Busy Bees and Idle Hands

DEAD FLIES 3 cover ben boostSome of you may have noticed a falling off in my postings. I have a reason, though not an excuse.

As I’ve mentioned here before I completed a novel for an MA a while back and have been dithering and dathering about it for a while. Like the perfectionists amongst you – I’ve never thought of myself as one but in terms of my writing I must be – I have kept on at it, knowing full well I was really just changing it rather than improving it.

In the summer I decided ‘enough’. I needed editing. A good friend, Anna Rogala has edited it, very thoroughly, a while back but I thought I’d ask another editor (who was, equally importantly, also going to help with the formatting) to tear into it. Ben Way, take a bow. If you are looking for help, look no further . I also had a couple of beta readers read the final, final version. All that effort ended just over two weeks ago and I have no excuse.

I did try sending it off to a few agents a while back – not a glimmer of a hint of an interest – which isn’t surprising in this competitive world. I could keep trying but the corollary to that is I will keep nibbling at it. I know myself. And while I do that, I don’t finish the other books I have, or more importantly write new ones, better ones. So I’ve given that route up and its Indie for me.

Apart from a rushed six copies of my Nano effort last year (just for my family, for Christmas – I used Lulu.com and it was very straightforward) I’ve not attempted publishing anything. But, so my little brain has it, if I publish my book, that’s it. I can stop. I can move on. It’s no longer mine.

For the last ten days I have thought about Kindle. I’ve registered. I’ve set up my account. And feverishly, over the last few days, I’ve formatted and adjusted the e-version of my book:

DEAD FLIES AND SHERRY TRIFLE!

I want to launch the print version too so next up it is Createspace (the weekend for that) and I hope there won’t be too much to do. Ben told me I was brave to go straight from Word to Kindle Direct Publishing rather than via a platform like Scrivener but I looked at Scriv, I read the tutorials and I tried loading my book into it and it hurt my brain and I felt I’d gotten nowhere. Had I felt I failed at the direct Word-KDP route then I’d give it a crack. If anyone has mastered the transfer of a Word job to Scriv successfully and wants to give me a tutorial I’m game. Anywhere in the UK and you get  good lunch… But my effort looks ok. Anyone who picks it up will be able to tell me if that is naïve.

I learnt some stuff. Somehow a lot of expand/contract links had appeared in my document not just at the start of chapters but Al over, which made it impossible to create a table of contents. I sorted that out – not necessarily via the easiest route but it has worked and my Kindle version will have the recommended hyperlinks as a TOC. And I spent a bit of time on what I always think of as book clutter – the acknowledgments, the copyright mumbo jumbo, the author’s note. But in looking at others for guidance I decided to include the first chapter of my next book

GOD BOTHERING

You heard that here first! See, I have a plan. Dead Flies goes live this month. First quarter next year and it’s God Bothering. And second quarter its Salisbury Square (that’s the provisional title – it used to be Six Degrees of Connectivity, but I thought that a mouthful; however others are trying to convince me to go back – watch this space). I can then leave those books alone and move on. I may even squeeze in the YA book I forced out for Nanowrimo last year – the Miracle on Sydenham Hill. Let’s see.

Sending DFST out to the wide world means I can commit to another Nano this year. What I write is still up for grabs but, damn it, I will do it. The choice is one of two sequels, to Dead Flies or to the YA. Probs the former and leave the latter for next year.

There you have it. I hope, if anyone picks Dead Flies up up, they will enjoy it. And of course review it! This isn’t a reason to do so, but any money I make I intend dedicating to the youth club I work for, Streatham Youth and Community Trust. They do any amazing job with inner city children and young adults as well as run classes for adults in need of extra support. My plan has always been to use the proceeds of my writing for good causes and this is the first.

I will follow this post with a post that it has gone live. Not long now.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at geofflepard.com about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in literature, miscellany, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Busy Bees and Idle Hands

  1. willowdot21 says:

    wishing you good luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amber Prince says:

    How exciting, good luck!!

