Smashwords, Print on Demand, Goodreads, and a Wedding.

In the few weeks I have traveled nearly from one end of Canada to another. I took a flight out to BC to see my Brother, David and drove out to New Brunswick three weeks later to go to my cousin Andrew’s wedding. Both were quick trips, and I’m grateful for the help people gave me in getting around the country. What I saw of Canada from the cloud shrouded Rocky mountains to the rain drenched forests around Fredricton left me thirsting to see more of Canada, and beyond. We should all travel more.

I enjoyed seeing my Cousins, Michael and Andrew, again (it has been far too long) and meeting their wives Dan and Meghan as well as seeing my Uncle Daryl and his wife Alice. Again, it would have been better if I could spend a little more time visiting. We make due, though, and it was a great visit despite the brevity.

Before embarking on the trip to N.B. I put Bloodlust: A Gladiator’s Tale up as a print on demand paperback on Amazon and made it available as an eBook on Smashwords.

The Amazon operation went smoothly. Dan had already done most of the hard parts in sizing the cover and that sort of thing. We were actually ready to go about a month and a half ago, but I wanted to make sure the first commercial printing was as error free as possible. I received some last minute corrections from my Mom, my Grandmother, and several readers. Thanks to everyone who helped out with that!

Smashwords was tougher. The Smashwords meatgrinder is famed for being accessible and finicky at the same time. The basic process is very simple. Upload a DOC into the meatgrinder and Smashwords will convert it into various formats for you. Problem #1, I don’t use word. Microsoft is becoming less and less open, and I much prefer an open source word-processor that comes in one useful variety and does not try to rip me off or give me less functionality because I did not buy a deluxe version. So I converted the ODT (openoffice)  file to a DOC (MSword) and uploaded it. The meatgrinder did like it. I reformatted it and tried DOCx, the modern extension for word. The meatgrinder did not like it. I googled some of the errors I was getting and fixed them one by one. The meatgrinder kept rejecting me (shades of highschool, snap!). I had to remove all of the spacing between paragraphs manually. Man, that was painful. Finally I narrowed it down to a “copyright” error of some sort. Turns out I needed to put Smashwords edition on the title page… something I overlooked despite the fact that they made it painfully clear. I was rather stressed out by the time I finished, but I learned more about formatting and the Smashwords process. We shall see if it is worthwhile — Smashwords distributes eBooks to quite a few partners, including the apple bookstore and Kobo.

Someone added Bloodlust to Goodreads, and I claimed my book and made an author page. Goodreads is a social media site dedicated to reading. You can find reviews, discussions, lists, and recommendations galore there. Check it out.

Now I need a good self portrait for use with all these sites.

Oh and I kicked chapter 42’s ass, finally.

here is a taste

“Love is the strong recognizing the strong. All true beauty and all proper desire is a reflection of our love for own life. I would never have dared challenge Sadira until she attached herself to you.” from the chapter currently titled the Veteran’s Masquerade.


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