Updates Galore!

Wow it’s been a while. A whole six months without even a new book out. It’s like I’m trying to take it easy this year or something.1 But, since it’s been so long, some updates are due. Let’s get into them!

Wattpad!

I’ve been working on the rewrite of City Without Heroes over on Wattpad. I put out a chapter a week on Sundays2 of the rewritten version. It has not been edited yet, so some changes may still be made between this version and the eventual published version, so check it out!

Smashwords!

Since apparently Smashwords changed how they do taxes3 I am starting to put my books up on Smashwords as well! If you had issues with Amazon, now is your chance to get a copy of anything I’ve ever written! Or it will be, just as soon as I get all these books in there.

Going wider!

I’m looking at possibly distributing a little differently though not Smashwords as well4 but have hit a bit of a snag. I signed up for Pronoun, but have yet to receive a confirmation email from them.5 And apparently Draft2Digital has all the ISBNs still stored in the system from back in the day, so I’m having trouble relisting books. Stay tuned we will see what happens!

Print books!

Return to Wonderland is in print! I currently also have a stack of proof copies for the rest of the series sitting on my desk and they will be ready soon. Jabberwocky’s Book and Borrowed, Not Lost will be out in the next couple months.

Upcoming books!

City Without Heroes and Hero Complex will be out by the end of the summer. The rewrite for both books is complete and they are both in editing, so I’m hoping to have the ebooks and the print versions of them out by the end of August. The print books may be a bit ambitious, though.6

The Game!

I’m going to be working on the game again soon as well! I have plans to completely rewrite the little I’ve already done, and then build it out so that it will hopefully be playable in a year. Or, at the very least, I’ll have a couple playable stories to show you guys while I work on the programming.

And that’s just about everything in terms of updates. I want to try and keep a better record of my progress of all of this stuff moving forward, though if there’s anything else you’d like to see from me, let me know!

  1. I am trying. It may not be as successful as I like to think it is… []
  2. Tomorrow! []
  3. As did everyone else, when did this happen? []
  4. Smashwords requires a note saying specifically that it is from Smashwords, which I am not a fan of having in other stores []
  5. I’ve also tried a password reset and checked my spam mail. They just will not email me. []
  6. There’s bonus shorts in the print books, and I do not know how to format bonus content yet. We’ll see. []

Print Book Publishing with Createspace – Part 2

The first proof arrived almost a week early. It was a great start, or so I thought. I was working form home that day because I caught a flu1 and was able to get it without going to pick it up. I waited until 5 to open it and it was more exciting than Christmas. Which is only relevant because it was the start of December at the time.

It looked amazing. At first. The front was great and the matte felt great in my hands. It smelled like a book. And then I turned it around. The spine was a little off, but that’s okay. I knew about the 1/8″ slip and I measured. It was exactly that much of a slip, so it was fine. And the back cover looked good too, so I was generally pretty happy.

Well, until I started reading it through.

Those notes? Every one a thing I had to change. Missed orphans. Places where the spacing looked weird. Typos. Grammar. All the things I thought I had gotten the first few times going through it, and there were still little things that needed fixing.

But it was all little stuff. I fixed them all in both the InDesign document and in the eBook at the same time and uploaded the new versions. I also changed the finish to glossy because, as much as I loved the feel of the matte, it smudged and got dirty like crazy with a white cover. The pages, as well, were very white and didn’t feel like a book in the way I was used to. I went back through my stack of reference novels and noticed they all had more cream pages, so I changed that as well.

Time for the second proof.

They were a little lighter in the cover than I thought they would be. I darkened it with filters in the photo, but the grey was just a bit too light for my liking. The problems in the book, though, those were mostly fixed. The glossy worked better, as did the cream pages, but I didn’t check the spine alignment on the digital proofer this time, thinking everything would be the same as before. I was… very wrong. But, since I was changing the colours on the cover anyway, I went back through and made more adjustments to the spine.

Proof copy three. Here’s hoping this time?

