Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Second Time Around Took Longer Than the First....

That's how it was starting to feel, anyway.


Getting The Unicorn's Daughter ready to debut as an ebook looked pretty easy...at first. All I had to do was scan the pages and give them to Collin, who would then use Omnipage to peel the text from the scans and convert them to a Word document. Then the Word document would be converted to HTML for the ebook edition.




  
Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?


Not simple at all, we quickly discovered. Late Thursday night, Collin uploaded the HTML file--after carefully checking the file on the KDP viewer. We were told it would go "live" within twelve hours, but it didn't take that long. I got an email from my surrogate sister Beth early Friday morning. It was up and running. I immediately went to KDP Select to set up the free book promotion.


I should have checked out the free sample first.


After setting up the three-day free book promo, I went back to the book's product page and clicked on "Look Inside." I thought I might be on the verge of a stroke!  Somehow, the text we had so carefully prepared had been replaced--with the scanned JPEG pages from the original edition! 


Converting those JPEGs to a Word document had not been easy. It might have been easier to retype the book. It was originally written on an electric typewriter; there was no disk to work with, not even the original manuscript, since once it was edited, it looked like fourteen miles of bad road. No...there was only the printed book. And it was full of errors that existed in spite of the best efforts of my editor, copyeditor and myself. 


This is why I find the criticism aimed at errors in self-published books so funny. As if conventional publishers never get anything wrong. The ebook will have fewer errors than the original. There are things we couldn't change--like gaps between chapters and spacing inconsistencies that resulted from the typesetting on the original (to fit the text  to the pages, it was sometimes necessary). I have no doubt some nitpickers will point that out in their reviews. If that's the only criticism they have, so be it. 


I thought I might have to cancel the promo, but Collin--with some assistance from Mike--corrected the problem almost immediately. To unwind, Collin and I headed for the cineplex...to see The Avengers again!


The free ebook promotion is now rescheduled for Sunday through Tuesday. Now to deal with the paperback reissue....


5/27/12: So far, it seems to be worth the effort. The free book promo is getting off to a good start....



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24 comments:

  1. It was a long time coming, and I know in the last couple of days you had your share of "acckk!" moments. It's good that it's out there now in your new format, and with such a striking cover too. Take a bow, Norma! You've done good!

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  2. Collin did a great job on that cover, didn't he?

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  3. Getting the formatting in place for an ebook can be such a painful experience! I'm certain there is evil magic at work at times, or someone somewhere has a really mean sense of humor. Sounds like you've got a great team working with you, though! Love your cover, too -- Very compelling!

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    1. And we get the criticism from reviewers who think a book's no good if it doesn't look the same as the conventional publishers' ebooks. So narrow-minded....

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  4. The cover is very mysterious and intriguing! I'm sure your readers will love it as I did.

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  5. I love the cover, much better than what your publisher put out the first time. Besides being very striking it seems to make more sense.
    Great Job !

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. When the book was originally published back in 1990, I felt like a fool every time someone asked, "What does the title mean?" I didn't have a clue. Finally, I started responding with, "It means my publisher's marketing people wanted to rip off Sidney Sheldon titles and this was the best they could do."

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  6. Oh wow!! Congratulations!!! I'm yet to be converted to all things e but having been round lots of bloggers e-publishing away, I am in super duper AWE at all the preparation and technical savviness behind it all! So yay for you!! Take care
    x

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  7. I'm anything but tech savvy, Old Kitty--but I'm fortunate to be surrounded by people who are!

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  8. Congrats, Norma!! I plan to download this, and you know what, errors happen. I agree. Even trad pubbed books are not free of them. And formatting to me isn't a huge deal as long as it's a good story! :)

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    1. Thanks, PK!

      Amazon needs to make the process easier. Not everyone has the tech capabilities conventional publishers have. But it's up now and in the first few hours has 145 downloads in the US alone. It's also showing activity in Europe.

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  9. Editing is hard enough, but formatting, too! Collin and you did have a hard job. You are very correct about even the big publishers having mistakes in their texts. I found recently a government pamphlet with misspelled words. Sometimes they even have grammar mistakes! I'm glad things have been fixed, and I look forward to reading your novel. Good luck! Take care!

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    1. Thanks, Lena! So far, so good. Here are its current Amazon rankings:
      Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #266 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
      #4 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Spy Stories & Tales of Intrigue
      #9 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Suspense

      And it's being featured today at New Book Blogger:
      http://newbookblogger.blogspot.com/2012/05/unicorns-daughter-by-norma-beishir.html

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  10. Bless you for even attempting to subdue the formatting monster. I wouldn't know where to begin. Happy all got fixed!

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    1. Got fixed and doing very well! Thanks!

      Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
      #3 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Spy Stories & Tales of Intrigue
      #5 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Fiction > Genre Fiction > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Suspense

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  11. I just got my free copy! Congratulations--all that trouble was worth it!! Looks like it's doing great:)!

    BTW, hope you enjoy the recipe I shared! After you mentioned missing my recipe posts, I decided to add them again--they usually get a lot of hits! I guess everybody likes quick/easy meals;).

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  12. I did indeed enjoy the recipe! I'm so glad you're including them again!

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  13. Found the cord -- am charging my Kindle for your book. Congrats on the stats! Great job! (But will buy the book as the piggy bank rattles a bit.) BTW, you could've knocked me over with a feather when Sojourner Truth popped up.

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    1. Thank you, Kittie!

      The promo's now over and the book is still selling very well.

      That must have been a surprise!

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  14. Formatting can be such a pain, I know! Congrats on getting the book ready to go, and on your free promo success. I love the cover!

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    1. Thanks, Talli!

      The promo ended early this morning, so I checked the sales stats. 14 copies right off--and it's been climbing all day.

      My son designed the cover. I love it, too!

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  15. I am so glad the resolution came swiftly! You have done a phenomenal job and I am so glad to see this up and in print again! I look forward to the read.

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