realized this a few chapters in, so going back and fixing the spacing would be a big pain. Instead I'm cheating by slightly stretching the text on one side and smooshing it down on the other--hopefully it won't be noticeable!

(And the nice thing about real layout software is that it lets you do that sort of thing....)

Doing the large-print edition

I was a bit torn about what to do next--obviously I've been doing a LOT of production lately, and I wasn't super-eager to do more. Plus I noodled with making the transition and realized that I would lose the italics. Again. I don't know why it's been The Revenge of the Italics lately, but it has been.

So I would have rather started in on Trials--I've made a bunch of notes and actually had a bit of a breakthrough talking over a story problem with my sister--but the way things are right now, I just don't have the time.

Today I started in on the large-print edition of The Weirld and completed a couple of chapters. It's going pretty well--I do have to go Scribus => LibreOffice => Scribus because the formatting is so different, but it's not too clunky a process. The main thing is that I wasn't sure what to do with the illustrations--obviously the chapter ornaments just get replaced with stars, but there are actual pictures, and it's not like they've been optimized for the visually impaired. I kind of went back and forth, but I've decided to have them all be full-page art and to have a black box around them. Hopefully if the reader just plain can't see them, at least the box will make it obvious that this isn't some messed-up page of text or something.

Industry counts--still unreliable

I'm taking a couple of days off from book stuff--I was ignoring other things, plus I'm feeling a need for a break.

Buuuut...via Lindsay BurokerForbes did an article about how opaque the e-book market is (citing a post from The New Publishing Standard). It's been a while since I've paid attention to this kind of thing, but it's not surprising to find out that what gets peddled around as industry data is still pretty much bullshit. Remember, "industry data" is typically generated by those within the industry, and they have their own agendas.

This 'n' that

I had to take care of some tax stuff today (amazing how much more gratifying fiddly book publishing stuff is when compared to fiddly tax stuff). But I did get the near-final proof of The Weirld paperback--it's got an issue that is so teeny that I actually decided that I would change it and then approve it, sight unseen. (Risky!) Once it's up, I'm immediately going to buy copies to send to the U.S. Copyright Office, so if it's just God-awful I can change it again.

I also started up the Library Thing review copy giveaway--hopefully that will get me some reviews.

What else? I do want to start back in with Trials (and have actually had some good ideas for it), but today was not the day for it. I also don't know how the next week or so will be--I had to start antibiotics because of a root canal, and that can get a little funky. So today I spent some time trying to figure out how best to lay out the large-print edition of The Weirld--I think I'm going to have to basically copy-paste the text from Scribus into the word processor and back into Scribus....


I finished refreshing Trust, and that's been uploaded. Whoo! I have to say, as long as you don't have the problems I did when you convert a file to DOCX, Kindle Create is really easy to use, and I will probably be using it with the next books, since they won't have art.

Speaking of a book that does have art--I downloaded the version of The Weirld that's on sale, and ARGH. I went through a lot of trouble with the HTML editor making it so there wouldn't be spaces between the paragraphs, and lo and behold, there are spaces now. Obviously it's not worth fixing because it will just break itself again, but honestly--highly irritating.

I'm really on top of things

When I set up my free days, I wanted five in a row, but somehow I got the impression that Amazon only gave me four. Well, they did give me five, which means the book is still free today, which I guess is good because I forgot to take down the FREE FREE OMG FREE! line on the Web site until today (oops).

Anyway, no huge shock here, but remove the advertising and the number of books sold plummets. It's funny because I was just telling the older niece that people think the key to selling books is writing a good one, and that's just not true: Marketing leads to sales.

So, that wasn't bad

I got up to #16 in Sword & Sorcery and #104 in Teen & Young Adult!

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Again, WAY better than I thought I would be doing with this campaign. Also got a couple of likes on my Facebook page, so that's promising. (Still no clicks on the Amazon campaign even with the higher price--I'm just not getting many impressions from them.)

I went through and finished my first pass fixing the paragraph breaks and italics for Trust. The paper copy I have smells too much like cat pee, though! I'm chucking it after this and will order a new copy when I order copies of The Weirld.

Made the front page!

Just barely, but...whoo! Like I said, I really wasn't expecting any sort of response at all, so I'm inordinately impressed!

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This has been strictly due to the Facebook campaign--the Amazon one hasn't received any clicks yet. It also doesn't have many impressions, because my per-click bid was too low, so I've bumped that up for the rest of Monday--we'll see if that helps.

Writers vs. Cats

I started reformatting Trust with Kindle Create, and of course I've got that italics-and-paragraph-breaks problem, so I pulled out an old paper copy to check against. And a certain eau du chat assaulted my nostrils--yes, some member of the household (not me!) decided to use the cabinet I was stashing these things in as a urinal.

I think I can save one copy each of the really old versions of Trang, but I think every copy of Trust (and I had quite a few, with the proofs and whatnot) is going to have to be binned....