One thing I will say is that throughout this whole thing, shipping has not only been good, it’s been amazingly fast. The slow option took maybe a week all of these times so far. On top of that, this version of the books looked great. No orphans left and after reading it through hundreds of times to the point where I was unable to see anything wrong with it anymore, I couldn’t find a single thing wrong with it. And on top of that…

… the spine finally lined up!

In chronological order. You can see how off the spine has been so far. It was pretty awful. You can also see that 6×9 as a size is much larger than most of the books on my shelf. At this point, I’d put so much work into it that I couldn’t go back. The ISBN was assigned to the size. I’d make a smaller one later when I was more comfortable with everything. When I could pay for moor proof copies with the income from this book!2 It’s the size of Name of the Wind on the next shelf down, as well a few other scattered books I have, so it didn’t bother me.

I looked through it yet again. A few times. I showed it to the girls at work, both designers, and they couldn’t find anything wrong with it. That night when I got home, I decided to publish it. I have a coupon for two free books from finishing NaNoWriMo, so I go ahead and order those as well.

2 hours after deciding to do that, I got a message pointing out something…

Screenshot_2015-01-07-15-10-02

Dammit.

So of course, I immediately get it all changed and get the new version. I’ve learned at this point that Createspace usually gets back on approvals in 12 hours on changes to interior files and less on cover changes. I get it changed and breathe a sigh of relief.

Which brings us to now. I have received my free books3, and they have the right back cover! White Noise the physical copy is now for sale at Createspace and on Amazon.

I think I’m going to wait a little while before I do this again. It’s been an interesting journey so far, but I think that’s enough for a little while. Time to start looking at what I’m going to write next.

  1. Which is still going, might I add. I will be sick forever. []
  2. Such wishful thinking on my part… []
  3. It took UPS a week and a half while I called over and over to find out what was happening []

Print Book Publishing with Createspace – Part 1

It was late November. I had just finished writing two books for NaNoWriMo1 and I had promised that I was going to take the rest of the month and all of December off of writing to keep myself from completely burning out. I was already really close to burning out as it was, so it was a good idea to take a bit of time off.

But this is me. I don’t do time off very well.

I don’t know why, but I got it in my head that I wanted to turn White Noise into a print book. I have wanted to make a print version of my books just for that aesthetic. I like holding books and I love the smell of a book, so I wanted that for my own works as well. Since I promised that I wouldn’t be doing any more writing, I figured that now was the perfect time to start working on creating something that I always wanted. I’d just finished White Noise and I already designed the spine and back cover back in October, after all, so why not this one?

Luckily, I’d already been playing around in InDesign for a while, so I had a general sense of my way around. I pulled out novels from my shelves and made a pile of them by my desk as I started looking for fonts and tried to remember every gripe my designer friends and classmates had about text on a page. I tried to get rid of any orphans and widows2 that I could find. I adjusted my spacing and rewrote little things so that the lines looked better.

And then I chose my fonts3 and I had to lay everything out all over again. Choose your fonts first.

I went with a 6×9 layout because that was the recommended size by Createspace and, now that I had all of my documents ready, I was able to start uploading all of my documents. It was exciting. I had checked everything and rechecked it. Everything was going to be great. I’d get one proof copy and it would be perfect and that would be all. I uploaded the cover and the interiors and I waited for them to approve it and get to the stage where I could order my first proof. I obsessed over the description for a while, I selected a matte cover finish,4 but there was something wrong.

Here’s a tip about Createspace. For those who are using Createspace for the first time and you’re wondering why your interior file still needs approval, open up the Digital Proofer. There’s a big blue button at the bottom that says Save and Continue. You have to press that before it will approve your interiors.

Once that was sorted, I looked through their digital proofer. From here, you get to see how the spine is aligned and the spine was a little off. Cue making little adjustments to it, uploading it and waiting until Amazon approved the new version before I could actually check it for myself. The biggest downside of this whole process really is this part right here. You have to upload a cover and get it approved by someone on Amazon’s end before you can check the alignment yourself. But a few tries later, I finally get it ready. It’s approved. The spine looks good.

Time to get my first proof copy.

  1. Escaping Reality and a Looking Glass book []
  2. Single words on a line and single lines on a page []
  3. Chaparral Pro and Bebas Neue []
  4. Because matte is awesome []