Thought I’d write a quick update about Floating In Space. I’ve been a bit slow in producing the paperback version but a few weeks ago I thought I’d finally sorted it out. I’d got a good PDF file so all I needed to do was upload that to createspace.com, order a proof copy and the book should be ready in a few weeks if not sooner! The thing is, that’s not how it actually worked out.
Writing a book is a pretty big thing but I’m not sure I’d say it was a hard or even a difficult task. Of course, when it’s something you like doing, something that gives you pleasure, hard or difficult hardly comes into it, but editing and proofreading, that’s a different matter.
Spelling mistakes are an issue though most of them can be caught by spellchecker but even then there are some things that slip through. Sometimes spellchecker will okay a word even though it’s wrong, like a correct word but used in the wrong context for instance. And grammar, well there’s a sticky subject that I find really hard work, I thought I knew about grammar until I came to edit my book. No wonder people make a living by proof reading, it’s difficult and involves going over stuff you have written time and time again. I’ve been through my book so many times I’ve developed a sort of word blindness, I seem to be skimming over things and reading from memory rather than the printed word. I think I’ve got the definitive version, order a proof copy then spot a mistake in print that I couldn’t see in the word or PDF version! In my latest version I thought the font was too big so I resized it, tidied up the chapter headings and some other things I’d spotted, sorted out the PDF file and thought; great, finally sorted it. When I looked through the book on line I noticed various big gaps in the text and on further examination there were various section breaks in the word version that required eliminating! Anyway, I think I’m nearly there!
The Kindle version has been updated with spelling mistakes amended, duplicated words removed, and a small index added to help you understand 1970s England! It’s also got a much nicer cover than the print version, even though it was created using the same cover photo. What’s really odd is that the Kindle worked better with a word file rather than a PDF, while the print version works better with the PDF.
Any of you self published authors had silimar issues? let me know. I’ll feel much better if I know I’m not the only one!
Maybe you can let me in on the secret most people seem to know but I don’t. I read the KDP terms of service and they are spitefully, brutally oppressive to writers. Writers get almost nothing of value back from Amazon in exchange for essentially giving up their firstborn child for ritual sacrifice. The CreateSpace (owned by Amazon) terms of service are not much better. Yet there is some kind of blind devotion among self-published writers to the Amazon monstrosity and monster that abuses them like a battering husband. What’s going on? I can’t figure it out.
I can’t honestly say I’m devoted to Amazon. In some ways I think I took the easy way out as I’d only had three rejections for my book from mainstream publishers. When I look at my manuscript now, and the state it was in when I was sending it out to publishers the difference is like night and day. Now I have a pretty professional manuscript and that is all because of trying to get it right on createspace. I’m actually tempted to hold on Amazon and start sending it out to proper publishers again. Perhaps I’ve gone for the easy option too soon!
The option I’ve been exploring is making my fiction available on my own website. That way, I can do one of three things: (1) offer my work for sale; or (2) make it available on a pay-what-you-can basis, which could mean free of charge; (3) make my work available free of charge under an open source licence but have a donation or contribution option for people who wish to slip me a few bucks. Alas, all of those options would require investment in webhosting, web design and promotion. My big problem is that I have very little visual skill and aptitude, so I’d be useless at designing the website. If you do have visual skills and a few bucks, having your own website for your work is another option. And if you wanted to offer print books, you could come to an arrangement directly with a printer instead of contending with either the predators at CreateSpace or the snooty snobs at the major publishing houses.
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That would be the perfect solution. My own print copies and available to buy through my own site.All monies going to directly to me, the only overheads being post and packaging and the printing of the books!