Sunday, 6 January 2019

#formatting is slow but #Janus looks forward #historicalfiction @nansjar

A Very Happy New Year to one and all - albeit a bit belated. May 2019 be all you wish it to be! 

**I've been out blogging at Mary Anne Yarde's on Friday 4th Jan 2019 - catch that post HERE **

There was a time, not so long ago, when my new writing was a making very slow progress but this blog was very busy. Almost  the opposite has been true for weeks. 

Since the middle of November 2018, regular readers of this blog will have noticed that it went to rest for a while. My writing needs were prioritised to eventually get Agricola's Bane Book 4, of my Celtic Fervour Series published in ebook and paperback. As well as doing various promotions for Agricola's Bane, after its official paperback launch on the 22nd Nov., I had to devote much of my writing time to re-doing versions of all 3 of my mystery novels which came out-of-contract time with Crooked Cat Books in November.

I considered looking around for another independent publisher for them, but decided to self- publish the new versions with Ocelot Press, the co-operative of authors that I'm a member of, and set myself a goal to have at least the ebook versions back available on Amazon by the end of 2018. 

When re-publishing it's necessary to make some changes to the manuscript of the story, even though 2 out of 3 mysteries had gone through 2 professional edits already. Having resurrected manuscript versions for the last rounds of edits in 2014 for all 3 of the novels making subtle changes during re-edits wasn't too difficult, though that still entailed thorough re-reads of all 3 stories.( I'm so glad I regularly store all my files) The main problem was that back during the original writing, I had no concept of what bad formatting was when using Microsoft Word, and what is good practice. Since self- publishing my historical novels, I've learned a LOT about formatting. 

The re-editing and re-formatting is a slow and repetitive process - something normally undertaken by the publisher that the author can be blithely unaware of. As such, an author doing their own formatting as part of the self-publishing process is a huge time suck if the manuscript has lots of extra spaces etc! It's worth mentioning that ebook formatting can be different from what is needed to publish a paperback, so they are not directly interchangeable. I've chosen to use Times New Roman 11 point for my paperback formatting, but I like it better at Times New Roman 12 point for ebooks. 

I'm hoping that when I eventually take the plunge and make my paperback novels available via other places, like Ingram Spark, I'll not have to make too many formatting changes...but time will tell on that one!

And so began days of pre-Christmas preparations - some of those when my grandchildren needed more minding because they were sick and off school/nursery school. Those December days were also peppered with the last of my Book Fairs and Craft Fairs for the year. When not buying and wrapping  up gifts for Christmas; or planning and cooking meals for entertaining the family during late December, any free time was spent on polishing up those manuscripts.

  • On the 11th December 2018, I pressed the publish button on Amazon for the ebook version of Topaz Eyes. 
  • On the 22nd Dec, it was the turn of Monogamy Twist.
  • And I worked extremely hard during the last days of December to re-do and reformat the ebook version of Take Me Now, pressing that publish button at 10p.m. on Hogmanay, 31st December 2018. 
I'd been so determined to have my Ocelot Press ebooks available again in December 2018 and I just made it! 

I'm so very glad that I arranged with Crooked Cat Books to retain the use of their current cover designs at the time of the contract running out, because I really like them and they've not been in place for all that long. That meant the front cover for the ebook versions needed no changes. 

It's now 6th January 2019, and so far I have the new Ocelot paperback version of the Take Me Now manuscript completed (wraparound covers to be dealt with soon) and about half of my Monogamy Twist paperback manuscript is re-formatted. My aim is to have all 3 paperback versions published on Amazon as soon as possible, within days even, but normal service resumes on Monday 7th January. I restart my grandchild-minding duties this coming week, which will entail being available for them Tuesday through Friday, so I need to read less of the rivetting UK politics and get on with my formatting! 

I can't finish this post without also saying that the political scene in Scotland is also earning a lot of my daily time since it's an incredibly important and volatile situation in the UK just now. I make no bones about wanting Independence for Scotland, I have since 1976, and I eagerly await what is about to transpire in 2019. 

I've been out-and- about to other blogs recently and have still been maintaining a bit of publicity on Facebook and Twitter of late. I'm also desperate to learn how to use my Christmas present from my hubby which is the latest 2018 version of PaintShop pro! 

No sleep for me! Till next time...


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