iTunes, Createspace, Scrivener, Nook and Formatting

Today has been crazy busy. I’ve been formatting In The Flesh for iTunes. I know, I know. I put it on the back burner for a while because I was having trouble finishing the final upload. But I had to change the cover art for Createspace (I’ll get to that rant in a minute) since I have a small ad hitting in June and I was unhappy with what had been done to my gorgeous cover art to fit their dimensions. So I went ahead and took a break from War In Flesh to re-read In The Flesh, as you know, to make sure it was as polished as could be and fix the cover art that has been tasking me before the ad hits.

Since I started that I have gone ahead and downloaded the app I need to get it ready for iTunes. That’s been my project for the past couple of days. It was supposed to work from Scrivener and I’m sure it does from the App but I had the non-app software and I didn’t want to shell out another $50.00 to get an app of a program I already paid for, twice (once for my pc and then again when I migrated to my MacBook Air).

Scrivener is mostly wonderful and it saved each chapter as its own word doc for me which is making it far easier to load into the iBook app than if I had to scroll through the whole thing as a single document. Also it’s easier to keep track of chapter numbers since it numbered them for me when it compiled, than going into Scrivener itself and copying them out of that.

Createspace is a royal pain in the posterior. I’m half convinced that it is woefully underdeveloped as a cagey way to get people to just pay for their services out of frustration. Not only will they not size an image to their stock sizes, but also they will not accept a picture that has to be cropped just a little, even though the part that was inside the crop lines was acceptable to me. Their internal review process decided that it wasn’t ok the way it was. Their templates for creating a cover are extremely limited. They will not put a table of contents in the book either and they won’t accept my Scrivener file that does put one in there so I’m going to see if the iBook app has a solution before I brute force one and manually add it. I wasn’t even going to have a print on demand version since I barely make anything on the book due to the printing costs being so high, and the days of my life I spend wrestling with the interface and formatting. But I had some people ask and I couldn’t say no.

If the iBook experiment works that should make a formatted version that I can also upload to Barnes and Noble for the Nook. They changed their parameters since I last used them and I ran out of patience before I managed to get In The Flesh uploaded there.

Yes I could go through an aggregator but those are dicey and, to be honest, there isn’t a lot of money to be made as a self published author to begin with and aggregators take a sizable chunk out of what royalties there are. And that’s if you get a reputable aggregator and not one that does nothing for you and doesn’t even report how much you should have made before their cut.

The good news is that so far I’m liking iBook Creator and I have high hopes for what it will produce for me format wise. I will keep you updated, gentle reader. K.

A Cornucopia of Topics Including War In Flesh and Dancing With The Stars

Yesterday I was busy. And then horrible things happened in the Midwest. And then I was busy again. Today I have to catch up on War In Flesh.

I need to do some serious research on KERS systems because I had a vision for War In Flesh that I discarded as being unworkable but it won’t leave me alone. I think Kinetic Energy Return Systems may be the way to make it work. Steam powered rail guns have been around for a while so i can maintain the technology level I’ve set up for the world.

Oh! I just had an idea! Wheeeeee!

But I digress. I have to take a serious look at how I designed the Lorelei II and see if I can get a railgun on it. That’s going to be a ton and a half of fun.

Dancing With The Stars, I so hope Zendaya wins. And I’m so sorry I watched the last episode of Bones that Netflix has. No I’m not sorry I watched it, I’m sorry that’s the last one they have.

Oh! And my review of Star Trek Into Darkness is up on The Geek Girl Project.

I’m reworking the cover for the paperback issue of In The Flesh. What we had to do to the original art to make it comply with the print on demand site, createspace, was terrible. Createspace really goes out of their way to make self publishing difficult. I’m hoping to have it updated and available in a couple of days. The ebook is unaffected by this. K.

A Day Derailed and Prayers for Boston and all my Runner Friends

Hopefully it goes without saying that our prayers are with the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and we wish Godspeed to those in law enforcement who are seeking the insane individuals behind it.

Most of this blog was written before the horrific events in Boston hit the 24-hour news cycle. I’m including the original here because to do otherwise would be to let evil win out. These things happened and these were my thoughts and actions before I learned of what had happened.

I spent a considerable part of my day trying to get In The Flesh uploaded to iTunes. I’m running into some real problems with that. iTunes Producer says it has uploaded my file but when I check the metadata it says there is no content. This is disturbing on many levels. I’ve spent most of my time since then trying to find out what the problem might be.

I’m using Scrivener for Mac on a MacBook Air and I’m using iTunes Producer. It shouldn’t be all that difficult. I did find one article on how to go into the code and brute force it through but I hate looking at code, I really do. I would rather do a huge thermodynamic problem than sift through code.

I’m going to keep looking. What is really frustrating is that I had no problem getting a proof copy uploaded to my iPad to read it and check for errors. Speaking of which I found a huge and strange error where it looked like some foreign word was smashed into another word in one chapter, probably the result of the jumpy mouse on that cursed Acer I had. I’ve corrected that and it is fixed on Amazon and should be on Kobo.

Since I have the ePub already compiled I might as well dive into getting In The Flesh up on Barnes and Nobel too. Between that and iTunes today will be a loss for creating new content for War In Flesh, which is a shame because things were just starting to get good there. Although, who knows. Maybe one or both will go well and I can move on.

The Geek Girl Project posted my review of Cloverfield as part of the monster movie series of reviews I’m doing as a run up to the 2014 Godzilla movie release. Cloverfield was a bad movie and my review reflects that. Look for my review of IDW’s Godzilla #11 comic this week and Godzilla vs. Mothra. I’m also working on an article about Gatcheman for TGGP and I may cross post it here as well.

