A while ago I was asked to sponsor a family friend who was in training to ride from London to Brighton for a very worthy cause, Myeloma UK. I was very glad to do so, and followed her progress as she trained, did a shorter cycle ride a couple of months back, and ran a countdown to the big day. On the day itself, her dad posted updates on Facebook as he followed her progress on an app.
I’m not equating the hard slog of riding a bicycle, let alone up the big hill that came just before Brighton, to writing and publishing a novel, but there are some aspects which both have in common.
The months of training runs, of building up first to a shorter challenge and then to the final event, the anticipation, the making sure that your equipment is all in good working order, that you have the right nutritional snacks and fluids to keep you going …. and on the other side, the editing of the book and taking on the input of your editor, then the follow-up read throughs to spot the small continuity errors in a 162K manuscript, or the infelicitious repetition of certain words, especially too close together. The feeling that you are never going to get to the end. Due to that, and various life events, a few things have drifted over the last six months, including this blog – sorry about that!
But the end is now in sight and getting closer. In the last couple of months, I have formatted the book into a Kindle compliant epub file and uploaded it to the KDP site. I’ve added metadata and description after investigating what was needed for those, uploaded the high quality cover file, sorted out the words flagged as spelling mistakes, checked the book’s navigation against KDP’s tools, and downloaded the file three times, to read through again. I’m about to embark on what I hope is the third and last read through before publication. I have a ‘vanilla’ version of the ebook which can go onto Kobo once I work out what is required to do that – KDP treats the cover differently so the epub file has to be tweaked for that.
As a side event, I went back to Fantasia Frog who produced the cover a while back and requested book marks which I’m pleased with.
Once I publish on Kindle, I need to investigate the process of getting the vanilla epub onto other platforms via the industry leader, Draft2Digital. And I need to master the print process. Up to now, CreateSpace has been the first choice for that, but Amazon are steering self publishers towards its own Kindle print process as shown by their recent introduction of proof copies.
To summarise the latest goals and progress:
- Produce a fourth e-book version and play it through on text-to-speech and make further amendments – Completed.
- Work out how to format a Kindle book including the front and end pages and what to put in those – done, and proven by successful upload to KDP.
- Once the final edit is complete, approach the revised shortlist of pro editors to establish how much it would cost for this long first MS, and whether it can be done without having to spend ‘loadsamoney’. Done – editor engaged, feedback implemented.
- Finalise the back of book text and add info to the copyright/dedication page such as the book cover designer’s and editor’s credits. Completed.
- Consider if further tweaks are needed to the ebook conversion process in light of advice in David Gaughran’s book and linked articles. Haven’t had time to progress this and will probably park it for now, as KDP has been ‘happy’ with the formatted book three times now.
- Arrange to print book marks. Done.
- Complete the latest read through so that am happy to do final upload to KDP and finalise the book, e.g. pricing info etc.
- Publish on KDP.
- Investigate what is needed to publish on Kobo and Draft2Digital to cover the other platforms.
- Investigate print process – CreateSpace still?