|An illustration from Beneath the Lanterns (not used) From Chapter 15, Lanterna|
September has been a busy month for me. The first half was spent getting both the ebook and the paperback editions of Beneath the Lanterns ready for release. That included building the print version, which involved designing both a front and back cover, writing a back cover blurb, designing the art and blurb for inside the cover, title page and map page. Inside, the page size and margins had to be set up and the text converted to be justified right and left. I also changed it to a new type-face for print (Goudy Old Style), and putting in things like page numbers and page breaks between chapters that are not used in the ebook versions. And then one has to go through and make sure that things like my scene numbers within a chapter do not end up in the last line of a page – which would look silly. Finally, I had to decide what I wanted to do with the fact that the story ended within a line of the bottom of the page. I would have preferred it to end in the middle of a page so that the white space of the rest of the page would make it clear that the end had been reached. However, I could not find a satisfactory way of extending the chapter into the next page, so I left it as it fell. (And CreateSpace didn’t include one extra blank page, so the story runs right to the back cover. But then, I like to keep my endings open, as life continues on for my characters, even if we no long travel with them, so perhaps that is best. And, well, seeing that I might sell one or two copies at most, I’m not losing any sleep over it.
In the middle of the month, after seeing the print proof copy, I decided to re-do the cover for both the paperback and ebook version. I paint my own covers, and then, sometimes, add thin black outlines in the painting on the computer to give it sort of a wood cut look. In the first version, I overdid the black lines a little, and had to tone it back down. I’m still not crazy about the cover, but it is as good as that one is going to get.
I also uploaded new versions of Some Day Days, The Bright Black Sea, and The Lost Star’s Sea to fix some of the remaining typos. I think there still is a silly one in Some Day Days that I saw when doing the Google version. It has “ever” instead of “every” in the little blurb about reporting typo. I should fix that… tomorrow…
Some time ago I had applied to have my books in the Google Play bookstore, and two weeks ago I received an email invite from them to add my books to their store. I could upload either PDFs versions, and/or epub versions. I have, in the past, relied on Smashwords and Amazon to convert my word document into their ebook versions, and had not been impressed with how my own epub versions turned out using an old version of Calibre, so I was rather leery of uploading my own epubs. I had PDF versions from the paperback book, so I started with them. It took a few days for them to approve my account and a few days to master their system, but eventually I had the PDFs up. I then decided to tackle the epub versions. I first tried uploading the LibreOffice documents to Google Drive, opening them up in Google Docs, and then download them as epubs. I figured working within Google should produce acceptable epub versions. With those in hand, I then uploaded them to Google Play Books. The only problem was that it seems that The Bright Black Sea and The Lost Star's Sea were too large to open in Google Docs, so I could not convert them using Google Docs and ended up installing the latest version of Calibre and after doing a little research, I produced acceptable epub versions -- at least they passed Google's inspection. They are all live now, and we'll see what, if anything, business results from being on Google.
This past week I contacted the folks at Speculative Fiction Showcase ( http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/ ) about featuring my new book. They were kind enough to oblige and featured Beneath the Lanterns on 27 Sept 2018 on their website. I would like to thank them for including my book on their website. The site features new releases on most days, and on every Friday, an extensive list of links to the speculative fiction stories of the week. A great place to find new books and interesting reads.
I hope to start writing my 2019 novel in earnest in October. I have re-written the first page half a dozen times, as the story and time line shifts in this early phase, keep changing. However, with all the above distractions out of the way, I hope to start nailing the story down. I had challenged myself to write a mystery next, and this will be something of a mystery, though not of the a who-done-it type. I’m thinking something more along the lines of a Raymond Chandler type of story with pirates instead of gangsters. And after a couple of years, I think it is time to return to space – this time with starships! ...Assuming all goes well...