Well! That was quite a weekend, let me tell you!
First, I didn’t get jack-sprat done on the SRLP. Nothing. However, I did get my second anthology edited, finalized, polished (as much as I can) and published. Now, some will say you can’t polish a turd, but that’s for another discussion. Right now, suffice it to say I’m exhausted. What a driven, pounding weekend which included more than one all-nighter getting this thing ready to roll.
But I discovered something about myself in doing it. I love editing my work. I love to chop, cut, pare and slice. I took a story from a flabby 18,500 words down to a fit and taut 16,400 in a matter of a single session. I bet if I sat down and really had time to dedicate to it, I’d be able to cut out another couple of thousand too. It’s absolutely amazing when that happens.
Other stories seemed pretty tight as they were. A lot of them, remember, are flash fiction writing for #FridayFlash. Those don’t have much fat in the first place, and I didn’t even mess with those. But I had three big ones, and of those, the one published as a series of #FridayFlash entries needed no help. Keeping yourself on a tight leash in the first place is a GREAT way to learn to write tighter, cleaner prose, I have to tell you.
Of course, there were bumps along the way. I saved three stories using one of the most helpful tools I have in my Kindle-formatting arsenal, KompoZer. But it added special character (CSS character) coding to the source mark-up of the stories I did with it, and when the browser looked at them it was beautiful. When the Kindle preview software looked at them it didn’t know what to show me so it showed me a series of boxes with a question mark in them. Everywhere. All over my page, wherever there should have been quotation marks or apostrophes. UGH.
After almost slitting my wrists and ripping out my hair – in no particular order, mind – I decided I’d just get the raw text, put it back in KompoZer and get the markup after I applied all the formatting tags. Then I copied the source code instead of saving it, pasted it into Notepad++ and voila! All better! Copy and paste those stories into the manuscript where they belong, make sure I didn’t delete anyone, ensure the ToC works, and I’m off and running.
Then I remembered Smashwords doesn’t like anything but Word.
I wept bitter tears and again contemplated the wrist-slashing, but instead I opted to open the HTML file I made in N++ with Word and see what it looked like. It looked GREAT, thank God, and so I saved the Word document and uploaded it to SW. In a few agonizing conversion cycles, it was finished and ready to go. I’m now on Amazon’s Kindle store AND on Smashwords, but Amazon hasn’t released the book to sell yet. That usually takes 24-48 hours.
I’m still undecided about whether to let PubIt! – which is the Nook Reader’s eBook self-publishing arm – have a crack at my stuff for their store. I don’t know how many Nook users there are and how they sell there. Anyone have any insights you can share? One thing I don’t like about them is they allow anyone in their brick and mortar store to download and read the eBooks they sell for free while they’re in the store. How they know when the user’s NOT in the store anymore is anyone’s guess. I’m … uncomfortable with that. Extremely. And the Terms and Conditions they put forward didn’t have any opt-out clause; you wanna publish to their eBook store, it’s gonna be free for their physical store customers. Period. So I haven’t committed yet.
*Whew!* What a weekend!
Today it’s back to the SRLP, and then I have a couple of things to tell you about on Friday. If you follow me on Facebook you may already know so don’t spoil it here for anyone.
Wish me luck. Three weeks left to write half a book about Cascading Style Sheets and I haven’t even started as of Sunday night.
How was your weekend?