A pat on the back for me

A pat on the back for me

I’m patting myself on the back this week, and CreateSpace is my new best friend. When I first first blogged about CreateSpace (Setting my manuscript free) just ten short months ago, visiting their website felt like arriving on an alien planet. The language was new and foreign, the terminology beyond confusing. Mercy, have I learnt a lot since then.  You know how London cabbies get an over-developed hippocampus from learning ‘The Knowledge’, well I think I’m developing one of my own. It might throb and give me a headache when I use it, but the great thing is that even a fusty, middle aged brain can rise to a new problem when you push it. So now I love CreateSpace. We’re communicating, and everyone knows the importance of that. It’s all a lot easier when you’ve learnt the language.

A Bed of Barley Straw, Edition 2 is about to hit the shelves (don’t get that confused with the sequel which won’t be released until early next year) This is an updated version of the original book, with a gorgeous new cover, courtesy of Jane (my other new best friend) at JD Smith Design

Draymere Hall Volume I

Edition two has been reformatted into a slightly smaller book by me, myself and I (hence the perpetually throbbing hippocampus). Published via CreateSpace with their easy to follow (this time around) step-by-step guide to publishing your novel, and their brilliant interior reviewer which shows you what the inside of your book will look like. I have fallen out with Microsoft Word a few times during the process. It’s a devil for deciding it knows better than I do and rearranging the entire manuscript because I added a full stop. But we got there, apart from this…

Screenshot_2015-11-06-20-58-49 (2)

…can you spot the amazing vanishing page number? Try as I might I can’t seem to resolve it (hippocampus pulsing). Next book – Scrivener here I come (when the brain has recovered, I don’t want that hippocampus exploding).

And talking of messy, the sequel – A Bed of Brambles – is still with my editor, and boy has she got her work cut out. I tell a great story, but I’m raw and lack finesse so a bloody good edit is essential. I love my editor, despite and because of her honesty. Her words may smart, but she is the one who will turn my masterpiece into a work of art. Here’s a visual to demonstrate. This is where I work, where my creative juices run free (a chaotic scene which I wouldn’t usually chose to share with you)

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and here’s what I’d like you to see…

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The edited version, you get me?

The devil makes work for idle typists

The devil makes work for idle typists

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here before, but at the same time as I publish my sequel I’ll be re-publishing Barley Straw as a second edition.

There were a couple of things which led me to make that decision. The actual manuscript hasn’t been massively altered, some minor text changes and additional material that I either didn’t have or didn’t think to put in the first time around (author bio, chapter one of the sequel and a plug for the new book). Edition two will get a brand new cover which will sit nicely with the sequel (If you follow me on facebook or twitter you might have already seen my cover for the sequel A Bed of Brambles). The new cover for A Bed of Barley Straw in on my book page here…but it isn’t actually on the book yet and won’t be until I release edition two, so it shouldn’t be there. I was playing on WordPress and suddenly lo – there it was. Tech tinkering is a dangerous pastime for me. I ought to remove that cover (I don’t want to be accused of mis-selling, am I breaking any laws?) but in the meantime I’ve done even more tinkering, to build a book page with both of my books on it (ooh that sounds good) which is currently lounging in cyberspace on WordPress auto-save. I fear if I update anything I may launch the sequel by accident (and you may also notice that the heading on the page now reads my bookswith one poor friendless novel featured below it.)

Doing the second edition is a logistical nightmare. Four manuscripts to format and upload (2 x paperback, 2 x Kindle) along with their respective front matter/back matter and the right covers. I see the potential for cock-ups, and I promise I will embrace that potential. I’m fearful of losing sales and reviews on Barley during the change over, and right now I’ve got no idea when I should take edition one out of publication (I’ll ask my mates at ALLi, they’ll know the answer).

This week I’ve been reading Self-Printed: The Sane Person’s Guide to Self-Publishing by Catherine Ryan Howard. Great book. Everything you need to know about self-publishing in an entertaining package which flows as sweetly as a novel. My copy is riddled with turned down corners to redirect me to the legion of useful tips (sorry Catherine Ryan Howard, but I was reading it in bed and I’d run out of tissue bookmarks). A lot of delicious lures back into techno-tinkering, don’t read it if you’re fighting a habit. Lord knows what you’ll see on my website next week. You may have noticed that, on Catherine’s advice, my blog has a new, more enticing name – welcome to Rustic Romance. Does it tempt you in?

I won’t tell you how many colour theme changes I’ve made this week. I’ve updated my header image too (my idea, not Catherine’s). Carried away by autumnal romance…pic taken out of the window of the tractor this morning while I was grass cutting (it’s a long climb down for a shorty, that’s my excuse. You can pick the blackberries from the cab too!)

My editor needs to send that manuscript back, and fast, to bury me so deep in edits that I haven’t got time to be led astray with this tinkering lark.