Blood Curse 2nd Edition Formatting

Finished formatting Blood Curse 2nd edition this weekend. Next step is acquiring a block of ISBNs for the series and getting with a cover designer.

I have an idea for the cover, but I want a pro to let me know if it’s good and to actually create it.

At the 5 x 8 trim size I’ve selected, the print book will be 300 pages including the front and after matter sections.

I do still need to go over another copy to comply with Smashwords formatting. I’m still debating putting it on Google Books as well, which will involve creating yet another file type.

Audio books will have to wait for a while. They most definitely are NOT inexpensive to produce.

Revisions Complete!

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.

Werk werk werk.

I may be slow, but I am getting there.

Fixing the “Oops!”

Nothing like going through first edits on a rough draft written a few years previously and spotting gargantuan plot holes. In case you haven’t guessed, or are new to this blog, I have returned to working on my steampunk serial, The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe.

I’m finally getting episodes 13 through 24 (aka Season 2) ready for publication. I’m also seriously entertaining the thought of having a new cover done for the Season 1 omnibus, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, as well as doing new illustrations for it.

“Why?” you ask. Mainly because sales have been all but non-existent, and I never really got marketing off the ground the first time through. This will mean pulling all the current versions down and republishing.

Yes, I am a masochist. I must be to intentionally put that much on my plate.

Meanwhile, back to why I started this post. I’ve found myself trying to keep supposedly intelligent characters from unintentionally looking like bumbling idiots. In other words, I originally wrote some scenes which turned into “wait-a-minute” moments. So, I have to figure out why I had a character do something a certain way, when an obviously better way was available.

Specifically, why did a character LEAVE a communications center to deliver a message rather than send it via a secure means already available to them. It would’ve been quicker to use the system rather than leave the building and head into a subterranean system of tunnels and lifts to reach a place deep underground.

Not to worry. I did find a plausible excuse.

Messages sent through that system, while secure, have to be entered in the log if they originate from the communications center itself. The character didn’t want this message to be discovered by her supervisor, so she feigned illness to be excused from the rest of her shift. She also didn’t encounter any message stations along her route before encountering other major characters.

Plot hole plugged.

Wholly Shake Up!

Had a slightly sour experience this past holiday weekend, one which led to a valuable lesson. However, it will mean an even further delay to the launch of season 2 of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe.

After a single denial to post on a particular FB book promotion group because the graphic on my cover didn’t meet the admins’ definition of “professional”, I did a little marketing research. I have to admit that cover art is not really my forte. As proud as I am of the cover I did for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, it really does scream “self-published/amateur.” I’m better equipped to do illustrations and portraits.

A friend has supplied me with links for some better fonts, and I have a design in mind which I believe will look as good as anything put out by a large publishing house. I just need to find an affordable artist with the correct skills and digital tools to pull it off.

I’m also planning to do new, more detailed B&W illustrations for the book’s interior, when I get the time. I am keeping the pipework frame from the current cover for the new illustrations. I will probably enhance the line art for the current cover with more shading and insert it a splash page in the front of the second edition, as well.

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In the meantime, I will leave the current first edition up on Amazon. I will pull it maybe a week or two before releasing the second edition. This will allow me time to get everything just right as well as get and look over a galley proof of the new version.

I have not decided on a design for the individual ebook covers, but they will be uniform and without illustrations. That being said, yes, I will be issuing second editions of the first 12 episodes with new covers and a bit tidied up. There are some errors I’ve spotted since original publication that need to go away, after all.

Oh, and I am changing the publishing name from Steele Rose Press to Steele Rose Publishing. There is a winery with the name, and I don’t want any legal issues to crop up.

Heads Up

The second season of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe will debute January 2020. I had hoped to have Episode 13 out this year, but I can see that life isn’t going to make that very feasible for me. My current plan is to go ahead and get the episode cover art for the entire season prepped before publishing the next episode. My work schedule is slated to change once again at the start of the year, so this seems like the smarter play to me.

In the meantime, the season one omnibus, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, has sold a whopping three copies. I would like to get a little more traction with this book before rolling out the second season.

You know a book makes a great stocking stuffer, and $12.95 is CHEAP for a paperback these days. (I’m old enough to remember when paperbacks cost about what they charge for comic books these days, and when comic books cost about 35 cents.)

Also, I know it’s still over a month away, but come this Christmas break, remember to vote for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky in the critters.org Preditors and Editors Readers Poll in the Steampunk Novel category.

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Don’t forget to come see me at Chattacon January 24-27 at the Double Tree by Hilton in beautiful Chattanooga, TN. I will have copies available as well as my remaining copies of my Waves of Darkness series books.

Hopefully I can start getting them back on the market next year with fresh new covers AND added internal illustrations! Of course, what would really be great would be to get them released as audio books as well. I have had interest in entering that format with the series over the past few years.

Cover Reveal and Update

I finally finished the cover for The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. I still have to format the manuscript and other interior design features. This is the first print book I’ve done on my own, so it will be a learning process. I also have to compose a blurb for the back cover.

Thanks for your patience.

In other news, I am renewing my efforts to self publish the Waves of Darkness books.

I also may have an art commission coming up. I plan to contact my potential customer this week to hash out details. This came about because of the Pern fan art I sold at LibertyCon.

Season One is Complete!

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The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe: 12 Castle in the Clouds is now LIVE on Kindle! This is the final episode of Season One. I will be releasing the mini-omnibus of episodes 7 through 12 on Kindle sometime next week.

The print omnibus of the entire season, The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, will take a bit longer. Time and finances prevent me from having copies available for LibertyCon at the end of this month as I’d originally hoped. Household expenses must needs take priority. After all, I don’t think I’ve cleared $10USD in royalties on the entire season’s worth of episodes yet. Please, if you’d like to help a frustrated author, buy my books! This series is only $0.99USD per episode. You know you can afford a little cheap thrill and diversion. 😉

Episode 11 Cover Reveal

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Just uploaded Episode 11, Ghost Riders in the Sky to KDP. I expect it to go live within the next day or two. UPDATE! GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY IS NOW LIVE ON KINDLE!

The first season of The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe is drawing to a close, with only one episode remaining! I plan to start editing on episode 12, Castle in the Clouds, tonight and hope to have it uploaded in a couple of weeks.

Why the rush? I’d really like to have the season one print omnibus available for LibertyCon at the end of next month. First , because it is my favorite and my convention “home.” Second, my sales of this series are ABYSMAL. My sales reports don’t show a single sale since April 2nd; and that was only one copy of one episode. I know garnering fans and followers on a new series takes a while, and I haven’t really had much time available for self-promoting like I have in the past with the first story arc of Waves of Darkness. But, it does get a little disheartening when it seems like nobody is interested. Having copies available for purchase at the convention will help generate that interest.

With that in mind, I plan to title the season 1 omnibus The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. I’ll probably forgo my original plan of using the same cover art for the print omnibus and both half-season minis. I think the print book should have it’s own cover.

Oh, and I will also do a mini-omnibus of episodes 7-12 which will be available on Kindle. Look for it in June.

Episode 10 In the Works

My dogwood a couple of weeks ago. Just because.

The Adventures of Pigg & Woolfe: 10 Rescue at Sea will be uploaded either this weekend or next. It depends on how long it takes me to finish the cover. I’ve got a good start on it, but just learned my work days are getting LONGER again, starting today.

In the meantime, I want to wish a blessed Easter weekend in advance to all my readers who observe the holiday.