Monday, May 11, 2020

What Happened in August 2018--- A Retrospective Confession

I haven't updated this blog in a long time. Some of it is laziness, some of it is too much time watching 24/7 live kitten feeds on YouTube, and some of it has been, well, writing.

To continue the story from the last post, I published The Single Eye in ebook form on Amazon on August 24, 2018. That was the day it went on sale, at least; the upload deadline was the 20th of that month at 7:00 PM.

And wasn't that an ordeal.

It would have gone better if I'd spent the days between the 4th and the 20th making sure all the hyperlinks worked, publishing the website for Hendrick Hill Books, and, most importantly, proofreading the text to make sure it read exactly as I wanted it. But no, I had to go off on vacation for two weeks and save all this labor for the weekend before the deadline.

So there I was, swotting away at my laptop, not eating, not sleeping, not even getting out of my chair for hours. Around 3:00 in the afternoon I realized I had to revise my protagonists' big crisis point. Yeah, I'm glad I did it. It makes the story so much stronger.

But that meant I hadn't much time actually to put The Single Eye up on Amazon. Oh, gosh, that title font is way too big. Quick, fix the code, run the HTML through Calibre to convert it to ePub (or is it EPUB?), upload it to Amazon again. What's this? Those chapter titles are now too small? Tinker with the code again, run Calibre, upload, etc., etc. And so on, and so forth.

Just before the deadline I had a version that looked good. But blast it, I'd forgotten to add the back-matter paragraph crediting the designers of my open-source typefaces. Of course it was the right thing to do, but it could have waited till after the book went live on the Friday.

Because in all my fuss and hurry I overlooked one little thing: that there was a Publish button I had to find and click before I was done. To be fair to myself, on my dinky laptop screen it was hidden off to the right and I needed to scroll over to see it. But if I hadn't been in such an adrenaline-stoked muck sweat, I might have remembered to look for it.

Oh, I thought I'd gotten my final version published before my time ran out. So imagine my feelings when Amazon let me look at what was going on sale on launch day and it was the pre-revision August 4th version. Nooooooo!!!! And due to how Amazon works, I wouldn't be able to provide the real version for 48 to 72 hours after it went live.

So what did I do? I went on social media and told everyone I knew to stop buying the presale. And not to get The Single Eye the day of launch. Because it wasn't right. It wasn't the version I wanted readers to see.

Yeah, I did that. It was stupid, it was dumb, but I did that.

You wanna tank sales?  That'll do it.

And we won't even get into the fact that I rushed the August 24th publication date to be before school started, so my younger fans wouldn't purchase The Single Eye at launch and mess up my Also-Boughts. Guess what? That's the very time Amazon decided to get rid of Also-Boughts and replace them with sponsored ads. Grump.

It's May 2020 now, and book recommendations are back. So that's something. And the book is up. You can get your own copy of The Single Eye here.

(Next time, fun with print.)

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