One of the things indie authors who are of limited means have to do is formatting. Not just for ebook editions, but print as well.
For those of you unfamiliar with what that entails, formatting is setting up the manuscript so that all the margins (spaces between the text and the edge of the page) match, all your paragraphs are properly aligned (so that they're even with each other on opposite pages), and all your fonts (the style of the test) match. Formatting an ebook edition is a little different from formatting a print edition in a number of ways, such as hyperlinks -- you can add them to an ebook edition but not a print one, for obvious reasons. Thus, if you prepare your ebook first, you must remember to remove the hyperlinks to say, the purchase page for other books you have for sale, or your fan page on Facebook, before copying and pasting to the print template -- otherwise the printer will think you want that text underlined and colored (Microsoft Word underlines hyperlinks and colors them blue).
I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon working on formatting Holiday Heat. I set up the Kindle edition, then started working on a print edition. The later gave me tons of trouble when it came to the headers (the top of a page where the author's name and the book's title are) and page numbers (can be in the top, outside, or bottom margin/footer; I put mine in the center of the footer). I must have made three or four attempts on that before finally realizing that it just wasn't working for some reason. I am still not quite sure what the heck I was doing wrong with CreateSpace's template, but I could not get the header or footer right.
Frustrated with my lack of success and frankly tired of doing the work over and over again, I found myself about to give up on the idea of a print edition of Holiday Heat entirely. It is, after all, only about 110 pages overall, and the more I think about it, hardly worth the effort of making a print book (unless the printer you use offers pocket trade, usually 4x6, as a trim size). But then I had an epiphany that split into two ideas...
One: The book I am releasing on 12/13/14 this year is Volume 1, and next year about the same time I plan to release a second holiday collection -- Volume 2 -- featuring the guys and gals from the Firehouse 343 world. The first idea is that a few months after the ebook release of Volume 2, to put both 1 and 2 together in an omnibus edition. This would make a print edition more practical as it would (likely) be around 200 or more pages.
Two: While waiting until the time an omnibus of six holiday tales is likely to come about (probably sometime around spring or summer of 2016), I could print up -- on my own printer here at home -- some "galley" copies of each volume. I'd bind them in a presentation folder (the kind with a clear cover so that a picture of the book cover would be visible) and sign them for anyone who buys a copy -- or wins one in any contests I participate in (they'd make great prizes!).
So... That's where Holiday Heat stands right now. Just a few more steps before it's release on the once-in-a-century date of 12/13/14!
In other news, I started writing what I thought was going to be an erotic short story. As the writing continued -- much thanks to my Muse for cooperating lately! -- it became clear pretty quickly that it would become much more than that. The two characters -- Eric and Whitney -- began to grow in my mind, their story became richer and more engrossing than a mere short story. It will at least be a novella. But as the two are college seniors, I quickly realized this could be my first New Adult book, and suddenly it didn't at all fit with the erotic theme I'd started with. After talking to some author friends, I decided that I was going to remove the very erotic beginning and turn that into it's own short story. All I had to do was change the characters' names and a few other details. Eric and Whitney's story is already one of romance, growth, change, and so much more. I can hardly wait to share it with you all!
The question then became -- what to do with the erotic short? Post it on the Diary as a freebie? Hold onto it and write more such short tales, then package them up in a collection? Do both? I'm thinking I may well do both. So keep your eyes peeled for something slinky and sexy to be posted in the next few days!
Thanks for stopping by, and don't forget to come back!