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.

The Trials and Triumphs of an Independent Author

Today I will share with you, gentle reader, a brief glimpse into the trials and tribulations of a self published author.

Well I took the plunge and contacted, via their web page, KBOO here in Portland to see if they might have some time to fill with an unknown local author.  I’m very nervous about it.  I know that’s silly and yet here I am.    I was only going to mention my upcoming novel In The Flesh, but a friend suggested that The Shadow of The Hand of God was very timely and they might be interested in that too. So I checked out their FAQ to see about how to contact them and did so.

Then I discovered a huge GLARING error in the description for The Shadow of The Hand of God on Amazon and had to fix it.  Funny that my Kindle account had it correct.  Turns out Createspace, whom I specifically and deliberately instructed not to update to Kindle, overwrote my Kindle account.  Swine.  They did it after I’d had several other people double check the upload on Amazon from my Kindle account.  So I don’t know when the error crept in but I was utterly mortified and spent a good part of the day working to fix it.

Ok so that’s a bit of the down side which, really isn’t all that Earth shattering in the grand scheme of things.  I was still pretty stressed and embarrassed all day.  Moving on to better things:  I was actually in bed, all cozy and just about ready to close my eyes when I suddenly had an idea, nay not a single idea but verily a whole swarm of ideas for a prequel to In The Flesh.  So what could I do but get my iPad and jot them down?  And then–then I had an idea for what exactly is the issue in the sequel and a name change for the working title from Lorelei to The Ancient War.

Oh I’d had a vague idea of what was going to happen in the sequel and have even jotted down a very rough outline.  But last night was an idea bonanza.  They just kept coming.  I know the name of the issue.  I know how to start the book and I know what I want some of the characters to do.  It was a busy bit of sleep deprivation.

The long and the short of this being that what I started out to write as one book does indeed look like a trilogy now.  I will be busy for the foreseeable future.  And I promised myself I’d let myself write a space opera.  I guess it’s going to have to wait now.  Hopefully not too long because I really want to write one.

As always, I hope you enjoy reading, as much if not more, than I enjoy writing.  K.