Proofs have arrived

My IngramSpark proofs have arrived for the first two DS Guide reissues. They’re……okay. Part of it is my fault. Jewel tones look  great in RGB color for e-books, but print requires CMYK, and CMYK is a cruel bitch. Add IngramSpark’s 240% total ink coverage specs and the bitch gets even more cruel. The red of volume 2 ended up being more maroon. It’s not wholly unexpected, when I was using Lulu it ended up pretty much the same. I’m kind of past caring. And I forgot to mention, I had the wrong font size on the back of volume 1 and had to fix and re-upload. Thankfully, IngramSpark is waiving fees for resubmitted files for the next two months. The crazy thing is, I’m killing myself trying to make things right for a very, very, niche audience when I could be working on this: Continue reading

Slowly getting things done

I finally finished the changes to the volume 3 manuscript. Then I had to do the e-book version. I don’t know about others, but I prefer to write in my set-up for print books, with all my painstakingly created formatting. When I first started, I had mountains of mistakes when it came to formatting a document. After a lot of trial and error, I have my preferred templates, depending on what I’m working on. The episode guides have their own, novels another. E-books have a designated template, too. For those, I do some copy-and-paste sleight of hand from my print document.

I can’t stress enough how formatting will make your life simpler. Invest the time to play around with styles & formatting. Find what you like, then make your templates. I have a style for damn near everything. For example, the signature in a letter.

Formatting pic

With the formatting marks option toggled on, notice how there are no arrows to indicate tabs in the closing and signature? That’s because I formatted a special style with a very generous before text indent. When creating a heading style for your chapter title, add the appropriate amount of space in the above paragraph option in the indents and spacing section. I work in LibreOffice because the less said about Word the better, especially as a Mac user. But I digress…in fact, I’ve gone way off track.

DS Guide volume 3. The hard part is done. I need to make a print copy cover and get a proof from CreateSpace. Unfortunately, there are no coupons available at the moment for IngramSpark to discount or waive the upload fee. And that’s a bummer. Especially since I’ll need to buy more ISBNs as well. I’m aiming to have all the previous books reissued by early July. Then maybe, maybe, I can finally get back to work on my novel. That said, I do believe I’m one of the very few who gets away with making Leland Devore wait.

 

Making headway

Some good news. Thanks to a patient and resolute customer support person at Lulu, the Barnes & Noble e-book issues have finally been resolved. Really, this rep was great. We only communicated via e-mail, but she was always pleasant and definitely not a slacker. So ends my association with Lulu.

The plan, don’t hold me to it, is to have the books republished through a different platform by late March/early April. I believe I also need to update the files on KDP as well, at least that’s what the note on my whiteboard tells me. I know I need to update the print edition CreateSpace files, having finessed my manuscript template. I need to apply those modifications, or maybe I already have? I’ll have to check. I’ve had so much on my plate of late.

In other good news, the Photoshop issue I was complaining about is no longer a problem. I suspected it was more a learning curve issue, which it was. I discovered how to do what I want, it’s merely done a little differently in PS than PSE. It was my impatience that got the better of me. Taking a few steps back and focusing on other and/or fewer things can really be beneficial.

Transcribing on volume 7 continues, albeit slowly. I’ll be caught up by the weekend. I can’t let it get out of hand again.

The novel, for the time being, remains on hiatus. Which kind of sucks, but I think once I get these other things squared away, my mind won’t be so cluttered and I can get back to work.

 

Reset

I’ve thought it over. For the time being, I’m only going to focus on transcribing my existing notes and addressing the Lulu/Nook issue. Any work to the novel will be a bonus, should it happen. Then, it’s on to the next hurdle.

Still dealing with e-book issues

Honestly, I don’t know who’s to blame. About a month ago, I pulled my e-books from distribution and deleted the projects from Lulu. The titles disappeared from Apple within a day, Kobo, maybe two weeks. Great. Except they’re still listed on Barnes & Noble. I get it, Lulu says it can take 6 – 8 weeks (really, in this digital day and age?) for the request to be processed, blah, blah, whatever. I interpreted that to mean that it’s B&N dragging their feet. Okay, then explain this; wanting to get my print books out there under the Abstruse & Louche imprint, I pulled the titles from CreateSpace expanded distribution late Sunday afternoon. The print versions were gone from Barnes & Noble in less than 24 hours. Perhaps the issue is with B&N’s Nook division. It’s enough to drive you to drink. Speaking of which…

The cocktail experiment continues. I’ve come close a few times to the drink I want, but I’m not quite there. Truth be told, I’d rather just drink a couple of the ingredients on their own.

