Learning the ins and outs of going with wide distribution in self-publishing has been quite an experience. I by no means consider myself an expert on it now, but I have a better idea what to expect with the next book.
Blood Curse is the second book I’ve self-published. It is the first I’ve gone wide with, however. When I published The Girl Who Fell from the Sky: the Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe season 1, I went exclusively with KDP. I’m debating whether to stick with that for the Pigg&Woolfe series or to take it wide, as well. I probably will stick with KDP for that one, since it is an episodic serial. (Look for season 2 to start in either January or February. I am drafting season 4 currently.)
I believe I will settle on a 6 month schedule for re-release of the first 7 books in the Waves of Darkness series. Look for Demon Bayou to come out around May 3rd, 2021. I’ve already done the first round of revisions on it.
Audio book editions will be announced when I have a better idea of how I will fund the production and which service I decide to go with.
I also will be putting up a TeeSpring store in the next few weeks. Once it’s up and running, I will put a permanent link in the menu bar of this site.
I will be creating content for my dormant YouTube channel and reviving it, as well.
Pending approval speed for the manuscript and cover files at Ingram Spark, BloodCurse2ndedition should become available for purchase as both print and ebook on November 2nd. The ebook will definitely be available at that time, since I’ll be using Smashwords as my distributor. If approved early enough, I’ll see about setting up a pre-order.
While Smashwords distributes to most ebook retailers, the Google Books version might be a little later coming out. I have to convert the file to Epub and upload directly to Google to sell through them.
The audio book will be sometime next year. I’m still debating on which platform to distribute through. (Audible is NOT the only audio book distributer out there, after all.)
I’m not really frustrated with the process of formatting. I thrive on tedious things. I’m frustrated with not having large chunks of time to do it. Formatting is a time consuming process, if you want to do it right. My biggest clock eater with it at the moment is correcting paragraph indents manually.
Why manually? Because when I set the indent to 0.2 inches and applied it to the body of the text, over half the paragraphs remaining at 0.5 inches. So, I have to scroll slowly through the entire manuscript and hit backspace on all the incorrect indents.
Once that’s done, I’ll go through and center and replace all the scene separating asterisk place holders with the icon I’ll use. The first edition used little skull-and-crossbones. I haven’t decided whether to use that or find something else.
Some things I find aggravating are some of the little quirks of the editor function of Word. It keeps telling me I need to change witch to which. Also, even after I’ve indicated to ignore certain deliberate grammar mistakes or misspellings used in conversations, every time I go back through that passage for a different purpose, it marks them up again. Also, it incorrectly tries to get me to capitalize or put in lower case words starting sentences in quotations or immediately following the end quote marks. Plus, it doesn’t seem to like that I capitalize Brethren when referring to pirates or Sisters when referring to the Sisters of Power.
Stupid machine program.
Oh yeah, it also tries to get me to truncate certain phrases I use throughout the book down to one or two words. I use these particular phrases to fit the flavor of the book. I believe some refer to that as “voice.”
(I’m actually enjoying the whole process. Actually is another word that Word tries to get me to stop using.)
First, I’d like to say thank you to my fellow authors on some of the writing groups we share on Facebook. They’ve been extremely helpful in my navigation of Ingram Spark’s submission guidelines. I highly recommend authors, whether new or veteran, to join such groups. They are especially beneficial to those of us whose schedules don’t mesh with in-person writing groups’ meeting schedules.
Meanwhile, I finally got started on the formatting of Blood Curse 2nd edition this weekend. I’m having to go back through and redo the italics because copying the text to the correct trim size undid all that work. Next up will be changing the font from Word’s default of Calibri. I’ve also installed Treasure Map Dead Hand as my font for titles and headers.
I know all this is tedious, but I’m enjoying the process. This will also help make producing the rest of the books in the series easier.
Meanwhile, I should finish typing up the final episode of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe season 3 this week. I will start plotting season 4 once that’s done. I plan to start publishing season 2 early next year. Somewhere in between now and then, I need to do some promoting on that serial.
That’s it for now. Enjoy your short work week, and I hope you had a good Labor Day weekend.
First, an admission of my shortcomings: I don’t think I’ve actually read any of Le Guin’s books. I will rectify this sometime in the future.
That being said, I came across this tor.com article about her writings in my Google news feed this morning. I imagine their algorithm placed it there because I’ve been subscribing to a lot of BookTube channels recently.
This is well worth the read and quite inspiring and challenging.
No, I have not actually started formatting Blood Curse second edition yet. Necessary rearrangement of furniture pretty much kept me offline all weekend. I did manage to download copies of IngramSpark’s and Smashwords’ file and style requirements this morning. I used to have the Smashwords one written down somewhere, but haven’t seen it since I moved to my house back in 2017. I still need to see what Google Play Books requires. I already have a copy of Amazon’s from publishing The Girl Who Fell from the Sky: the Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe, season 1.
I did a survey on FB and Plurk on what trim sizes to use. 5″ x 8″ won. I would’ve loved to go with 5″ x 7″ or 4″ x 6″, but the number of pages that would change the book to makes those sizes cost prohibitive.
I managed to finish reading The Gunslinger by Stephen King and start The Drawing of the Three over the weekend. It’s been about 2 decades or so since I first read his Dark Tower series, and I never finished it. I will do so this time around, even though it means buying the last 3 books. Like I need an excuse to buy a book.
I need to contact my author/convention friends about the best route to get my books into audio. Some use ACX and Audible, some use Tantor, and there’s a few other audio book publishers out there to check out, as well.
TIP FOR ASPIRING AUTHORS: Find other authors and writing groups, even if they’re not in your genre. Experience is the best resource to tap for advice. Who knows; someday someone may even ask you for advice.
I finished final revisions on Blood Curse 2nd edition this past weekend. Next weekend (or sooner, depending on available computer time) I will work on formatting. I have to make sure the ebook version conforms to Smashwords guidelines, since I plan on going wide on distribution. I’ll probably still upload directly to KDP, and I’ll have to upload directly to Google Play. While Amazon will accept submissions from aggregators such as Smashwords, ebooks will go live quicker when uploaded directly. Google does NOT accept submissions from aggregators.
I also need to find out what book trim sizes Ingram Spark allows for paperbacks and what cover finishes they offer. I’d like to go with something smaller than the 6″ x 9″ trade paperback size, and a matte finish. Matte will photograph better than gloss and won’t peel with heavy handling. Ran into the peeling issue with my author’s galley of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky: the Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe, season 1 with Amazon/KDP. I was carrying it in a book bag everywhere, and pulling it out to pitch the book. The gloss layer on the cover started to separate on the edges.
Oh yeah, and I need to buy some ISBN numbers, since they’re less expensive in bulk rather than buying one for each book at publication time.
I also need to work up some flourishes for the interior of the print version that won’t be included in the ebook. This is a 2nd edition, but it’s also a 10th anniversary edition. I want it to cause book-gasms for anyone who buys it.
Once the print version is formatted, and I have a page count, I can contract a cover.
I also need to start grilling my author/publisher friends about the best route to get it into audio book format.