Thursday, September 19, 2013

And It's HERE!

There was a package waiting for me on the porch when I got back from picking up the  kids from school today. I knew what it had to be the moment I saw first authors proof of the new novel. With an excitement I know many writer's can relate to, I hustled my prize into the house and tore it open. And after a quick perusal of the results, I found myself startlingly pleased with the outcome.

The cover works. As a matter of fact it works well enough that I can pretty much accept it as is. That is a first for me. I had to tweak and re-upload the cover to Dead Stop four different times. But it gets even better.....

...I can now put graphics in the books from Createspace. This allows me to make a more stylized interior title page, and it also allows me to include a piece of art rendered by my niece Courtney. (it also reminds me I need to give her credit for that piece, so there is one small tweak to the interior documents there). The ability to include graphics opens up other possible avenues in future projects as well. It might be kind of cool to have my next anthology with one or two illustrations per story. Maybe even redo Shades. 

Oh, and it also allows me to do one more thing...

Yep! Advertise! Maybe in the future, as I get more proficient at this, I might figure out how to resize these things so I can include text on the page as well. But for now this is a big step forward for me so I'm very happy. 

I intended to start a last reading of it tonight, in order to give it one more proofing, but a slight complication arose. My son, snatched the book as soon as he got the chance and scurried off with it to read. Seeing his glee at holding a book that his Dad wrote only multiplied my own internal glow by a power of a hundred. Yeah, it's a book with gunfights and big giant spiders but I was into that kind of stuff as a ten-year-old too.

So I am heading towards the end of another long journey with the destination being another published novel. Unless I encounter something really awful, there is a very real chance that I may only need to make some minor tweaks to the manuscript and interior....which means I might not even need to order another proof. I'll just have to see how it reads once the boy goes off to school tomorrow and I can get the book back. If so, I might be able to turn to formatting the ebook on Monday.

So as things stand, a late September or early October launch still seems to be in the cards.

It won't be long now.

UPDATE: Leave it my ten-year-old son to spot a couple of cover flaws that need to be fixed. Oh well, a second proof was in the works anyway :P


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Let the Proofing Begin!

     Well, actually the proofing has been going on all summer but today the first author's proof of Spiderstalk has been ordered from Createspace. The files have all been uploaded, and in three or four days I should get to see how the manuscript and artwork translate into a physical book. I have already discovered a couple of tweaks that will most likely need to be made, but so far things are looking good.

     This is probably the funnest and yet most frustrating stage of the writing/publishing process. The fun part being getting that package and tearing it open to see what I have made....and the frustrating part being all the niggling little tweaks to formatting and image adjustment. As I learned last year, never trust what the website says your book will look like. The only thing to trust is that physical copy you hold in your hand. THAT is what the finished product will look like , and what the reader will be holding in his hand as well.

     You are not ready to publish until that physical copy meets your satisfaction.

     Still, it's pretty amazing how all the tools to make it possible to publish your own books are now readily available. Whether it's photo editing programs you can design your covers with, word processing programs you can write your manuscript with, or online publishing companies like Createspace or Amazon KDP you can bring your book to market with,...a writer now has the tools to bring his work to life from start to finish. And all from the comfort of his laptop.

     Oh well, we'll see how this first proof turns out in a few days.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Things Move Along

Still edting. Stillllllllll editing.

I have just reached the halfway point in editing Spiderstalk. It’s taken longer than I thought it would. I think it’s mainly due to it being a much larger work than I’ve worked on before combined with me not getting the free time I thought I would during the kid’s first week of school. Funny how that happens.

Oh well, we’ll see how next week goes.

A good friend of mine took me on a small tour of downtown Houston recently. We felt that since I have used Houston as a setting before...although only in a minor way...there was a reasonable chance I might do so again so it behooved me to have a better idea how the downtown looked. It was very educational and I got to go up to the sixtieth floor lobby of a skyscraper. Seeing the rooftop pool on an adjacent building was a surprise.

But such is the life of a writer. Research, research, research…

…and edit, edit, edit.