Monday, February 17, 2014

Physical Cover for Couillon

This is the physical cover, or very close facsimile to what I'll use when I run Couillon through CreateSpace.

The pink is the bleed/trim part, and I left it in this jpeg for you to see where the spine will be. Since it's only 46 pages, the spine will be too thin to add any text, even the title. So I pulled part of the back onto the front and added the "instruction".

If you can't read the back, it says at the bottom: "Couillon is a women's literary fiction novella which advises you to watch what you wish for because the scariest monsters in this world are human."

I included this because I want people to understand that this is not an urban fantasy. I had a woman (probably a young woman, I suspect not older than early twenties) post on GoodReads that she had read darker "recipie" books. But instead of throttling her, I did good. I didn't reply to her post. I didn't rationalize anything because in my opinion that's just bad form for an author. 

But if I had said something, I would have said that she must have a very good life if she doesn't realize that the real monsters in this world are not zombies or vampires, that they're human. I also would have suggested that before she gives a bad review for a book not being an urban fantasy, she pay attention to the genre it's listed under. And because I'm snarky most of the time, I would have recommended that she learn how to use a dictionary before she berates a good piece of writing. Finally, I would have said, Really? You read a book all the way through, a book that only costs .99 and then you returned it? Now that is bad form. 

Anyway, I didn't do any of that. And she'll never know unless she manages to break out of her "dark" fantasy world. But I doubt that will happen. And honestly, I hope her life is easy enough that she never realizes the truths portrayed in Couillon. As for returning a .99 book after reading it, I so hope karma catches up with her on that one.

Okay, enough ranting for one evening. Back to writing.

To quote Anna Nalick, "If I get it all down on paper, it's no longer inside of me, threatening the life it belongs to."

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Major Milestone - 10K Views

While I was watching a movie earlier this afternoon, the blog view count went from 9994 to 10004.  What a milestone!  In a little over two years, I've had 10,000 views.

Now you're probably thinking some blogs get that in a week, maybe even in a day. I say f'them. :-)

But seriously, I didn't expect it to be a well trafficked blog because it's about me and about writing and about the pains and pleasures of becoming an author. I'm not writing it just to get views. I'm writing it, mostly for me, as a diary of the process, one that I share with the whole world.... or anyone willing to read it.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

An Untold Want, the physical book

So the cover failed the first review because it wasn't sized correctly. I ended up pulling down a free tool [after paying for a month of Adobe PDF creator, which didn't do what I needed] called PrimoPDF. It's Norton approved, and suggested by one of the techs at CreateSpace.  And it's free.

So the cover passed the review the second time through, but because the DPI wasn't over 200, they're saying the cover will be blurry in spots. I submitted it for a physical proof anyway, because I need to read through again to check for typos. Yes, a friend pointed out several after I published on Amazon.

So I'm re-doing the cover again:
(1) to raise the DPI level
(2) to do a better job on matching the colors
(3) to re-do the barcode.

Why re-do the barcode you ask? Because if I use my own ISBN, CreateSpace won't distribute to libraries. I must use their ISBN for that capability, and I want that. Contrary to what you might think, libraries buy a lot of books, and if someone checks out my book from the library, they may buy one next time. Plus the CreateSpace ISBN is free. So other than re-doing the cover, it won't cost me anything.

So here are the three new building blocks. I'm posting them in several places, including FaceBook to see what the colors look like. Believe it or not, gimp (the Photoshop-esk tool I use) displays one color while MS Photo editor displays another, and so on. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Physical Version on An Untold Want is in the Works!

Tonight, after much work, I submitted An Untold Want for review by the CreateSpace reviews. 

I learned a lot of lessons along the way, but the most recent one is that if you want to distribute to libraries [and this is a very good idea], you must use a CreateSpace ISBN.  At this point, I'm not sure why I purchased ISBN numbers, because it seems that everyone is giving them away for free.  Who knew?  I didn't, at least not till now.

I learned that formatting physical books, especially the headers and footers, is not nearly as easy as you would think. In fact, it was a huge pain in the hiney.  I learned about margins and bleed space and trim sizes. That the spine [which makes sense once you think about it] is based on the number of pages.

I learned that covers have to be submitted in PDF format, which means I had to subscribe to Adobe PDF generator [for $9.99 a month], after I used gimp to create a cover [which was also a lot of work].

And that the royalties are way better on Kindle than on CreateSpace.  Their estimated manufacturing costs are way off.

So, you may be thinking, why do all this, especially considering my novel is published on Kindle. The reason I went down this path is to be able to submit An Untold Want to the Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Competition, which requires a physical copy.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that even though I love my Kindle, I really would like to have physical copies of my books to display on my bookshelves. It's one of those look what I did!! feelings.

Anyway, enough about how great I am.  I've included images here of what the cover and pages will look like.  BTW, the dashes around the text on the pages won't be there in print.  They're just there to indicate where the margins are.

Please let me know your thoughts/opinions on the formatting.  I may not change anything, but you never know. I'm still pondering whether the image with the text and crows should be more yellow.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Not My Week...

Wow, I totally got out voted this time in the Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction competition.  There were a lot of good stories submitted. 

[sarcasm alert]

Mine was the obviously the best story. So, apparently not everyone recognized how brilliant I am. 

Here's how it went:


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Another Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Entry

I guess I'm subconsciously doing everything in my power to not write about Beryl, from playing with CreateSpace to entering another Flash Fiction Contest at Indies Unlimited.

The prompt:

State Trooper Tom Dewitt pulled up on what he thought was a vehicle that had gotten stuck in the snow and abandoned by its occupants. The vehicle was no longer running and he couldn't see anyone inside.

He didn't want to stop, fearful that his own car might become stuck as well. He drove slowly by, and craned his neck to look into the other car.

The two occupants were slumped toward each other, and from the blood splattered on the headrests, Tom knew the serial killer they called the Snowman had returned. What Tom did not know was that the Snowman was still there...

My entry:

Tom enjoyed working with his partner Tommy. They seemed to share something, some deeper understanding he'd never had with other partners. Tommy, normally called Tom, went by Tommy on the job so it wouldn't be so hard for the other officers to differentiate between them.

But even having Tommy in the car with him didn't make what Tom was seeing any easier. Two bodies bathed in blood and frozen stiff, yet clasping each other as if seeking solace in their final moments, a sight gruesome enough to turn the most seasoned officer's stomach. The Snowman, that bastard, had claimed two more.

"You okay?" Tommy said.

"Just makes me queasy. They're the first ones I've had to report."

"You want me to—"

"No. I got it. Thanks."

Suppressing the urge to puke, Tom called it in. With the knee deep snow, they'd need a truck to haul the car to the station.

"What kind of person could do this, Tommy?"

"Dude, maybe it's an illness. Like maybe the guy's a schizophrenic or someth—"

"That's no excuse. There's a world of difference between being a psycho and being a monster."

"I'm just saying. He could be sick, inside. Yet... Yet, look totally normal, like us, on the outside—"

"Give it a rest, alright."

Tom turned the radio up, and the two waited in silence.

Forty-five intolerable minutes later, Jameson tapped on the window.

"Tom, you okay?"

Tom nodded.

"Man, it must have been creepy sitting here all by yourself."