I have been a super busy little bee this past two weeks! So busy that I have been remiss in updating my readers and this blog. Oh my! Let me sum up as best I can, in regards to where I am with the release of Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future.
The manuscript is with my editor, the return-to-me date planned for July 31. I have heard nothing from the fabulous Gretchen Stelter to indicate this deadline will not be met, so anticipate having the final edits in my hands very soon. Yeah!
Obviously, nothing can be completed on my end until I have the perfected manuscript in my hands. However, there is a TON of prep work and I have been far from idle these past three weeks, trust me! In fact, writing the novel is the easy part, comparatively speaking. Let me just say that while I love being an independently published novelist, there are great advantages to having a publishing house to do the gritty, time-consuming tasks necessary before a novel can be released to the public.
My first task was to create the full cover for the print version. But, I could not finalize that digital image until I knew the precise page count of the novel, which meant I had to prepare the document first. Whew! May sound easy, but formatting a novel for print is a tricky business. Using the unedited manuscript, I was able to figure this out, as least close enough to use my skills on Gimp to create a full cover spread with the spine in the exact dimensions required by CreateSpace (the print-on-demand arm of Amazon). The page count is 350, by the way.
In case the post on this accomplishment was missed, here again is the final front and back cover–
This lead me to the second BIG task: Formatting a manuscript for print and digital. As I was reminded from my past endeavor, this is a major pain in the tushy! Without overwhelming y’all with truly boring, annoying details, in a nutshell, one has to prepare files for each of the marketplaces (CreateSpace print, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iBooks) and each of them require completely different formatting! It is insanity! After spending three days from literally sunup to well past sundown on this, I wanted to cry. Actually, I did cry. Then, I reached out for help to several of my Austen Authors pals.
In the end, after two more looonnngggg days, I found a fabulous solution: a program called Vellum. With this software, I can do in a handful of hours what I was unable to accomplish in three days! The screenshot below is my iMac desktop (Recognize that fella?) with the program open. As I input the data, I can instantly see how it will look on the various digital devices, a Kindle Fire in this instance. SO much easier! And, the final product will look way better than what I could manage on Word alone. In fact, so much better that I will be updating the digital versions of Darcy and Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship using Vellum, after I am done with the second book, that is.
In between, I have been entering the necessary information at the various marketplaces. That alone takes some time, although it is more repetitious than anything. Bottom line to this is to get as much done as possible now so that the final uploading and publishing process will be smoother. Alas, an author can only go so far with an unedited manuscript, which brings me to the main point of this blog: PRE-ORDERS.
Readers LOVE to be able to pre-order an anticipated novel! I know I sure do! Unfortunately, it isn’t a simple thing from an author’s perspective. Another “advantage” to being published traditionally is that publishing houses can arrange for pre-orders months in advance. Of course, this is only an “advantage” because it takes them over a year to release a book once the author finishes writing it! Not really an advantage. I finished writing my novel on July 10, and will have it released by August 8 (possibly sooner). Thus, my readers are luckier all the way around, even if the pre-order period is short or non-existent.
In fact, Kindle is the only outlet that allows pre-orders! Even at that, an author has to be very careful to meet the strict guidelines for dating and final submission, AND has to submit the content first! Which means, as I did, submitting the unedited content in order to create the pre-order! Don’t worry, dear readers, I will update the content with the wonderfully edited version from Gretchen, which I will then perfect on Vellum, before the release date!
Since I wanted to provide a desired pre-order for some readers,
I now have Darcy and Elizabeth: Hope of the Future up on Amazon!
Click the image below, or THIS LINK HERE.