The book, that is, The King’s Sacrifice, not the “Aaaargh!” Then again, that’s probably better out, too.
So, what happened? What took so long? Was I slacking off? Sick? Not here? None of the above. After getting the stages 1, 2 and 3 done, I was hot to trot, but found myself besieged by a series of delays that took me from Tuesday (Monday in the USA) all the way up to Sunday (Saturday in the USA). I never stopped moving forward, but at times it was achingly slow with every delay adding an extra 12 to 24 hours onto the wait.
Gremlins? Had to be! Maybe I just noticed it more. When my first book, The Khekarian Threat, went up, no one was expecting it (I wasn’t blogging then), so very few knew about it and I had no sense of anyone waiting. Those who were, of course, had no idea if the book would really be any good, so it was all very laid back and polite.
This time around, with The Khekarian Threat a strong favorite, the eagerness for The King’s Sacrifice was palpable (love you guys and gals), and I felt that every delay kept you waiting, too.
These delays actually started in the 1, 2, 3 stage. That’s the reading through as a writer stage (stage 1, looking for technical issues, consistency, grammar and spelling, formatting, etc.), someone else reading it through stage (stage 2), and my reading it as a reader would, getting my head out of the nuts and bolts of the thing and looking at it in one fresh sweep, as a reader with no getting sidetracked (stage 3).
The first delay hit in stage 2. My husband is my “first reader” of choice because he’s always fair and doesn’t pander to ego. If something needs work, he will say so. Equally, if something is good, he’ll say that, too. He feels no need to find fault to go with the praise, nor praise to go with any criticism. I trust him because he doesn’t play manipulation games.
Well, the timing was rough for him. Greg was thick in the middle of two lots of study over and above his full time job, which completely cluttered up his free time and slowed down his reading by about a week.
Fortunately, he so enjoyed reading The King’s Sacrifice that it was not a chore to him, and he very happily gave me the thumbs up and his view that, if anything, the book was even better than The Khekarian Threat. Very nice praise indeed, seeing how much he enjoyed that first one.
Next, once I knew the manuscript has “passed”, I could give the page count to Laura of The Book Cover Machine, and get the wrap around cover done. I caught Laura at one of her peak busy times, so there was minor delay there – yet it gave me time to re-examine everything and revisit a few places in the plot.
Finally underway with the beautiful full cover, I proceed to get both paperback and Kindle up. Of course once you put up the paperback, you have to wait 12 to 24 hours for their review to make sure your margins are right, that the cover fits, etc., etc. That came back positive on all fronts (great!) and I could proceed with Kindle. Did that, and yep, another 12 hours to wait. So I waited, filling in the time writing up the post ready to announce it.
Next morning I was still waiting, but up it came, without covers for either paperback or Kindle. Dang! I didn’t want to put up that post without pictures. That meant waiting some more. Meanwhile, I noticed something… Kindle was stating that my page count estimate for The King’s Sacrifice was 717 pages… hey, what? Book two is actually shorter than book one (not by much, about 30 pages), so where does 717 come from?
In the process of setting up both paperback and Kindle, you’re given the option to preview on-screen to make sure it all looks as it should. The paperback showed great, but when I tried to view Kindle, it was unable to bring up the viewer. As the file is the self-same file only not a PDF, I ran with it anyway. Hey, you guys were waiting, right? I wanted to get it out there. Now that it was finally up, I could get into it to find out why it registered over 700 pages when it should be under 600 pages. For some reason, there was a space put in between every paragraph, which plumped it up.
I thought it was a new Kindle thing, and it actually looked quite gentle on the eyes, but as Greg pointed out, it was not consistent with book one and might irritate. So, we got onto the Amazon forums to find out if that was the case, and if not, then what was going on? Turns out it has something to do with the page layout (if you’ve found that problem, check the Amazon forum and hunt for “between paragraphs” and you’ll find a bunch of people have experienced the same issue. It also supplies different solutions, depending on what program you’re using).
That meant I’d have to re-upload Kindle and that added another delay.
So, Step One – shout at everything that moves – Okay, maybe not a very good Step One, but that’s what I did anyway [Cat scritching at the carpet – “Cat! Shut up!”].
Step Two was back into the file to find out where it changes because I was working from a template of book one and should have been the freaking same!
Step Three saw me tweak the default setting.
Step Four was to upload the new file and see if it changed anything.
Step Five – PREVIEW the #@&^% thing! (At least it allowed me to, this time).
Step Six – hit that damn publish button (again!) and wait another freaking 12 hours. Grrrr!
Problem solved, but that pause caused by there being no book cover showing prevented me from putting up the go-get-it post, which would have to have been followed by an uh-oh post.
If you are reading this, but beat me to it and went-and-got before I announced it up there and before I got the change in place, and if that gap between the paragraph annoys you, please ditch it and go and download it again. It will be right this time.
By the time the new Kindle went through, the covers still weren’t there and I went to bed, frustrated at the delay and not wanting to put up a post tell you all there were no covers showing! Fortunately for me, when I got up the next morning, the issue had righted itself, and the covers for both paperback and Kindle were showing, looking gorgeous.
Then I put up the post… and it didn’t appear. What the…? That stuffed me around a bit, until I discovered that when I hit the publish button, I’d somehow managed to park it in Draft.
Gremlins, I tell you, gremlins!
To look at my page to see what The King’s Sacrifice is about (back page with a link to Amazon at the bottom of the page), click HERE. To go to Amazon, click HERE (showing both books), or click on the book picture of The King’s Sacrifice in the right hand margin.
Again, I want to thank you all for your patience and your support. I hope you enjoy reading The King’s Sacrifice. I really enjoyed writing it, and yes, book three is underway.