It's nearing the end of January and I've finally managed to find an evening without anything happening. Husband out eating curry with friends, a perfect time to get WOTW transposed to kindle ready for it's launch on-line.
I've done the formatting before a few years ago with Underworld, but that was only a very short story without illustrations and chapter headings or indexes. How hard could it be?
It turns out quite hard.
First action. Register new title for kindle with Amazon.
Complete on-line form. Took a couple of minutes to figure out appropriate words for metatags (that's key words to those non-IT)
Next - upload your image.
Loaded. - "not the correct size needs 1000 pixels". Amazon go on to suggest using their Create Cover software. Only problem is it won't let you load a completed cover just the illustration to which it then adds your details in a bewildering array of inappropriate designs, colours and layouts. Most of which either chop Onk the troll's head or legs off, or obliterate the image completely in a pastal shade of green, pink or blue!
Next try to alter own cover copy to required size of 1,000 pixels. Nope doesn't like that either, for some reason it still ends up at 640 x 640 regardless. After several attempts at re-sizing and up-loading I admit defeat and give up on that idea. I decide to format the text instead.
Second action. In order to format for kindle the manuscript needs to be in .doc format. Easy-peasy. I google a source on-line, Catherine Ryan Howard, who looks to be a real whizz on this kindle stuff. I'm set.
First find the final, final version of WOTW on my computer. Easier said than done, despite all the dating etc. I can locate 5 copies dated September 2015, where I obviously became paranoid as it got closer to the book launch and panicked about being able to keep safe copies. I know I also saved several versions to a separate hard drive plus copied some into my e-mail draft folder and sent one to myself at work for good measure. Those data pirates weren't going to take my book alive - Oh no!
Problem is now I can't identify which is the most recent as some are actually dated and timed the same.
I know the last ever versions were the ones the formatter did. Find those and tah-da! (as Boots would say)
four copies located, soft version and final versions. All four are .pdf which I can't change back to .doc let alone .docx.
Over to the IT genius that is my son. He tries everything and finally resorts to me emailing me a copy so he can 'play' tomorrow.
Sadly this means I'm no nearer getting WOTW to kindle by the end of the month and Amazon also state it has to be submitted 10 days before publication - that's too late now - bah!
Next stop fivesquid again?
Tiny bit excited today as I upgraded my weebly site. It's now a paid site so hopefully folk can connect and receive my blogs and updates directly once they have submitted their email address. Let me know how that works out people.
It's a bit of a con because they rave on about how much cheaper it is to have two years instead of one. I was almost fooled but fortunately decided to work out the exchange rates (it's US dollars ) and include their VAT. The result? purchasing two years is actually dearer than buying one! So one it is.
Before that I decided to catch up with my on-line commitments which I have ignored till now. I've registered with the Public Lending Rights Registration scheme for UK & Ireland. This means if anyone takes my novels out of the public library to read I will also receive royalties - didn't know that till recently.
After that I waded through the US tax forms to ensure I'm receiving all the royalties I'm entitled to via Kindle. Another thing I didn't realise, god I'm so naïve at this game, is that Amazon hold back 30% of your money if you publish a book on kindle unless you complete their complicated USA tax law forms.
For example my short story Underworld, has sold a massive 14 copies in 3 years - yes I know I can hardly contain myself either. As Amazon lets you publish for nothing you can either allow them to take a small percentage of it, or a large percentage and let them put it into the kindle library, where, in theory, you can earn heaps more. I thought this a bit of a con so I opted for just selling it as an e-story.
t wasn't a huge price 99p or some such. I thought you might like to know I've made a whooping £3.79. Staggering isn't it? That's because Amazon held back 30% of my royalties, Yeah I know it wouldn't have been much anyway but remember I want to put WOTW on-line at the end of the month. If I can figure out how. Yet to enjoy that night of torture. And so the amount you are losing soon builds up. Anyway Tax forms completed.
Next I need to upload WOTW to Kindle and continue with Aqua proofing. LOL
Here I am in next year already. The first week has flown by, as usual and I find myself fitting my writing in-between work, meetings, more work, food and then sleep. I'm sure many people reading this are in the same situation.
I'm back on the excited rush again. I was asked to do an interview at the weekend. To be honest I was asked originally in October, but when I failed to open the link sent to me I completely forgot to request another format in the rush to book launch date on Halloween. So I met up with my interested party again, Tara Moore international novelist, and agree to do her interview which was a lot more in-depth than I realised and you can follow the link here.
I'm hoping to get on with Aqua this weekend too. For those of you interested in semantics I have managed to move the story - hopefully naturally - into past tense around chapter four and I'm making sure I use my storyboard which has been priceless for continuity. I did try a try go on Scrivener but it's so complicated I reckon it's something that needs practice and time, which is a luxury I don't currently have with Aqua in my hands and Gristle's Revenge running through my head.
I've got my proof editor, Graham Pierrepoint, on board too . He did WOTW and has gone free-lance now. Any of you out there trying to find a trustworthy and reliable PE, I fully endorse his work.
He also has a good link with a free-lance illustrator.
Short one today, still have Soroptimist minutes to write and some of Aqua to do before bed,