Is an indie author’s work ever done? #IndiePublishing #writing

Bit of a silly question, really. Even discounting the continual marketing, we all know the answer.

Of course not!

And I’ve just had it rammed home, yet again šŸ˜¦

It’s now 16 months since I published THE PRINCE’S MAN, and it’s all gone smoothly. More than 60 reviews, 44 of those 5* šŸ˜€

PM-EBOOK_FLAT (2)

And not a mention of a single editing error.

Wonderful, you might say. Job done, you might think. But wait, what’s this? Someone has just pointed out that the book is left justified, not fully justified, and she’s another author whoĀ wantedĀ to let me knowĀ because she had a 1* review of one of her books as a result of that single criticism.

Utterly mystified, I checked my own copy on my laptop, on my kindle fire, and the paperback. All fully justified.

What reader was she using? A computer app, just as I do on my laptop.

So why is her version not fully justified?

Next thought – check the ‘look inside’ facility on Amazon – yikes! And there it is – left justified.

So I’ve just spentĀ 3 hours fully justifying the original document, re-formatting, checking every pageĀ and then re-uploading to all the outlets.

Have to say, I also spent a while standardising the number of asterisksĀ I usedĀ in pageĀ breaksĀ after noticing how alarmingly random they were!

So am I finished with this book now? I hope so, but who knows…

DespriteMeasures

And now I have to find time to do the same to DESPRITE MEASURES. At least I’llĀ  not make this mistake again with the next one.

Ā Post Script

I actually did all this (and wrote this post) last weekend, but then after the corrected file went live, I re-checked the ‘look inside’ feature, and it was still left justified.

I thought about putting out a general plea for help, and then decided the easiest course of action would be to ask KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) directly. Their help desk is truly wonderful, and within a few hours I had an email back, asking for a few items (screenshot of the ‘look inside’ feature, and the original document used to create the mobi file). I couldn’t get to my desk until the following day (work does so get in the way, doesn’t it?) at which timeĀ I set about taking the screenshot of the offending ‘look inside’ file.

Lo and behold, now it was fully justified. Success!

So I duly emailed the help desk back to say thank you very much, but no further help needed, and received in return a little note to say how they liked to hear from their publishers, and for my future information, the ‘look inside’ feature can take up to 7 days to update.

Boy, I wish I’d known that one sooner, but hey, it’s all done and dusted now, and as I’ve already said – it won’t happen again.

I hope.

Other writing news

I’m nearing the climax of THE PRINCE’S SON (The Five Kingdoms #2), and once more, a minor character has shouldered her way to the forefront and demanded a bigger role. Sigh.

Amazing how one little comment from a member of my Writer’s Group can cause such mayhem (well, that is my blogĀ title, isn’t it?). In a recent interview I answered theĀ interesting question: what would you do differently if you were to start your writing career over?Ā Ā My answer was, that I wouldn’t ever again name characters starting with the same letter. My deities are named Chel and Charin, and then there is a secondary character called Chayla. My Group member said she had trouble keeping the three of them separate in her head, despite being a huge fan of the books.

Guess who my latest star character is? Chayla, naturally. And that comment was whatĀ got me thinking. As it turns out, Chayla is named for the gods, hence the similarity. And that revelation puts her right in the thick of the action…

Now I have to spend time fleshing out her backstory file, andĀ as of this week the part she will play in the grand finale of the series has revealed itself to me. I just have to write all the stuff in between…

How about you? Any little publishing stories like mine? Or golden nuggets of info to help keep the stress levels down?

Do share.

 

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8 comments

  1. There’s so much to do! I’m currently in the small final edits and marketing.

    You’ve gotten quite a bit of reviews, which I hear can be hard for indie authors. Got any advice on promotional strategy?

    1. You’ve said it! And you have plenty more to look forward to – it’s an adventure šŸ˜‰
      My best advice on reviews would be to Google search ‘(insert your genre) review blogs’. Start following any that seem busy, comment on some things and then when you are ready, ask if they will review your book. Proper review blogs will have a dedicated page setting out their criteria and application process. Keep searching and checking, as the most popular will often be closed to submissions due to overload.
      If you send out one request a day, you will eventually get a few to take you. Reviews from this type of blog are a bonus, as not only do you get Amazon/Goodreads reviews, they will also post it on their own blog so all their readers can see.
      Just ensure that you have the best possible product before you do this – review blogs will be brutally honest, and they won’t guarantee to give you a high rating.
      There are several other routes to gaining reviews, and thank you for the prompt – I’m going to go write a series of posts on just that subject right now šŸ˜€

      1. Anthony Wade · ·

        Very helpful. Thanks! I’ll be checking out the post then šŸ™‚

  2. Hi Deb. Great post as usual! Yes, Amazon’s changes can take days to show up šŸ˜¦ And now you have me curious. I must go check out the ‘look inside’ justification. Whodu thunk? BTW, I had read somewhere long ago about naming characters with same initials can become confusing. I was grateful for that info instilled in me because I caught myself doing it in a few short stories I wrote, not to mention my brother’s both names start with the same initials, lol. It can get quite confusing! šŸ™‚

    1. I realise that some Amazon changes can take days, I’d just assumed that the ‘look inside’ feature showed the first chapters of the mobi file for the whole book, and to my simple mind that meant that if the updated book had gone live, then that’s where the feature would be drawing its text from.
      Wrong! šŸ˜¦
      As to character names, I’m sure I knew that long ago too, but even now I find myself using favourite letters and combinations of syllables in first drafts, and then going back to change them – thank goodness for ‘search and replace’!

      1. No kidding, lol. BTW, are you using Scrivener now to write your books. There’s a great promo on for half price today through http://www.sumoapp.com šŸ™‚

      2. As ever, discounts on Scrivener never seem to be available to UK purchasers šŸ˜¦
        I’m still using the free trial, just to assemble the chapters once I’ve written them in Word. I may yet convert to Scrivener, but the jury is still out…

      3. Deb. I’m going to email you the link to the promo. It’s US funds but I’m not American either. I paid with paypal and it converts. Let me know if it works!

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