I'm up to #24 on the Sword & Sorcery list--not quite the front page, but close. I really wasn't expecting for this campaign to have, you know, any impact--the book doesn't have any reviews!  At all! But I guess either I look more respectable now than I did back when I was first shilling Trang, or people just really like the cover! (I just started with the Amazon ad campaign and so far haven't had much response there, but the Facebook campaign is really resembling the first one I did for Trang.)

Anyway, I wasn't really planning on marketing seriously, but now.... I talked about it with my sister, and she basically gave me back the exact same pointers I gave her when she came out with a book, and I realized that, yeah, I can be a lot more efficient now because I know what's worth the effort. I feel like the next step is to get reviews, so I'm going to do a Member Giveaway on Library Thing, since that worked well last time.

If I get good reviews, maybe I'll try for BookBub again? That would entail doing another three months in KDP Select, but I think that would be worth it if I'm in a position to make BookBub work. (It still works, right? I think I read that people are still using it. God I'm out of touch....)


So, The Weirld is up to #34 in Sword & Sorcery....

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...which is excellent except for the whole "Sword & Sorcery" bit? I mean, I guess I should just roll with it, but I certainly didn't put it in that category--there are no swords in the book at all, and while there's certainly some magic, actual sorcery isn't a big part of it. I guess Atlatl & Metallic Properties as They Relate to Magic just doesn't have quite the same ring to it....

Trang is done

I finished going through Trang and fixing the hard return and italic problems, so I submitted the fancier-looking version to Amazon.

I also felt vain and impulsive and started a Facebook and Amazon ad campaign for the free days of The Weirld. Obviously that's not going to pay for itself unless people get that book for free, then get Trang for free, and then pay for Trust, but I'm hoping it will get the book some reviews and maybe get the algorithms to work for it.

Sometimes it's good to have low expectations

My shot today wasn't entirely debilitating, so I fixed a lot of the italics and hard return issues with Trang (and did the same for the first couple of chapters of Trust, since they also appear at the end of Trang). Then I went through the Kindle Create process--that does seem to be pretty easy to use, although I've been screwed around often enough that I'm going to put in a 0.01" indent on everything that I don't want indented. It basically acts like a really easy-to-use HTML editor.

The main issue for me is that if you "publish" the file in their spanking new KPF format, you can't download the result or even sideload it onto your phone. I understand that they really, really want Kindle Create to be kind of the ultimate What You See Is What You Get editor, but 1. that's impossible, sorry, and 2. at least let me put this on my phone so I can switch chairs!

Oh well--I shall watch television instead and work on this tomorrow.

And The Weirld should become free at midnight tonight!


Well, today has been a bit of a grind. I wanted to reformat the Trang and Trust e-books using Kindle Create, and that's proving a bit more difficult because the only files I have are the MOBI ones, and the MOBI => DOCX conversion process creates all kinds of weird issues (with things like italics and paragraph breaks, sheesh). I should be able to get them done in a few days (I have to get my shot tomorrow, which slows everything down), but it's going to be a fiddly process.

I signed my book on for the five-day freebie and was going to e-mail the people who signed up for alerts...but there's a new law that's just gone into effect saying you have to include your physical address in any e-mail sent for commercial purposes. To which I say, FUCK, NO. Jesus, I've had enough problems with fucking stalkers for a lifetime, OK?

So, my apologies to anyone who ever signed up for alerts--you're not getting them. I'll take down the form.

The e-book has been submitted!


God, that seemed like such a process--part of it being that, if you're going to force me to learn Kompozer, I'm going to go ahead and make the book a little nicer.

Anyway: I have submitted the e-book to Amazon, and hopefully it will be up soon. Then I can do the five-day free promotion, whoo! 

All righty....

So, today was spent getting the hang of Kompozer--you can do a lot with it, but my God, it is not an intuitive piece of software.

I had to use Kompozer because it's an HTML editor, and Amazon has actually gone backwards in terms of what you can do with your e-book without getting into the HTML. As I mentioned, chapter ornaments are suddenly this HUGE problem, and other things are harder to do, too--it's really annoying that they've actually managed to make it harder to create a decent-looking book, because it seems like with Kindle Create, you're going to have so many nice interiors now.

Anyway, I think I'm 99% of the way there.

ETA: I do think I'm going to sacrifice the chapter ornaments for Trang and Trust and reformat them through Kindle Create one of these days. I kind of want to update them anyway, because there's stuff like the links in the back that don't work any more.

Progress report

I (hopefully) fixed the cover issues, and I have submitted the whole, improved shebang to Create Space--I should be able to order a second proof tomorrow if all goes well. I turned the first proof over to my crack team of illustrators, who were both delighted and chagrined to see their artwork in an actual book.

The e-book stuff is still fairly aggravating--I'm having to slog away editing HTML, and honestly it feels like Amazon has really made zero progress when it comes to books with art. I think I can make this work, and of course it still takes less time than a paper layout, but I also think it's been six years, and maybe they could have made this process a little easier in the meantime? Maybe?