Good news!

No, I haven’t given up writing 😉

I’ve just got full, official confirmation that an ISBN is not necessary to publish to iBookstore.

Now, as Smashwords can provide mea free ISBN, and it’s logical to HAVE an ISBN, and I no longer must deal with Smashwords’ neurotic submission process (I’m pretty sure the language I used trying to argue with that damnable meatgrinder over something once borders on mortal sin) I’ll be publishing there as well … needless to say this is looking very up for Love or Lust to be in multiple markets from day one.

Now, I did notice that the method of delivering your OWN content to iBookstore requires one to have a Mac. You COULD just use Smashwords’ (or one of several other aggregators whose names I don’t know) or you could do the highly sensible thing and buy a Mac. I truly deplore Windows and find Linux to be far too much trouble for far too little benefit.

The book is editing swiftly. It feels very slow, but that’s because it is a little long. The Valentine’s deadline has made the fascinating whooshing sound that Douglas Adams was always so fond of them making (how, you ask, as it isn’t yet 14 February … my editor would have to achieve superhuman rates of reading and error correcting to make it by that date). A more accurate measure will be forthcoming as soon as I can give one to myself I’ll pass it along to you.

Look on the bright side, the longer she takes the better edited a story you’ll get! (Yeah, I know, that’s a pretty thin consolation and it’s doing little to make me feel any better too, but REALLY, a bit more patience and you’ll have it … just don’t ask about Ready or Not)

Decisions, decisions …

So the final editing of Love or Lust is well under way.  It probably won’t be done by Valentine’s Day, but it still might.  It is moving at a fair clip, but that doesn’t change that there’s about 140k words and 400-ish pages to get  through.  Too, I have to make a final read through just to make sure that the final buff and polish is done, so that date will likely be missed and was never a very resounding likelihood anyway.

That’s got me to thinking about a few things.

First off, section separators:  Also known as fleurons (and an hundred other things), they do give a certain flair to the page.  They’re also a bloody wretch to figure out how to do.  With Dingbats type fonts they’re a breeze in the PDF, but they start to become an unholy nightmare in the universe of the ePUB and Kindle editions.  Not impossible, mind, but nightmare.  An alternative is to just use a little graphic.  Dear God save me from things that ought to be black on transparent alpha layer but instead are scans complete with random not exactly white artefacts in the white bits!!  Photoshop and I had a lovely row about that.  I did make one.  It was kind of pretty.  Well, that is, until I tried to put it on the page.  That didn’t go too well. Still … I’d appreciate feedback on that.

If you click on the word fleurons above it’ll take you to an example image.  The alternative is good old fashioned asterisks.

The second bit of thinking was just a bit of fun inspired by how another author did a little pre-release promotion.  Seanan McGuire did a Discount Armageddon ABCs thing that seemed kind of cute.  The more I think about it the less I want to do it.  So I probably won’t.  But just in case I do lose my mind and decide to go with this little touch of lunacy … well … you’ve been warned.

Solidly decided things:

  • Publishing, I don’t care if you use a publisher or do it yourself, is a good way to go completely mad with indecision, anxiety, self-doubt, and several other things that suddenly have escaped my vocabulary and are lost in the woods some place.
  • I love my cover art.  I’m, torn between ideas regarding it though.  I’m very much thinking to keep that layout and just change the colour scheme for each book, and then (naturally) the image.  The question is, do I keep finding girl/girl cover art (something I can absolutely do for Ready or Not but is giving me a touch of trouble for later books), or just keep finding pretty images (e.g. the 4th book maybe having a ballet slipper on it or some such).  Ah well, I’m not even done with the second book yet and feel like it needs heavy editing so I’ve plenty of time to consider and reconsider this.
  • The print edition will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of us$10.  Sadly, this is due entirely to length.  It costs more than the retail price of a novel half this size just to print the bloody things.  Which gives me a new found respect for some of the newest Terry Pratchett novels I’ve picked up being about us$10, but doesn’t explain some places charging that much for things like Light Fantastic or Wyrd Sisters!  The eBook, though, will likely be closer to us$4 or us$5.  Compelling enough arguments could see it as low as us$3 (just use the comments or the contact link), but current ‘wisdom’ says the higher price will attract more sales.  We’ll see.

Page numbers.   I’ve just realised I’ve no idea how I should like to do the page numbers.  Centered and unadorned at the bottom of the page?  Unadorned at the bottom corner of the page (obviously this thought is for the print edition only)?  Unadorned at the top?  If decorated, with tildes or a fleuron/dingbat?  Well, don’t ever let anyone tell you self-publishing is easy, or that it’s the lazy way out or any other such nonsense.  That said, going through a publisher is just as bad or worse — you may not have to decide a lot of this stuff, but then you have to worry that your first edition might have covers in “50 shades of mud” and “kept them out of the shops“, among too many other less amusing anecdotes by far too many other authors to mention.

I’ll always argue with someone who says writing is ‘hard work’ — I take issue with the work part.  The hard … that depends on perspective, writing is challenging in terms of telling a good story well and not losing your mind in the process.  Work it is not.  Publishing, on the other hand, I will doubt the sanity of anyone who claims is anything but work and be suspicious of anyone who claims it to be easy.

In other news Puppy Bowl is tomorrow!!  I’ll, alas, be missing it because a) I’ll be at work and b) I don’t actually have any TV service that doesn’t come via my DVD player.

Wow more word count than I’d thought!

Winner-120x90-2Just finished typing the bits of Ready or Not I’d written during NaNoWriMo and discovered that the actual final tally is 56,598 words!

That’s very inspiring.   I’m still not sure how much the experiment can be dubbed a success — I feel rather strongly that this story is going to wind up needing far more intensive editorial work than Love or Lust did, but we’ll see.  With luck I’m just being too hard on myself.  I did, after all, think rather poorly of Book 1 until I’d given it two or three read throughs, my editor had seen it and made her comments, and a few friends had taken a look at it.

Well, wish me luck.  I now embark on the grand adventure of figuring out what happens in Chapter 20 and how far it is to the end of this one.

Status of Love or Lust, by the by, is that my editor is about to do her final proofread on it.  Depending how fast that goes (read just how terrible my spelling and grammar wound up being) I could, conceivably, publish it by Valentine’s day (a rather lovely date to start since that would be approximately the 1yr anniversary of me starting to write it, though I think that actual date was 8 February), otherwise we’re looking around Early march barring any major catastrophes.

Progress continues

Now & Forever is doing very well. Editor still has to reach Love or Lust in her pipeline and to do that whole vacation thing people do from time to time, but Book II is coming along nicely. For those who care it’s called Ready or Not. I hope, if it keeps its current pace, to be done with writing it by between Halloween and Christmas.

The blog, as you see, has had its look updated. I think it looks much prettier and … interesting this way. Hopefully you agree.

Finally, I’ve decide that, yes, my next project will be a superhero novel or series that I’ve been toying with thoughts of. No details or word count yet, but when I have have the free brain cycles for it that’s near the top of my to-do list.

Well, back to the pen.
Love to all.