It’s Saturday morning in Lost Wages, and I’m cautiously optimistic about the wide release of House Party 2 on SmashWords et al. HP2 was previously released on Amazon. So the expansion to SmashWords is pretty straightforward, but there have been a couple of potholes in the road.
Now that I’ve switched to Scrivener on my PCs and Macs, the process of assembling a final copy to submit to the designated publisher is several steps easier. For me, the benefit of Scrivener is that, for the first time, I can create a file for multiple publishers in one project.
A typical book consists of the following parts:
Front Matter: The cover, title page, copyright notice, and table of contents.
Body: The actual story itself.
Back Matter: Ads, links to the author’s website, other award-winning stories, and about the author.
With Scrivener, a story or project is broken up into the three subparts described above. The neat thing comes in when you assemble or compile your final output to submit to Amazon, SmashWords, or whomever.
The body or actual story is the same, but by selecting the appropriate front and back matter, Scrivener compiles the three parts into the final submittal document with the appropriate links and verbiage for the publishing house.
All of the story files are inside of an automatically created folder. This means that you don’t have to try and remember which parts go where and all related files are grouped together. If you’re anal like me, it’s easy to zip the folder and create archival copies of the story.
The part I haven’t fully automated is the generation of the Table of Contents (TOC) and the bookmarks and links. This was my downfall last weekend when I submitted HP2 for prerelease. I got a notice from SmashWords that my initial submittal was approved with no errors. To get your story through SmashWords meatgrinder in one try was unusual.
“Fat, dumb, and happy,” I was, or so I thought.
Midweek, I received an Aw Shit missive from SmashWords that all the links in the TOC didn’t work! Pulling up the downloaded ePub file generated by SmashWords, I could see that the last three links didn’t show as active.
Checking the submittal file indicated that the links were there and worked? The file passed ePubCheck with no problems but was somehow corrupted during publication. It took like five or six tries to get the links to work. I didn’t change anything but kept reapplying the bookmarks and links until it worked!
As best I could tell, I didn’t change anything? But, never look a gift horse in the mouth.
My transition to HP file servers is still ongoing. I’m pretty much on the new computers but still, have the old ones under my desk. I’ll occasionally run across something that I have to fire up one of the computers, but everything is looking good so far.
My next book, The Perfect Wife, is nearing completion and will allow me the opportunity to see if 128 gigabytes of RAM solve the problem I was experiencing with my old 32 Gb machine. This is my current cover as I decided to ditch the old one out of fear that Amazon’s nuns with rulers would pay me a visit.