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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Up and Running?

Finally got everything together. I think. Dustin Ashe at sent my fabulous cover, Hitch and her gremlins at formatted it into a decent book, and Amazon put it up for sale. That first sight of the book on Amazon was worth all the down times.

I've been lucky to find professionals to make my way easier. I thought about designing my own cover for about ten seconds--after all, I've been in the arts for most of my life and can muck around Photoshop. But there's a bit of talent and skill needed to make a good cover. For West of Western, we wanted a cover to introduce the series, a series about Chicago and architect Seraphy Pelligrini. My cover designer, Dustin, wanted the show Seraphy's relation to Chicago, and he did. I love the type font and the silhouette of Seraphy and the city behind. Bravo, dustin! 

And there's the formatting. No one makes you hire a formatter, and there are plenty of places to find instructions for the do-it-yourselfer, but that way lies the pits of Hell. A quick glance at some of the Kindle books will show what happens when someone like me tries it. Blank pages, quirky margins, strange symbols dropped apparently at random. I ran whining to Kimberly Hitchens at and cast my Word ms at her feet. In a few days, like magic, I got a proof copy back, shaken and stirred and actually tlooking like a book. Well, aside from the hundreds of glaring errors that hadn't been noticeable in the double-spaced manuscript. Ouch, lots of changes at $1.25 each, and no one to blame but myself. After several passes, we declared it done.

Posting on Kindle was so easy even an arch-Luddite like me could do it. Almost. It took me four days to figure out (with coaching from Hitch) that I'd failed to post the cover separately so Kindle could put it on line.   

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