While I would have loved to be out on the kayaks last weekend enjoying the holiday, Mr. Rocky (and his Mohawk) is still pretty dependent and would have required a kitten-sitter. Oddly enough, kitten sitters are hard to come by on beautiful holiday weekends *laughing* so we stayed home. This did, however, give me a chance to get a few things done. This may seem like an odd way to celebrate Labor Day, but hey, when you love your work you should embrace it! So, here are a few things that I accomplished over the weekend:
1. I did a little updating on the website. Nothing HUGE, but there are some additions. First, I added the Sheridan Starswimmer page and a nice big cover shot to the homepage as well.
2. I spent a little (okay, more than I thought I was going to) time putting together the Sheridan Starswimmer e-book editions. You can find the e-Pub version on Smashwords and get a Kindle version at Amazon.
3. While I was at it, I decided to attack Queen Calla's Heroes. Here is a cautionary tale for you folks: When you don't think your editor is correct in their punctuation theory, look it up. Don't just trust them to be smarter than you are - even if they are typically smarter than you are in these things. For some unknown reason, my former editor had a day where they glitched on dialog punctuation. They had a convincing argument for their theory. Since I typically have a comma migration problem - they either all leave a piece or they overpopulate and live where they don't belong - I went ahead with their suggestion. This suggestion happened to be incorrect. I have been ignoring the problem for quite a while. Far too long in fact. BUT, over the weekend I put on my editing armor, took firm control of the backspace key, and made the necessary changes. While I was in there, I tightened things up a bit. I also caught a couple of small errors. It's amazing how many things can slip by after you've read something a few dozen times. The end result is that Queen Calla's Heroes is looking much better than it did previously. An unfortunate side effect is that I have inventory on hand that is no longer current (and incorrectly punctuated) and no good ones here to sell.
4. Since Queen Calla's Heroes got a good makeover, I decided that it too should join the e-book nation. The e-Pub version is available at Smashwords and the Kindle version is available at Amazon.
5. Fiddlebug also joined Smashwords. The Kindle version has been available for some time.
For those of you who might be asking about the limited format for e-books, illustrations make a big difference on e-readers. In a text only (or very limited illustration) book, the program you are reading from can allow you to change font, text size, etc.. This allows for better flow.In order to keep text and pictures in somewhat the right order and size, I have to upload documents that force them to stay in my chosen layout. This limits what your tablet or phone can be allowed to alter. One day, I have confidence that picture books will be just as manageable as novels in digital format. For now, e-Pub is the most stable way to go so that is the version I make available. Kindle is a monster of its own, and handles the file conversion differently. Luckily, in this case, things seemed to work out. I did make a small attempt at using the Kindle Kids Book Creator, but was not all that happy with the results on my tablet (my computer's operating system is not compatible with the program). I will continue to explore the options as they appear, but no matter how you slice it, digital readers are just not as snuggle up and read a bedtime story friendly as a book (in my opinion anyway) so I'm not as focused on digital versions as I maybe should be.
In upcoming news, I believe I am going to explore Zazzle.com for other ways to share the art from my books. I like the idea of pillows for the Sheridan Starswimmer book and flip flops printed with Clyde illustrations. The only thing that concerns me is the price. I'm not spectacular at marketing in the first place. Selling books is hard enough. And yet, the thought of Fiddlebug phone covers makes me smile. We shall see.
So, now that I've babbled for a while, please check out the new offerings. Let me know what you think of my future plans. Pass my website to your friends. Most of all, have a spectacular week!
Being a homeschooling parent for 13 years and an independent author/illustrator makes a person learn quite a bit about a lot of things. Now it's time to pass it on!