Saturday, March 31, 2012

eBook production update

The fantasy novella Where Magic Rules is done, and Shades of Empire is back from the copyeditor. I'm making final edits on the novel now.  Everything should be ready to go to 52 Novels, the conversion house, in about two weeks. I use them because they don't just convert the files, they impose a distinct design on the books, applying a style for scene breaks and chapter headings. If I just wanted to convert the text, I could use Calibre or Scrivener, but I don't know ebook formats well enough to be able to impose that style myself.

The one drawback to using a conversion house is that unless you know what you're doing, you can't edit the files easily once you get them back. Ergo, careful proofing before you submit the m.s. is essential. I use Calibre to convert my MS Word file so that I can proof on my Kindle, which I find very helpful. Them, when I get the files back from 52 Novels, I send the Kindle version to my Kindle and proof yet again to be sure that everything came through okay. This is especially important for things like blocks of indented text or places where you rely on italics to convey something other than ordinary narrative and dialog.  52 Novels will do minor corrections and certainly fix anything that didn't convert well, but you don't want to ask for substantive edits at this point because it would cost you.

This stage is exciting and tedious at the same time. Inserting commas and rewording awkward or unclear phrasing  is much less fun than writing. On the other hand, it means the book is near to being out there in the world, which is what every writer wants!
In some ways, it's a lot like those last few weeks of pregnancy. I'm about to have a bouncing baby ebook, and in this case it's twins!

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