Friday, April 12, 2013

Smashwords and Publishing

Someone I know said they'd never heard of Smashwords. Up until 2011, I hadn't either.
Smashwords is a distribution site rather than a publisher and there are several books up on the site, created by the site's founder which will mention things to do to publish your book and get at least a few sales. Smashwords Style Guide
Smashwords Marketing Guide
The Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success

I'm not trying to replace his words with mine and you can find out more about the history of the site from Mark Coker in his blog and throughout his books.

Some people don't care for the automated system or distributing through Smashwords. I'm not one of them.
I've published a few books under other names by using Smashwords and practice does make perfect in this respect. It will probably be a headache if you have trouble working within the confines of conventional formatting and you shouldn't double space or press enter too many times at once. Still, it does get easier and the instructional books are pretty fast reading.

Here's how it goes to publish a book on Smashwords. You read the style while scanning your manuscript. You might read the marketing book or about ebook publishing success before continuing; Then you press Publish and get sent to a page that's one long form.
First fill out the title of the book. Next is a short description of your book contents (400 or fewer), then a long description, (4000 or fewer)

After that it's just a game of fill in the blank. Book Language, Price (Free or reader sets price are options as well as charging a sum.), how much of the book is free to read before buying,Genre, tags, formats to convert the file to, cover art and, finally, the file itself.

This is still daunting to me but I was surprised before I downloaded a book.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I did it. I pressed the button!

I did it. I pressed the button! At this point, I think I was just impatient. I kept on telling myself, "One more day. There's going to be something else that you fix tomorrow," but I finally pressed the button.
I got flagged by Autovetter. I had a tab in my work.
Silly me, I looked through the whole thing with paragraph marks. 164 pages...I only found one tab. Eventually, after running the file through again, I looked at instructions and just used Find and Replace.
Still, using paragraph marks wasn't so bad. It seems I have a bit of a lead finger for the space bar sometimes. I've no doubt that would have showed up oddly in some reading mediums.

The book is now up on Smashwords for free for at least the next week. I do eventually hope to make some money but, for now, I want people to read and tell me what they think. I still have this worry that I made glaring mistakes and I know that some people won't care for it. Given my own, hardly unknown, tendency to not see the point of some books, that's okay. It's why so many different books and genres exist. A difference in preferences is also why people savor Casu Marzu.
Also, the book is a little weird. I can write more conventionally but this series is going to be a little weird. I wrote it in high school in half-legible handwriting with little difference between the a's and u's, for goodness sake. I wanted to write something weird and interesting, otherwise, I would have just slept on my desk, like I did the rest of the time.

Here's my book. Snow Sands: Through the Wormhole, Book 1 Happy reading, if you like. I only hope my head doesn't explode at the first blow.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I'm on my way. Don't know where I'm going but I'm on my way.

Good By..... Well, I'm pretty sure you know the rest.
New Cover!
The point is, I'm nearing the finish line. I'm not sure what it'll get me, but for now I'm happy with the progress for its own sake.

Here's the cover. If you buy my book, you'll see it anyway but I'm kinda proud of it. There's not much of a difference but there is a difference. When things are so close to exactly what you want, things can only become a more pleasant shade of wonderful. :)
Actually, I'm not quite as pleased with this one. I might redo the wormhole. I don't know. I'll have to think about it. 
Formatting for the book is also kinda interesting. I have scene changes and I feel like I should have spaces but I'm not absolutely sure. Ah, well. I'll put them in. This is a true do it yourselfer. Like knitting or crochet, you just have to keep on working on the project and unravel whatever you did wrong. Whatever it is that's wrong each time, I can fix it, more easily with a word doc than with a yarn project because I don't have to worry so much about the strands of fiber that make up the book tearing all to hell. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Hi again.

 I'm Cait. As usual, things are a little more complicated than I anticipated. I tend to shut off my brain to things that make accomplishing tasks seem impossible though I usually only have to do it with this book writing and publishing business. I've been struck with fear that there are parts of my book that just aren't quite right and so I'm trying to drum up a beta reader.

In the meantime, I'm working on another cover design. I think I finally know what was wrong. One of these days, I'll post the potential covers, all fifty or so, some of them pretty bleagh and you can see exactly what I mean. Think either academic paper or middle school power point presentation.

I am starting to have doubts about how good this book may be. I know it in all it's components and while I was writing I enjoyed it but, short of a hard smack to the head, I doubt I'll be able to read it just to read it anytime soon. That may be unusual for a writer but somehow I doubt it.

Anyway, I'm working on everything. I'm preparing. I'm hoping and I'm going to release before the end of April regardless. After working on it this long, I've got to let go at some point unless I'm one of those who wants to write a book and then hide it. I'm not.

Okay. I might as well post the latest cover now. I'll probably make a change or two before I'm done but I think it looks pretty damn spiffy at this point.


I've just finished my first full length book and I will be publishing it with the wonderful site Smashwords fairly soon. I'm pretty happy about this since I've been working on this particular book for about six years. Let me tell ya, it was a bear at first but starting out scribbling in a notebook, single spaced, with my handwriting, it would be. The process was a long and hard one but pretty fun and now that it's finished I hope those who read it enjoy the story I created and then spent years untangling until it made sense.

 I completed the initial draft in 2008. All the rest was transcribing and adding in capitalization and formatting which I then had to scrap since I was publishing an ebook. I know my letters back to front as any person should and I can spell but some of the finer points of grammar and punctuation eluded me until I began working on Snow Sands, which I called Demon Cat for most of its developmental life. I also learned to type more accurately and all sorts of things like saving my work because I'm kinda a bone head sometimes.

This book is important to me. It was my first completed rough draft (which just sounds wrong since a rough draft is far from finished) and I did it as a tribute to a kitten I had who disappeared out of the blue. I can't say it got me through a hard time as it wasn't as bad as all that, the kitten probably having gone to live somewhere else, but it did help me get over being sad and worried after a few months. I still wonder what happened to that little fluff ball.
Snow Sands, Through the Wormhole, Book One, is about a fifteen year old girl and a mysterious talking cat who the girl apparently brought back from the dead. The girl and cat end up on another planet because the cat is afraid of something and then they wander around doing stuff and meeting people. I know that sounds vague but I'm saving the good stuff for a blurb on Smashwords and I don't want to give too much away just yet. I will say that there is magic and a Prince and Princesses and that there is duplicity afoot from several corners. There's even an evil Queen. All in all, I think it's worth a look but I'm pretty biased. Still, the statement holds.