All these fiddly little problems in electronic publishing

Well, they've got the three-volume HOLLOW REED up on Smashwords and a lot of other venues. It took forever: issues of copyright, problems with font size on the title page, problems with centering, potential problems with tab keys, my retyping a title page and getting the date wrong, devising blurbs no longer than 400 characters counting spaces, etc. etc.

But I've taken the first step in electronic publishing, and they made samples available.  Now let's hope for the best.


My thanks to the lovely people here who helped me with advice!  I couldn't have done this without you (and someone at my agent's office who struggled mightily with Smashwords and will soon struggle with Amazon DTP).

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Congrats, IJ. Let's hope all this work produces some revenues for the author -- and many new fans for the next book. Best of luck!
Thanks, Jack! And may the luck be with you also!
More fiddly problems: It doesn't like headers, blank pages, or diacritic marks. Find and replace doesn't work for this: you have to go through the ms. and and change them all by hand. (And yes, I still underline for italics, so that has to be fixed).
Best of luck, IJ! And thanks for describing the experience.
Congratulations IJ!

That 400 character limit on Smashwords is a bear, isn't it? There is a guy I heard about on Kindleboards who will do the formatting for a reasonable price, if you want to try outsourcing that in future.

When you get around to promotion, I'd be happy to host a guest post on my blog for you. (Maybe something about the misadventures in just getting the dang thing up on Smashwords, if you like.)
Oh, Camille, you're very kind. I may take you up on that. However, the process has been a co-production. One of the agents at my agency is taking on electronic publications for the office. I'm going through the agency with this. They get their share, and my books are published by JVNLA. The young agent and I are both learning and e-mails are flying back and forth. She did the actual uploading, and I'm making the changes. The Amazon thing, they've farmed out to someone else. It's next. THE HOLLOW REED is a 3-volume historical novel and previously unpublished. Future e-books (there are 4 and there will be more, I hope -- I'm trying to hold on to the rights) are print published already.
I hope it works out for you! You put in a lot of labor!

Best Wishes!
Thanks, Stacy. Since I posted, I'm having to do the changes again, this time by scrolling through each novel. The Word editing features don't work on this. :)
I've started putting my own markers in as I write to make the whole thing easier next time. I use an underscore or a bracket for anything that will have to be looked at or hand-changed, and then I can search for them later. (I can also do an automatic delete, which I sometimes forget to do before giving an early draft to my critique group - it confuses the heck out of them. Sigh.)

Sometimes it feels like the old days when you had to use typesetter's marks.
Good ideas. I have no problem switching from underline to italics in the future. That was just an old habit dating back to grad school. And the diacritical marks (fairly common in Japanese) are a major nuisance when you type because each one has to be done via the symbols options. I'd just as soon forget all about them. Most readers don't care. What chafes me is that I went to all the trouble of putting them in, and now they have to go again with more trouble. The four published books will have to be corrected, but at least now I know what needs to be done.
Good luck with your Smashwords version!

When I put Killer Career up on Smashwords, it took me a while. The trick was to follow the manual step by step and not miss anything. When I had it all done, I was happy it worked on the first try.

I had someone else do the kindle version before that because I was really busy then and didn't have the time to devote to getting it just right. Next book I may try it myself.
Thanks, Morgan. I think we should just about be done. The neat thing is that you can reload the corrected version if you find you've overlooked something. I'm holding off on putting the information on the web site and posting announcements until I have final confirmation and the Kindle version is also available.
Very good luck with your book!


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