Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Delays and Love Letters

So my next post was supposed to be about my cover's evolution, right? It's written but I feel like I've been a bit cover obsessed so am saving the topic.

Based upon the title above, it's obvious that the novel is not live. As with anything truly DIY, I have hit some delays. The novel was supposed to be available to all by now. I've pulled some long hours and late nights, but have not released it, yet. Is this fear? No. No, I'm totally ready to let this thing live on others' e-readers. Damn it, move out of my house already! Mom needs a life, too! 


Expect a future post with me sobbing that my baby is out in the big, bad world and I'm lost without her. But I digress.

The fact is, the delay is an opportunity. I have my full .mobi file on my kindle (more on this in a moment) and am able to see all the formatting which means lots of tweaking. Plus, reading it on the device, I actually found three silly errors. Really minor issues that my eyes, and the eyes of two editors, apparently, glazed right over.

I'm not fearful that the novel is chocked full of these things. I suspect that the three small items (a "b" instead of an "n" and an extra comma, for example) came from some edits I made based upon notes to tighten the first three chapters. Lesson learned: IF YOU MAKE ANY EDITS, STEP AWAY, AND THEN RETURN TO FIND STUPIDITY. 

Lessons-smessons. The bigger discovery is that I can read my novel on my Kindle. Exactly as it will appear on a reader's. Before I release it! So why not gleen the text one last time in a format that is visually new to me? How is this not an opportunity? Delays aren't always bad.

Which brings us to love letters.


Thank you.

Now that I'm at this critical juncture, I finally read the manual regarding the Scrivener compile feature. Yes, I've used it hundreds of times but always in draft mode to document or pdf. The formatting is different. The mindset is different. And now I know what certain settings actually do.

Plus, I can export a fully formatted .mobi file. AND .epub.  And HTML. 

I knew this before but only as a fact. I had not attempted this feat until now.

Can I do everything that a professional can? Nope. I don't know how to do a few really special things. But I can do a Table of Contents with one click. I can format the first page of each chapter--including make the first word (or words) all caps. I can remove the indent from the first paragraph of a new chapter. I can create my scene separators in one place to replicate properly through out.

The cover import was stupidly easy. I have my front matter and all the extra pages in place and can tweak/edit them individually. (BTW, I used the Konrath organizational method and will explain this in another post.)

Okay, so someone out there is saying, so? Well, let me tell you, from what I've read, not having to deal with Word into KDP or Pudit or every other method has made this final stage a little less insane. Maybe it seemed like a bigger mess than it really is, but formatting was a joy with Scrivener. This was a step on my TO DO list that could have been much harder considering I had never done it before.

So, I missed my personal deadline but I'll make the deadline month. And having survived this portion of the journey, the truly unknown and can't-appreciate-it-until-you've-done-it section, I can honestly say that it's true, you have to just plug on. There are great author posts, software, and professionals to help you along the way. Don't let it hold you back!