I haven’t been blogging much lately because I have been formatting my book for epublishing. I swear every time I hear that phrase, I hear Darth Vader music. It is terrifying and horrible. I searched websites, message boards, I emailed poor unsuspecting bloggers, I tormented people to figure out how to do this. For those of you who don’t publish ebooks (which is probably everyone), you can’t just send in your Word file and be done with it. You have to format it in HTML language, which is the language programmers use for websites. That means every paragraph has to be wrapped in a start code at the beginning and a stop code at the end. Every different type of paragraph has to have a different code (title, byline, chapter head), and you have to tell the book-builder (I used Calibre, and the guy who offers that FREE is a saint) what each code means (indent, center, etc.). What’s worse, you have to have codes for open and close quotes, single quotes both directions, dashes, ellipses, boldface, italic, blah blah blah. If anyone sees a question mark in an inappropriate place, let me know! It means I missed a code.
But — it worked, and the book is out! I actually had a comment here from Lesley in the UK who read my book. All the way in the freaking UK! The screaming that occurred when I read her comment scared all of my cats from the room. Lesley is the first person who bought my book and didn’t have to be offered a Starbucks to do it (just joking — my SIL bought it without the Starbucks … but I’ll still get her one next time I head to St. Louis). Thank you Lesley!
It’s a strange thing, though, trying to find your own book on Nook or Kindle. I typed in “teen shapeshifter” and it didn’t pop up. I don’t know how people are supposed to find one little needle in that haystack, but Lesley did, so that’s awesome.
I’m working on editing some of my other books. I’ve actually written seven books, and some will never see the light of day (the series I wrote after seeing the second Lord of the Rings movie, which I actually like pretty well but can’t read off a corrupted disk — and is anyone doing elves anymore?), but others I love and want to get out there. For example, I have a book that has a unicorn in it. Publishers won’t touch it because unicorns are passe, but I don’t think everyone is so sick of unicorns that they won’t read a good book that happens to have a unicorn in it. (This was actually the book that got me thinking about what it would be like to be an animal and led to Shifters.) I was writing books for younger kids when my kids were younger, so I want to up the age level in those because young adult books are so constraining about language and content. (I had an editor turn Shifters down because of the amount of nudity in it; originally it was written for middle schoolers.) So young adult gives me more freedom, and self-publishing gives me lots more freedom.
Because at the end of the day, I don’t care about making a million dollars or being a best-seller. I just want someone to read my writing and tell me it made their day, gave them peace, entertained them for a while, gave them something to think about, whatever. If Lesley is the only person who ever reads Shifters, I’ll still be happy, because I reached that one person. Thanks again, Lesley!