Saturday, March 30, 2013

Pulsating to the Backbeat

  Done. Man, this book was an uphill battle every step of way. Part of it was my own fault for putting the pressure on, not only setting a deadline, but announcing it to everyone. I over-estimated how much time I would have to work on things, not leaving room for procrastination, time for myself, and other unforeseen circumstances, and I was not nearly as prepared as I was the last time around.
    Having a blog makes you feel like you need to tell people things, like when your book is coming out. The accountability factor can be motivational and helpful, but in reality, there probably wouldn't be an uproar if the book came out two weeks after I originally said it would.
    I also ran into a problem with the Kindle version--Amazon has connected CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing so that CreateSpace will send your files over to KDP after your book files have been approved. You'd think that would make it more convenient, right? Wrong.
    They used to accept only Word documents, maybe HTML, and .mobi files for KDP and the website would convert the files to .mobi if need be. It wasn't perfect, but it did pretty well considering it was done by a machine and not a human. I send those files to myself to view on my Kindle Fire to make sure they look all right for the most part, and if not, I can edit the Word file to fix whatever doesn't look right, and reupload it and have KDP convert it again. KDP only takes about 6-12 hours to approve the files and publish them on the website, so if you have to make changes, you can usually upload the file the night before and it'll be back online in the morning.
    This time, I learned that KDP accepts PDFs to convert, too, and that's what CreateSpace gave me to upload to Kindle. I figured it's THEIR file--it should convert with no problem. Wrong again. When I pulled that document up on my Kindle, I couldn't believe how ridiculous it looked. There were no tab indents on the paragraphs, and perhaps worse, the conversion had broken up some paragraphs so that it looked a little like this:
The quick brown fox jumps
over the lazy
    Why would they allow you to upload a file that can't even keep paragraphs together? Ereader files are basically supposed to read like an HTML file--HTML doesn't break paragraphs up like that unless you specifically tell it to! So, last night, I went through and created my own .doc Word file to upload again. The tab indents were back, the table of contents looked normal, and the lines were all kept together in a paragraph like they're supposed to be.
    There are some nitpicky things I wish I could fix, but I'd have to hire a professional for that, and I'd rather not put any more money into fixing something as small as the size of a tab indent when I'm probably one of the few people out there who is truly bothered by it.
    Anyway, it's been a busy month, to say the least. I finished the files and published them on time as planned, on March 28, though it wasn't until about 2:30 PM. I'm so relieved to have the book finished, but now I get to the promotion part, and I'm not exactly looking forward to the marketing part over the next few weeks and months.
    It's not my strong suit, and I really wish I had more previous success to draw on and apply this time around. That's part of the reason why I'm spending money on professional marketing this time--I figure maybe these people know what they're doing better than I do, or at least I hope they do!--but apparently it takes a while to put together a blog tour so I won't know if it works until a couple months from now.
    Not much else to speak of--I got caught in a blizzard a week ago and scared myself shitless trying to drive home in it. I didn't realize it was going to be that bad or I would have stayed another night where I was. My allergies are doing a lot better now--I've only taken one pill this week and I have a feeling the "symptoms" I was experiencing were due to fatigue from staying up so late to finish my book stuff on time rather than from allergies.
    I'm finally getting back to blogging, so new recaps and I'm hoping a new weekly feature will be coming back to Always Happy to Entertain you soon, and I should be able to post here more regularly as well.
Hey, ho, let's go.

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