I only seem able to work on the novel on the weekends. Made some progress this last weekend, but I never feel that it’s enough.

I continue to watch episodes for the next guide. Unfortunately, I haven’t kept up with my transcribing. At all. I have a baker’s dozen to write up. I’ll get to them, eventually.

 

Inspired, but not in the right way

Yes, my habit of finding things to distract me is still going strong. Did I just see a squirrel, or something shiny? Anyway, I did manage to make minor corrections to a chapter of the novel over the weekend and when I glanced at the next, knowing some reworking needed to be done, I was happy to see I’d already dropped some relevant notes in the appropriate places. Then I got distracted, which lingered into the next day, such was my mania. What thing has so captured my attention?

I’m in the process of creating a cocktail based on the book. Oh yes. And not just any old thing with the usual spirits. This one has to be unique, with ingredients to match its personality. I’m very close, but I need to tinker a bit more. Fortunately, one of the ingredients I really wanted to use was easier to find than I thought. I even commended the shopkeep for having it in stock. Lucky for me, it blended nicely with the key spirit. Unfortunately, another item is not so easy to find. I ended up ordering it on Amazon. There was another sticking point of how to work in another spirit, something that has to be present, but not overwhelming. Then it hit me and the little hamster on the wheel kept running and I latched onto another thing. Once I pick up and receive all the necessities, the true alchemy can begin.

And even though it’s a lumbering ox of a story arc, I’m still watching episodes for the next guide.

Research can be fun

I’m in a strange place right now. I’m still at the mercy of one book retailer that moves at a snail’s pace when it comes to removing titles from their site. As a result, the episode guide e-books remain in limbo, save for Amazon, which I realize isn’t everyone’s choice when it comes to e-books. I’m trying not to get frustrated. I could re-publish the print edition of volume six, but for some reason, I keep holding off on that. Probably because of Ingram’s anal retentive file requirements. I don’t need, nor want, the hassle at the moment. Continue reading

Didn’t expect that, but okay

My attention lately has not been where I want it to be. I think it’s because sub-consciously, I know the work that’s lying in wait and I don’t want to tackle it. So, diversion! At least the distraction is a productive one. I’ve been working on the next DS guide, little by little. I tell myself it’s good to step away from the novel from time to time. Here’s the reason why.

proof2

 

 

All those colorful post-it notes with minor corrections. Is it any wonder I want to occasionally pour a cocktail and lose myself in the craziness of Collinsport? And yes, that one page has paragraphs bracketed with a REWORK  notation in the margin, for a full two-thirds of the page. Isn’t this fun?

The procrastination game pays off

It’s amazing how easily I can think up half a dozen things to do in order to avoid work on my manuscript. Though to be fair, one of the distractions was actually book related research, which paid off extremely well. I had cut some things from a particular scene that I wasn’t completely sold on, even though I liked portions of the old material. Now I can keep what was best of the old and blend it with the much better, newer idea. It just seems like there’s never enough time to do everything that needs doing. If only I could clone myself. Fear not, however, work is getting done, albeit slowly.

The episode guide relaunch of the e-book versions is in limbo because one retailer is taking their sweet time pulling the old versions from their website. I haven’t re-released Volume 6 in print yet because I had to make a decision involving photo editing software. Sorry, Affinity, I don’t have the time it takes for the learning curve and Ingram is so damn finicky about the files they’ll accept. Photoshop it is. I hate having to use the Adobe Creative Cloud, but Photoshop Elements doesn’t do what I need.

As for the Volume 7 episode guide……good God that Leviathan storyline. Brutal in so many ways.

That was encouraging

Needing a hard copy of my manuscript to work off of, I opted to get an early, incomplete proof of the book. After crunching the numbers, it was cheaper to buy two copies (with 2 day shipping, no less) than buying a ream of paper and some ink jet cartridges. I really have to commend CreateSpace. I submitted an Affinity Photo PDF/X-1a:2003 in the default SWOP profile and the cover looks great. When I first received the proof, I wasn’t sure about the image at first and considered a complete redo. I think because I’ve been looking at it onscreen for so long, seeing it in print was, I don’t know, jarring? I warmed up to it quick enough, though, and have dropped my plan to try it in a glossy finish; the matte gives it the vibe I want. I just need to tweak  one of the CMYK colors a little. Although I’m nowhere near using Ingram yet, why the hell do they have to be so difficult with file type submissions?

I’ve been lugging the book around with me, along with Post-Its and highlighters, hoping to get in some proofing here-and-there. I hadn’t planned on this, but today an opportunity presented itself to get feedback on the cover. Both people who saw it, liked it. I just hope they weren’t bullshitting me.