Friday, July 26, 2013

Next Book in a Week class

I've been getting so many requests for information about my online Book in a Week class that I thought I'd post a quick note here. I've come to realize that the ideal times for the class seem to be:

end of September
end of January
late spring
sometimes a summer class as well

As I know specific dates I'll post them here and on an email loop I have to let people know if I have an upcoming class. If you want to sign up for the class notification loop, the link is:

With luck, this will make it easier for everyone to plan if they would like to take my BIAW class at some point.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Createspace--A Lesson in Humility

I've been putting up my backlist books for Kindle and Nook so when I decided to make my APRIL KIHLSTROM'S BOOK IN A WEEK WORKBOOK available through Createspace, I thought it would be a piece of cake. I mean, how hard could it be?

First I reformatted the workbook for print. Time consuming but not difficult--or so I thought. And I had a cover I loved plus lots of quotes for the back cover. Piece of cake. I signed up, went through the steps and sat back to wait for my book to appear in print. And got a profound lesson in humility. (Hey! I see you laughing out there--cut it out!)

What I learned:

1) Everything takes longer with Createspace.

2) They have amazing people who can fix some cover mistakes--up to a point.

3) Covers--unless one uses one of their templates--have to be uploaded as a pdf file.

4) Microsoft Word created pdf files have too low a resolution for covers.

5) Turns out my photo software program GIMP can save in pdf format. Woohoo!

6) If one uses something like photoshop or GIMP it's essential one pays attention precisely to their instructions because their staff can't fix things if one doesn't leave room for a barcode.

7) Even trying to calculate exactly the sizes, margins, etc. they asked for, it's possible to screw it up.

8) Did I mention their people are amazing at fixing things if one enough is close to what they need? (One should not depend on that, however, and it has to be "close enough.")

9) (Okay, I can hear the laughter starting already....) Print books need page numbers. Seriously, I know it sounds dumb, but I forgot that. I'd been putting up so many of my back books for Kindle and Nook that I FORGOT TO PUT IN PAGE NUMBERS for the print version! Mind you, I had a Table of Contents that listed page numbers--I just hadn't remembered to put them on every page.

10) Adding page numbers can change the layout of the pages.

11) If you have a Table of contents, it's really important to double check that when the file is uploaded, the page numbers in the Table of Contents match the actual page numbers for each section. Sometimes in the uploading things change.

12) (More laughter coming, I can just tell....) Text in a print book is right justified on the pages inside the book. I know, I know--but I really didn't think of it until my third attempt to get things right!

13) Once the cover is finally accepted and I had the interior text and layout the way I wanted and page numbers correct, I approved the book and it went "live" on Createspace and I got a message that within 5 to 7 days, the book would be live on Amazon. Fortunately, Sheri Cobb South clued me in that it might happen much faster. It did--in a matter of hours. Woohoo!!!

14) I still have no idea how soon it might be available other places besides Amazon. (It's now been just under a week.)  Update: As of today, the workbook is also available at Barnes and Noble (at least online)!

In other words, this was a lesson in humility for me--and a chance to learn a whole new way of doing things. Having now learned these things, I'm seriously considering making some of my older Regencies available in paperback, through Createspace, as well as for Kindle and Nook.

I hope my experience saves you some trouble and time if you are planning to use Createspace to publish. And hey, look at it this way, odds are you won't make as many mistakes as I did with my initial efforts!

Oh, and if you're curious about APRIL KIHLSTROM'S BOOK IN A WEEK WORKBOOK, you can find it here in on Amazon in paperback.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Author's Cut of a book

Let me start by saying I've had really good editors. Both Hilary Ross and Talia Platz made my books better by the questions they asked and input they gave me.

Sometimes, however, an author's vision just differs from the editor's. This happened to me with MISS TIBBLES INTERFERES. Now that I have the rights back to the book, I can put out a double volume which includes both the "author's cut" and the "editor's cut" of the book.

In this case, I had some of the digital files I needed to create the author's cut but I also had a fair amount of new writing to do to make it all work. It was both fun and a challenge. Which version will readers prefer? I have no idea but I want to include those elements I feel give the story a deeper emotional depth.

If you read the double volume and strongly prefer one version or the other, I hope you'll let me know. One way I grow as a writer is by hearing how readers feel about the choices I make.

The double volume of MISS TIBBLES INTERFERES is available now as an e-book for Kindle and Nook.