I’m posting links on Tumblr for M31 Publishing and I can’t help but wonder if that is a big waste of time for me. I’ve been trying to be more of a presence on Goodreads but with my computer issues of late that’s been difficult. Because time is at a premium I really need to be careful about how I chose to spend it. Between blogging, maintaining a presence on Facebook and trying to get some actual work done on War In Flesh my day gets used up pretty quickly. And that doesn’t even take into account the day to day chores of life: laundry, dishes, getting groceries, cooking and picking up around the place. (As a side note it seems that I haven’t done dishes unless I’m wearing a half gallon of soapy water and can mop just from spillage.)

It was after all of this that I turned on the television and saw what had happened. Like everyone else my day came to a screeching halt as my heart went out to those who were so brutally violated on what should have been a joyful day. I am just heartbroken about what happened in Boston as is everyone I know. I know a lot of runners and the impact upon my friends has been huge. They feel this deeply and I with them. Even though we were fortunate that none of my personal friends was running the Boston Marathon, I know many of them secretly dream of qualifying and making it there. I ache for them and for everyone else physically and emotionally harmed by the actions of a sick few, or one.

Characters for War In Flesh, How Characters Get Reincarnated in a Writer’s Universe and M31 Update

So yesterday I had the details of my main antagonist hammered out and the particulars of a fairly important plot point all tidied up and ready to go. Then came yet another hard part of writing for me: Naming characters who are destined to meet an unpleasant end.

In truth names are hard and the better the character the harder it is to name them. Especially with tragic characters. What I want is a name I like–but not too much. In In The Flesh I named one poor guy only to kill him off in the very same paragraph. Then I had remorse because after the fact, I realized that I really really liked the name I had given him. Also, in my case, with a name comes the seed of a character and I liked his little budding character.

Yes in one paragraph the potential of who this poor doomed character could be reached out to me, or from me, and I felt sorry he had to die. Thankfully, in my created universe reincarnation is real. It may be in the larger universe, I don’t know. I just know for sure that in my head, reincarnation of characters happens. More than one of my favorite characters started out as a bit player somewhere and as I continued to write stories they kept coming back and growing until they became fully fledged characters with many incarnations.

All of that to say that yesterday was pretty productive in that several characters were named who have small but important parts to play in War In Flesh.

This weekend, presuming nothing comes up that prevents it, I am planning on updating this site to improve it. With luck and Google I hope to get Facebook buttons and possibly Twitter buttons working on it. If there is anything else you would like to see please let me know. Thank you. K.

Why Outlines are Important and Updates on War In Flesh

I spent an enjoyable bit of time yesterday writing a good chunk of the first chapter of War In Flesh. Now, though I’m wondering if it shouldn’t be the second chapter. See, this is what happens when you don’t do a complete outline before diving into the work. I really should put down the chapter and write up the outline before I go any further. Then I’ll at least have an idea of what I want to have happen where and when in the book. Sure it may be more “organic” to just write as it comes but it’s a lot sloppier.

I’m still working out the details for the crisis the characters will face. I have the basic idea and some of the underpinnings for it. Lately I’ve been toying with the particulars of sub plots to bring it together and make it exciting and suspenseful.

Today, no more excuses, I will just have to get In The Flesh formatted for the Nook. I kind of put it on the back burner because it was taking up so much time trying to get everything to space correctly but now I simply must do it. I will update when it goes live for the Nook and I apologize to my Nook readers for the delay. Also I have not had the chance to borrow my friends Mac but I will try to do so this weekend and get In The Flesh up on iTunes. K.

Update on War In Flesh

Well, gentle reader, I had to take a few days off from writing and blogging but I’m back and ready to get busy. I’ve already started the first chapter of the sequel to In The Flesh, the working title being War In Flesh. The outline is not quite done yet but I had some great ideas about the first chapter and I wanted to get them written down before I got distracted and forgot. The second book in the Children of Flesh trilogy will include more exciting adventures, danger and I plan to get the romance I hinted at in the first book moving along.

I’m on Goodreads, though it’s taking me a bit of time to get everything set up for an author account. Also, I must confess, it is difficult for me to get into conversations. I hate to post if I don’t have anything meaningful to add to a thread and so often by the time I find a good one someone else has said what I thought of. I’m sure you understand how that works. In the next few days I’ll start an author discussion thread for In The Flesh so hopefully that will help everyone who is interested find me.

As always I hope you enjoy reading what I’ve written. K.

In The Flesh is Live on Bookmatchers

A while ago I found a website that matches readers to books. It’s a fantastic idea and Steve, the gentleman who runs the site is just as wonderful as his site. If you’re looking for the perfect book I highly suggest you mosey on over and either fill out his search form or just browse the categories. My latest work In The Flesh is live on his wonderful site. In The Flesh on Bookmatchers

In The Flesh Now Avalible on Amazon

It is live on Amazon as of now.  I’m still working to get it formatted for print on demand and Barnes and Nobel.  It should go live on Kobo soon, although the formatting of the copyright is a bit odd.

Right now though you can get your copy of In The Flesh for your eReader here http://www.amazon.com/In-The-Flesh-Children-ebook/dp/B00BUVI7XU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363496219&sr=8-1&keywords=In+The+Flesh+zolnoski#_

And worry not, I still owe you the last two articles on my adventures at the Emerald City Comic Con.  I just got busy formatting In The Flesh and didn’t post here.  My apologies.