19.5.11

Day 75

I finally got the digital proof back from Createspace for the interior of my book. My level of excitement is perhaps a bit disproportionate to the significance of the event, but "Shoot! It's starting to look like a REAL book!" The Kindle version just didn't seem to have the same impact.

Of course now the problem is that I need to proofread again. For some reason, I wasn't too fussed about the Kindle version still having the odd sly typo that managed to escape my attention (and that of the dozen friends that helped me proofread the first time around).

But a typo in the print version? On someone's shelf? Sitting there, immortal, for all to see like a shameful scarlet letter "T"? I'd be mortified.

Fortunately, I've once again managed to round up 4 more trusty friends (including one English professor) to lend a hand. Which just goes to show how many people you really need to make a book - and I don't mean the ones that take commission.

Isn't it beautiful?!

17.5.11

Anne R. Allen's Blog: Is the E-book the New Query?

The dream (fantasy?) of the self-published Kindle author.

Anne R. Allen's Blog: Is the E-book the New Query?: "If you’re like me, you’re getting a little bored with the indie vs. legacy publishing debate. People are talking a lot of crap on both “side..."

15.5.11

Day 71

After 71 days of publication, I decided to update the Kindle text of the novel. 

After I sent off a (very slightly) revised text for the print version, I wondered whether it was worth making changes to the text available on Kindle.  The changes amount to the correction of three typos spotted by diligent readers, and the deletion of a few song lyrics, for protection against over-zealous lawyers out there.

Obviously, I want the Kindle and the print versions to be identical.

But how complicated was the updating process going to be?

The answer: rather complicated.  But not overwhelmingly so.  Assuming I did it right.

The first step was to actually recall the changes I had made.  Thank goodness for doc comparison.  Then, following the rather over-simplified instructions from amazon, it was time to download, unzip, modify, rezip and upload the html.

I am not a tech whiz.  My guess is most writers aren't.  So my recommendation to you would be: make sure your text is perfect the first time!

My KDP homepage now tells my my "new" book is being published.  Fingers crossed I haven't accidentally screwed up the formatting, or deleted the entire text, or done something else terribly wrong.

You'll have to let me know.

8.5.11

Day 64

Day 64: The day when I start giving author interviews and feel incredibly sheepish.

You can read my first one here.

It is also the day I get a mention in a famous consulting firm's "Book Club" newsletter (and not even BM's!).  Apparently, ITPI is the perfect indulgent honeymoon beach read. I may be the only one to find that ironic.
I love capitalism as much as the next "muesli-chewing, sandal-wearing, bike-riding pedestrian". Mostly because the open marketplace reveals the many guilty pleasures that people publicly disdain but privately enjoy. To that end, this month's book club edition is devoted to "guilty reading pleasures". These are the books you might not leave out on your coffee table. They're the comics you might hide inside the GMAT study guide. They are the tabloid magazines you say you never buy and the airport thrillers you'd never pick up in front of a case team. It's the chick lit that is piled under your bed. Ultimately, guilty reading pleasures are a bit like eating a family-sized block of chocolate by yourself – it feels a bit sinful, but is nonetheless very enjoyable.
We caught Hot-Shot Female Consultant (my insert, obviously) in week 1 back from her honeymoon, which provided lots of time to fuel her love for trashy novels…
...

Anything else in the trashy genre that you'd recommend?
"In the Past Imperfect" by Isabelle Solal. I actually read it because the author is friends with Ozzie Chick (ok, the actual newsletter doesn't call her that).  It's about a high flying lawyer who loses a client, takes a leave of absence and spends six months in Paris with her sister where she re-meets an old love. The way she describes her life at work is very relatable to our lives at (insert name of firm); the challenge of trying to balance her personal life and her career aspirations, and not being able to ignore the blackberry!

5.5.11

Day 61

So it turns out trying to get lots of people to read a Kindle version of your book is actually quite hard. Especially when you're a nobody.  Reviewers won't look at it.  Book groups won't consider it.

And friends complain you can't sign it.

The "real book" still has its die-hard fans out there and, let's face it, I'm one of them.

So after much soul-searching, I have decided to go and self-publish in paper.  The service I used is CreateSpace, which is affiliated to amazon.  They try to sell themselves as being "free" for the author, but really that's only the case if you're some kind of expert graphic artist / layout person.  Which I am not.  These were the instructions for do-your-own interior:

  1. Make sure the dimensions of your document match your trim size (including bleed if applicable).
  2. Make sure all live elements are within the proper margins or safe zone.
  3. Export your file as a print-ready PDF. Be sure fonts are embedded.
  4. The maximum accepted file size for your book interior is 400 MB.
Sure.  Can we have that again in English, please?

I decided to cough up the minimum required cash, just for formatting.  I didn't get the copy-editing service, I didn't get the editorial service, I made my own cover.  I'm a little worried about what will come out when it's done... 

But it will look something like this.