Catching Up with Myself

Yesterday was a day of accomplishments–and frustration. I published Privileged Lives on Smashwords and added Hidden Boundaries to Amazon’s KDP. Which was the easiest? KDP, by far. But that was mostly because I had a formatting problem in the front matter of Privileged Lives that seemed determined to defeat me. Starting fresh this morning, I finally figured out the most likely solution, and it worked. Thank goodness, getting through Smashwords’ meatgrinder is fast these days, because I uploaded three or four new versions before I got the formatting right.

The frustrations? Just a generally bad day for concentrating and paying attention to vital details. Otherwise, I would have caught the formatting problem without so much struggle. It was a day of many “oops,” but it’s over. The next one will be along soon.

The Privileged Lives sample was downloaded three times before I got the formatting straightened out, and none since. I have no idea how many people might have turned away because all they saw was the wonky HTML online sample. Two copies of Hidden Boundaries sold on Amazon overnight, but I’m not counting on any more until I start getting the word out.

Catching up with myself mostly means housework (of course). But I’m starting to move toward making myself a little more known on the web. I just signed up on Authonomy, which seems to be a good place to upload work to attract new readers. You could think of it as the adult version of  Wattpad. You can upload whole books, but there’s a minimum of 10,000 words. They’re serious about rating and reviewing, so there’s not much room for “you rate me and I’ll rate you” or heavy self-promotion. Of course, part of the attraction for most writers is the chance to rate high, be seen, and possibly get a contract from Harper Collins. I’ll see how it goes and report back now and then.

Links for Privileged Lives and Hidden Boundaries? I’ll try to get to that later.

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9 thoughts on “Catching Up with Myself

    1. If you have the time and patience, I’d still like to hear if you find anything amiss. I may not ever edit the book, but I need to keep learning, so the next one is better.

  1. It seems many people have problems with formatting and HTML when it comes to self-publishing… you’d think the platforms would be better streamlined by now!
    Congrats on publishing both pieces.

    1. Samir, I don’t bother with HTML at all in my book formatting, but when I see that something’s off in the HTML view of my sample in Smashwords, I know I’ve done something wrong. In this case, I’d forgotten to specify the line spacing for the front matter, making it the same as the rest of the text.

      Hidden Boundaries has been on Smashwords for six months. Adding it to Kindle is part of my experiment in testing whether I can depend on Smashwords alone for sales. It’s turned out that I can’t. I’m not crazy about becoming a Kindle author also, but I’m willing to face reality.

  2. Just popped over to thank you for the comment you left on my Tips for Writers blogsite. I put it up, many thanks. Have fixed the problem. There’s an old song called: ‘What a Difference a Day Made’ – what a difference a word makes!
    Best of luck with your novels,
    Danielle

  3. Oddly, on this go-round, I had more problems with Kindle formatting than Smashwords. I think the formatting problems are compounded by the fact that the text looks different on different readers. I was beating my head against a brick wall trying to get the books “right” and then I downloaded them to my wife’s Kindle and saw–despite how they looked in various other views–that they looked fine. So I stopped tweaking them (gave up is more like it). I agree with Samir, it seems this part of the process should be more streamlined by now.

    1. In my experience so far, and according to what I’ve read from other people, it’s probably impossible to have your book look the same way in all formats and on all readers. My books have always looked fine on my Kindle desktop reader, but in Calibre (ePub), the serif font always shows up as non-serif. And this is true for books other than my own. They read one way as .mobi and .pdf, and differently in Calibre’s ePub. And then there’s Smashwords’ HTML view, which is another whole ball of wax.

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