In a rash moment yesterday, I decided to tidy up some paperwork in my study. Were you to walk in right now, you probably couldn’t tell that it looked much better (though it does!) I have slimmed down the in-trays, so there is a lot less of the ‘that will come in useful sometime’ stuff. I’ve even managed to put aside 4 books for the charity shop. (It hurts to get rid of them, even if two of them are my daughter’s…)
Some of the remaining paperwork is old print-outs of my books. Somehow I don’t feel I can get rid of all my editing until the book is officially for sale… (and even then…?) You will spot I am a hoarder – not as bad as some, and certainly kept in check by having moved so often in the early years of our marriage. However we’ve now lived here for six years and the rubbish is accumulating.
One of the things I found were my first attempts at designing a book cover for In the Shade of the Mulberry Tree. This was before I discovered designforwriters.com, who have produced the covers for both my books and are professionals and are fantastic.
I am not a fantastic book cover designer. See.
Would those books have sold? Would you have looked twice at them (other than to laugh)? This is why you should leave cover design to the professionals.
On a more cheery note, I also found this picture.
Old ladies laughing while they work. Beautiful, and captures so much of Zambia for me. (Photo copyright, if you exclude my amateur snap of the poor print on paper, is Gareth Bentley – for more, see garethbentley.com)
Beware the Falling Avocados available as paperback and ebook from 18 June 2016.
You are all warmly invited to come to the official launch of my book, Beware the Falling Avocados, at The Kingfisher, Poynton from 3.30pm on Saturday 18 June.
So if you’re in the vicinity and haven’t much to do on a sunny (ahem!) Saturday afternoon in June, please do call in and say hello! There will be books for sale and the pub has promised me tea and coffee. (Stronger drinks also available to purchase!)
There is nothing difficult about publishing an ebook.
(Other than writing it in the first place, of course. And editing it.)
Once you have your perfect copy – and assuming you have no pictures or awkward extras to add – an ebook is straightforward. It is simply text, in one long, long, long line that the clever piece of technology displays in rolling pages in a variety of text sizes.
For you, the preparer of this masterpiece, all you have to do is convert your Word document into the format that Kindle requires. (I know: there are other publishers, and I know: they require slightly different formats. But start with the one that has the largest reach and highest sales. The others will be a breeze after that.)
In brief, you need to take all your writing (Select All) and convert it to ‘normal’ text. Then remove all excess line breaks – there shouldn’t be more than 2-3 in succession. Use the ‘styles’ options in your Word package to give each section the style you require – left aligned, font Times New Roman, size 10 etc. Include the first line indent in your style. Create extra styles for different indents, or if centralising text, or for chapter headings. Re-insert page breaks and any bold/italicised words or phrases. Look at it again, lose the plot and then upload via kdp.
No, really it is. It’s just tedious. And requires an extra stock of chocolate/caffeine/gin. I’ve given you an overview, not a step-by-step guide, but it gives you an idea of what needs to be done. It is important to sit on your chair in front of the computer and just keep going. Be methodical. Be thorough. Be prepared to upload it, see it looking seew and strange, and go through the procedure to double-check once more.
That has been this week’s joy.
And yes, I am only part way through, so it could all go horridly wrong.
But I’m optimistic! Anticipate the ebook of Beware the Falling Avocados being ready on 18 June 2016. This is the date of my official book launch, when I shall be signing books in the pub (where else?) I can’t sign ebooks (well, I could scratch my name across your kindle, but I suspect you wouldn’t like that much…) and they’ll be available to download that weekend.
Assuming I have enough chocolate, gin and T/tea to sustain me that long…
Sometimes I don’t engage all the bits of my brain in quite the right order.
Take this week. I went to the pub to organise my book launch. The lovely lady in charge remembered me from when I called in a couple of weeks ago, when her manager was on holiday. It turns out that the manager gets two holidays in May, as she was away again.
Nevertheless, I tentatively booked a date (awaiting confirmation).
Then I walked home.
Then I thought: So, if it takes 31 days for books to be delivered then I need to order them…
Thankfully I was still in positive territory, but the last couple of days have been a bit manic!
So there is a book, and it is all but ready to print, and I have a launch date pencilled in (I’ll
confirm it with you shout it from the rooftops when the holidaying manager returns), and that just leaves me…
- Available for book/blog tours
- Open to invites to talks
- Avocado recipes to experiment with
And – of course – the eBook to complete. (I have my secret chocolate supply stacked up and ready to go. That and a stack of gin and tonic…)
It is exciting.
(Sorry I don’t know who to attribute this to, but it made me smile!)