    Like

  3. Annecdotist says:

    Well done you! And what a good idea finishing off the first book with the opening chapter of the next – great way to hook your readers. You do realise you have to have a launch party, don’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sherri says:

    I’m writing my draft on Word, have heard of Scrivener but no idea how to use it. But then I haven’t tried. I have no idea about any of this formatting lark, having not crossed that bridge yet as you know, and I will be watching you avidly Geoff! I’m still trying to make my mind up about NANO but still writing the memoir too. Exciting times for you…it’s wonderful that your book will soon be going live, can’t wait 🙂

    Like

    • TanGental says:

      I used an editor to give everything agood clean and he reformatted the manuscript. However I don’t think I need that much. There were several little things to do but if you are patent and don’t expect to go from finished manuscript to published within a day or two – give yourself time – then Word to Kindle is fine. I’m currently doing the paperback version – create space – and that is more time consuming. If you’d like any guidance I’d be happy to pass on whatever I’ve learnt. And so far I don’t feel as if I really needed Scrivener.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sherri says:

        That’s great, thanks so much for this Geoff. Interesting what you say about Scrivener, good to know that Word is fine. I feel very comfortable with that. I’m beginning to really believe that this is going to happen…eventually for me but very soon for you. Wonderful 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. lucciagray says:

    Hi Geoff! Interesting post. I went through a similar process myself last year from writing to publishing. Exhausting 😦 it took me months with beta reading, editing, proof reading, and formatting, plus paperwork! I never got the hang of scrivner, although I tried, but it was too confusing for me, too. I formatted for kindle from word, and it went well. I’m happy with the result. I’ve started preparing the paperback copy with CreateSpace, but I’m finding it more complex than the kindle version, so I haven’t finished yet. Good luck! Hope it all works out… By the way, are you glp who wrote the amazon review? I’m guessing it’s you 🙂

    Like

    • TanGental says:

      That’s me; I’ve spent today doing create space! Not too bad so far I think. I used their template and downloaded my word document into it. Quite a few changes but so far not too awful. however I’m not there yet. I had hoped to go live with both Kindle and CS at the same moment but I think Kindle will be ready first (juts finishing off the cover to make it work properly).

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Charli Mills says:

    Very exciting and trying times. I’m still in denial that my book will need to go the Indie route so my brain glosses over the need to learn these formats. I wrote my first two novel drafts in Scrivner. While I don’t know three quarters of what the program does, I love the fact that I can write scene by scene and then rearrange. However, I screwed up. Each revision i created a Word Doc. Before sending the Word Doc to my editor (in April) I went through and line edited all 400 pages…in Word. So I made manuscript changes in the wrong blasted file (do you understand why I’m trying hard to get an agent or publisher; I’d be a walking disaster trying to format my own book). My summer has been a painful revision in Word (cutting and pasting scenes, rearranging chapters was not fun). But I took time to copy each chapter back into Scrivner to get an intact and clean revision in that format. This is why I’ve been so scattered the past two months. 🙂 But I’m no where near launching and marketing as you are and I’m very excited for you! I’m going to use NaNo to write Rock Creek and while that draft settles I’ll start the revision process for Warm Like Melting Ice. It feels like spinning plates on poles, doesn’t it? But I love doing this! I’m paying attention to you because I think you’re an awesome writer and because you are figuring out this Indie stuff and I may need advice! 😀 Let me know when the launch party is–I’ll toast you from Idaho!

    Like

    • TanGental says:

      I quite understand the frustration. Kindle hasn’t been so bad but there are section headings I wanted to centre on the page but despite everything I try the heading goes straight to the top of the page. So I’ve given in for now. On create space for print on demand I’ve been told by more than one that scrivener makes it easy. However I’m determined to give word to print a run and I think I have over come most hurdles. I am using a standard word template create space offers that gives me the layout with the right guttering but had the downside if converting the second half to a different font a different line spacing, setting it in 3 cm from the left margin and removing the formatted indents! No problems!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Charli Mills says:

        I read the first chapter in Kindle on my phone and it’s formatted beautifully. What’s most important (to the reader) is that it flows easily without confusing breaks or run-ons. I’ve heard that Smashwords is very user-friendly for setting up templates, but I don’t know much…yet…about Create Space. I’m going to try to learn more about Scrivener before the next NaNo. We’ll see. Terrific debut, Geoff!

        Like

      • TanGental says:

        I need to widen the net now, into smash words etc. I’ll sort out the paperback and then look at other platforms.

        Like

If you would like to reply please do so here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.